Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Any Scouts in the Crowd?

Summer is finally here and I cannot tell you how much I've needed this break!  The pool has been very difficult to ignore as the temperature has been climbing into the hundreds these past few days.  Our place is feeling very put together now that we've gotten a few needed things, mostly our dresser.  It's blue and I'm so in love with it!  With the rest of my life finally feeling settled, I've had more time to think about school. :)

I have been working really hard on an idea I got from a dream.  Yes, that sounds so corny, I know!  I have been having wild dreams about the upcoming school year already.  I've had no less than six and they are always different.  Sometimes my 3rd graders are way too mature and I feel like an idiot in front of them for being too babyish.  That must be an insecurity I have, I guess!  I've had other dreams where everything goes perfectly and my kiddos love me and are perfect angels.  However, that means I've also had the dreams where everyone's going mad and I can't control anyone or anything and I wake up in a frazzled haze.  Those are my least favorite! lol  Do you dream about your future classes?  I guess it's proof that even though I'm not working, I'm always thinking about work somewhere in the back of my mind.

My dreams can't be all bad though because I woke up one morning last week with this idea to go with my camping theme next year!  I will be drawing attention to individual student achievements (both academic and behavioral) using a merit badge like the boy and girl scouts use.  I thought it went just perfectly with my theme since the scouts are associated with outdoor activities like camping.  I hope it'll turn out to be fun for my students as they strive to fill up their sashes with as many badges as possible.  I've spent FOREVER on this, so I really hope I enjoy using it as much as I think I will.

I created this Student Achievement Merit Badge Set as a positive reinforcement tool.  The set includes 2 sashes (a blank one and one with badge outlines), blank badges for you to design yourself, and 26 unique badges (in multiple shapes each, so that pans out to over 100 badges total) to use on the sashes.  Ideally I think it would work best to print the badges onto sticker paper and cut out so that students can just peel and stick.  However, it wouldn't take too much effort to let kids cut them out and then glue them to the sash.  You can get this set at my TPT store HERE.

I'm most excited about the versatility of this tool. You can make the sash as long as you want in case some kid fills theirs up too quickly.  You can let the kids use their own creativity to design their own badges on the blank sash.  Younger kids can just color in the shapes.  I can easily see it being used at home for a chore or behavior chart as well.  I haven't decided yet if I'll be offering an extra award for students who can fill up their entire sash before the end of the year.  I think they'll be motivated enough without it, but I'll have to think about it some more.  Here's a student husband example as I have no kids around at the moment. :) 

Have you used something similar to this in the past?  I'd be interested to hear how it went.  If you've run across any camping-themed materials, please share because I could use all the help I can get!  Hope you're enjoying your break so far!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

A Cake and a Banner

Well, I've officially created my second Pinterest project!  It's not teaching related, but I thought it might be fun to share.  I needed to make a dessert for a barbecue the hubby and I were going to and I wanted to do something unique. This cake popped up on Pinterest.  Sure, it looked like a watermelon, but I was sold when it supposedly TASTED like watermelon, too!  Of course, sometimes I hate Pinterest because it makes me feel like I can do anything and have it turn out like the picture, when in fact, that is very far from the truth.  So, ignoring the fact that I ran out of green icing but had waaay too much pink icing left over and that I almost burned the apartment complex down while trying to bake this baby, I was very surprised with the turnout! :)  And yes, it did taste like watermelon! You should visit this lady's website because she's quite impressive with her cakes.  Click on the original watermelon cake picture to see her blog and the recipe for this summery cake! 
 I also got around to making my banner that will hang over my rules and consequences board in my classroom.  I tried to use the orange, green, and brown that will be a constant color for my room, but I wanted to brighten it up with some girlier colors the best I could.  I think it turned out really cute!  It wasn't as big as I imagined it would be in my head, but it actually turned out the perfect size for my board anyway.  Funny how things work out, huh? I made this using the 'Straight from the Nest' and 'Cuttin' Up' cartridges for the Cricut.
Today I'm going to Park City, or should I say 'Park Silly' since that's what they call it, believe it or not.  It's some little street festival thing and Ian's dad requested we go with him for Father's Day, so hopefully that will be fun.  I wish I could spend the day with my dad, but he's back in the midwest.  Happy Father's Day, Dad! I love you! :)
Until next time, Campers!