Monday, August 5, 2019

TpT Sale!

I can't believe it is almost time for school to start again! I hope everyone has a wonderful year.
My entire TpT store is on sale if you need anything.

Here are a few ideas that may help your year start off right.

And over 100 other products!


Friday, June 28, 2019

Farmhouse Kitchen Table Makeover

Are you like me and tackle larger house projects in the summer?

This summer, I was determined to refinish my kitchen table. It is Ethan Allen and I have had it since we got married in 1997.  It has a beachy feel which doesn't match our current house but the real issue was the messed up finish on top.  I think part of it was my fault when I tried to iron with a towel on it once. Not smart! Regardless, after years of daily use, paper plates and even tablecloths would stick to it. I was nervous about taking a sander to it but I figured I couldn't mess it up more than it already was.
The first thing I did was use wood filler to get rid of the grooves. I knew when I bought the table those grooves were a bad idea but it was before kids so I thought I could clean out the crumbs occasionally. HA! They were a pain and gross!
Then I had my boys move it out back and went to town with my sander. I left the legs and bottom of the table alone. This table has two leaf extensions too so it took me over 3 hours! Thank goodness for audio books!
I used wood conditioner and then started going to town with my choice of stain, American Walnut. BIG MISTAKE! This pine seems to be even more yellow-orange than usual so the stain looked much redder than I expected!
I lost a night of sleep and decided I couldn't live with it and had to sand the whole thing down again! Luckily it came off easier this time since it was just stain and no sealer.
 Next I did what I should have done the first time and bought several different stains and extra pine to test samples. I have a darker floor so I was thinking of trying to go lighter but nothing seemed to look good with the creamy white legs and antiqued stain.  Also the sample pine I got was not giving off the same yellow orange as my table so I knew whatever I did would probably still look different on the table.
I even tried my own weathering concoction and white washing but those didn't look right either.
I finally decided to use Dark Walnut very lightly and rub it off right away. I don't really like the  Varathane Premium 1 Hour stain. It is really thick and my wood sucked it in immediately. I worked in small areas and wiped rubbed off as much as I could. It still came out much darker than my sample but luckily I still like it. I was smarter this time and let just one of the leaves dry to make sure I liked it before I did the rest.

I decided to use Polyurethane, even though I was afraid of the golden color, because it is more durable. Three coats are recommended with at least 4 hours of drying time between. I did this over a couple days. The smell didn't bother me at all until I brought the table back inside. I should have left it outside longer but I was worried about the final finish getting ruined after all that work. I had already had to deal with berries dropping from a tree and leaving purple marks (luckily before sanding so I sanded it off) and bird poop which I was able to clean off with no lasting damage.
You may also notice that I turned the painting upside down. This is the way I saw and liked it originally in the store but when I got it home we realized that it was "supposed" to go the other way. I like it better with the more dramatic movement at the bottom because it got lost with the chandelier so I turned it around. Art is open to interpretation right?

Now I think I need a cute centerpiece! Maybe something like this but with some blue?

image 0


Monday, May 6, 2019

TpT Sale

My entire TpT store is on sale!
poster made by Violet and Thistle
Are you in need of a Mother's Day gift?

Had your eye on one of my bestsellers?
Sight word resources?
Sight Word Superstars

Or one of my many book club packets? I have all different levels!

Maybe your centers could use some new activities?
I have many math games
Place Value Go Fish

and language arts activities covering different topics.

Or do you want to check out one of my writing resources?

You could even start preparing for next year!
Language arts editing and math word problems all in one! Perfect for morning work!

I have 114 items so I bet you will find something you can use.


Sunday, April 28, 2019

Make Your Own Taboo Game

Have you played the game Taboo? 

You try to get your team to guess the word at the top by giving oral clues BUT you cannot use any of the words listed on the card.

I had my junior high students make a history version of this game but you could make it for any topic!

Click Taboo link HERE for the template I made in Google Slides.

I set it to automatically make a copy of my template for you so you can edit. Click on the words to edit them.

I had my students work as partners and write the word/name down on the board so no one did the same term. When the page was complete, they printed and cut them out so we had a class deck. Making the cards was a way to study in disguise. They had to know all about the topic in order to figure out what clue words would be needed.

If you have younger students you may want to make the cards yourself. You could review math vocabulary, science terms, etc. I am teaching 3rd and 4th grade math this summer and I'm thinking about making a set with a number at the top, say 10. Then the taboo "words" could be 2x5, 8+2, 12-2, 5+5.

Tips for playing:
1. You can play with any number of people. I split my class of 16 into 4 teams of 4 and had two games going but I could have done one giant game.
2. Sit in a circle with players alternating from each team. A player from the other team looks over your shoulder to make sure you don't say one of the forbidden words. If a taboo word is said the "checker" can say'"Buzz" or you could use a real buzzer if you have one.
3. Cards may also be "passed" if the clue giver feels like it will be too time consuming or difficult. These passed cards just go back to the end of the deck.
4. We have iPads so one student is in charge of setting the 1 minute timer for each person. You could also use an egg timer or sand timer from a different game.
5. I also gave a small whiteboard and marker to a student to be the score keeper. Alternatively, everyone could keep the cards they got right and add the score up once everyone has had a chance to play. I had my group keep going until all the cards were guessed.

I'd love to hear if you try it with your class. My students thought it was really fun.


Sunday, April 21, 2019

Mother's Day Gift Ideas

What do you have your class do for Mother's Day?

How about making a gift book using the poem If You Give a Mom a Muffin, patterned after the Laura Numeroff books. 

We read the whole poem, then work on two pages a day so it doesn't get overwhelming. We brainstorm ideas for each page and I draw one of them using the document camera. I encourage the students to use their own creativity but those who find drawing intimidating are comforted to have my model.
I include drawing ideas for each page in the download but they often come up with their hilarious ideas.

Mom is still asleep so her eyes are closed.

The gift bags are personalized, too!
This student knew tried to replicate her mom's pillowcase!
I buy the muffins from Costco but some buyers tell me they have the students make those, too. 
I've also thought about adding Starbucks Via packets. 
Image result for via coffee
The hardest part for the students is picking which muffin flavor their mom would like best.
 I have had students admit to picking their favorite flavor in hopes Mom will share!

I also include alternative wording using Aunt, Grandma, and cocoa.

You can get all my directions and templates in my store by clicking HERE.