Friday, October 17, 2014

You Want These SECRETS To CRAFTivity Success: 'Teachers We Love' with First Grade Blue Skies

It's that time of year when classroom cuteness and overwhelm dials turn way up.  

How do I know this?

First of all, I noticed the movie, Elf, while scrolling through the channels last night.  A movie I watch at least 100 times before Christmas.

Second, my pinning finger hurts.  You know, the finger used to pin thousands of great holiday ideas to  Pinterest boards that may or may not ACTUALLY get accomplished.

Ready or not. There's no place to hide.  The holidays are coming.  I better not find you huddled in the corner of the teacher copy room, buried in a pile of construction paper, covered in glitter, with your fingers glued together.

Let's pull ourselves together.

  


Jennifer White from the blog, 'First Grade Blue Skies' has secrets.  Juicy crafty secrets.  Secrets behind her adorable craftivitities and bulletin boards. 

Easy secrets that will lower your classroom craft stress level.  Secrets that will have teachers, parents and students googly-eyed and ooooooing and ahhhhing over your room.

Jennifer's ideas will turn your classroom-cuteness level up to high, but her secrets will keep your overwhelm-dial low and coasting smoothly into the holidays narwhal style.


Secret ingredients for craftivity success include:  

*circle sponges from Walmart
*twine
*spray painted clothes pins with erasers used for polka dots 
*raffia
*ready made patterns
*thin tipped Frixion markers from Japan that you can order on Amazon
and don't forget 
*parents do the prep for you!  

WARNING:  Don't make my craftivity mistake.  

In my first year of teaching kindergarten, I tried to do craftivities daily.  Enter the kindergarten craftivity sweat shop.  We must cover all the walls and bulletin boards!  Make this classroom vomit with craftivity cuteness!  The cuter my classroom must mean the better the teacher I am.

You probably already know the moral to this story.

Burnout 101.  

The kids loved the crafts but I went OVERBOARD.  I like Jennifer's approach to doing one craftivity per unit of study at most.  

I know you might be concerned, are craftivities academic enough?  

Here are my thoughts: 
  1. Craftivities  can easily be the kick off to a unit that gets kids excited about new learning OR the craftivity is the culminating activity after a unit of study.
  2. Craftivities integrate several subjects to give the learning some complexity and depth.
  3. Yes, you may have to do some of the prep.   But the students also learn cutting, gluing, following directions, and design. The craftivity benefits the fine motor skill practice and the choices students make as he/she creates.
  4. Craftivities offer a student an opportunity to create a product.  All students are successful and the product is also displayed, shared and admired by a diverse audience, the parents and students at the school.
  5. Students and families prize craftivities for years to come.
Now that I have you all pumped up to do craftivities let's have a giveaway.  Jennifer sells the craftivities shown in the video in her Teachers Pay Teachers store, and she is generously giving you a chance to win a craftivity bundle!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

I love hearing from you!!!!  Don't be a quiet lurker.  I seeeeee you.  ; ) Participate! Let's get to know each other and be virtual teaching friends.

Which of the crafts that Jennifer showed in the video are you swooning over the most?   Leave me a comment below.  

Sending you love and happiness,

Sheila 

19 comments:

  1. I learned what a glyph was. I've seen glyphs everywhere, and I've heard the term, but until this video I didn't know what a glyph was.

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    1. I am glad my video provided value for you. I was the same way about glyphs. When I first started reading teacher blogs, glyphs were all the rage. I had no clue if it was a special training or what the term glyph stood for! Let me know if you try glyphs in your classroom. The students love them! I hope you comment again soon and we can chat.

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  2. LOVE! You are so great to work with and too cute for words!
    Jennifer

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    1. Why thank you Jennifer! I feel the same way about you ; )

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  3. I always feel like the kids should trace and cut everything and feel guilty when I prep. In this day and age with the standards and accountability, I like that the idea of prepping craftivities:) Jennifer is ADORABLE and her room is FABULOUS!

    Tammy
    The Resourceful Apple

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    Replies
    1. Yay Tammy! Thank you SOOOO much for your comment. I like the idea of prepping craftivities too. Isn't Jennifer's room fantastic?!?! I was beyond excited when I found out her classroom would be the backdrop for the interview. It is really great to hear your input. I hope to see you in the comment section soon so we can chat.

      Sincerely,

      Sheila

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  4. Your craftivities are adorable! I like the addition of raffia to your crafts and the circle sponges.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for commenting. Jennifer will appreciate your kind words. Doesn't raffia just add such a cute touch to the craftivities?!?! I also had no idea Walmart sold the circle sponges. Brilliant. I hope you keep tuning in to this blog each Friday. New videos and radio shows with teacher bloggers you love. See you in the comments soon!

      Sincerely,

      Sheila

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  5. I am all over the parent prep! Great way for those who can't make it into the classroom lend a hand at home!

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    1. I completely agree! Parents that are working still want to feel valuable and helpful in the classroom. Sending something they can prep at home makes them feel connected. Teachers don't have to do everything. Delegating work is key.

      Thank you for your comment. I really like your input on this blog and I hope you comment again soon!

      Sincerely,
      Sheila

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  6. Love her tips - I am one of those people who doesn't feel artistic enough and my first graders need more craftivities. Winning this package would be so awesome!

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    1. It is great to see you comment Gabrielle. I am the same way about art. The craftivites make it much easier on the teacher PLUS they tie in other subjects as well. Sending you good luck for the win.

      Sincerely,

      Sheila

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  7. I love Jennifer! Have been a follower of hers for a long time :) Great video!

    Zoe
    Oh the Little Wonders

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    1. Yay! Zoe thank you for your comment. I am glad I was able to interview someone you have followed for a long time AND that you respect. I hope you comment and join me back on this blog soon. It means a lot to have your input.

      Sincerely,

      Sheila

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  8. so stinkin' cute! I love her accent! And I've always been a HUGE fan of her crafts~

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  9. I am so happy to know that I am not the only teacher who gets excited when the kids do craftivities. It just makes the classroom a happier place!

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Sheila Chako
Sprinkle Teaching Magic