All Posts By

Chad Boender

Back to School Silly Hats

It is back-to-school season which means it is time to start preparing for the upcoming school year.  I am teaming up with Fiskars to provide you with a fun and engaging beginning of the school year silly alphabet hats craft! Your students will love making these silly hats as they learn or review the alphabet.

Silly Hats & ABCs are perfect for :
•Beginning of the year introduction to the alphabet and beginning sounds
•Teachers wanting a fun and creative way to teach the alphabet
•Reinforcing letter sounds
•Adding a craft activity into your daily lessons
•End of the year alphabet countdown
•Most importantly, giving your students a fun and engaging experience while they learn!

Please note that I am partnering with Fiskars and am compensated for my work. I received product free of charge, but all thoughts and opinions are 100% mine.

Fiskars scissors makes this back-to-school craft both fun and safe for my kindergarten students! Be sure to check out all educational products that Fiskars has to offer by Clicking Here. Let’s grab our supplies and let’s get started!

What You’ll Need:

How to Make:

This Silly Hats & ABCs craft pack is filled with 52 silly hats for your students to color and assemble. I appreciate that there are two differentiated silly hats for each letter. Your students will love coloring them, too!

After your students finish coloring each silly hat to their liking, they can cut out each silly alphabet hat with these awesome Color Change Pointed-tip Kids Scissors (5″). Yes, you read that correctly, COLOR CHANGING! The heat-activated color-changing handle will make your students excited to cut each silly hat as it changes from purple to blue!

My favorite part of these scissors is that it accommodates both right- and left-handed users. It also has safety-edge blades with a safer blade angle that protects kids while cutting all classroom materials.

Check out that color-changing handle! After your students finish cutting out their alphabet hat, assemble any necessary parts and adhere with a glue stick.

Staple each alphabet silly hat to a sentence strip. These silly alphabet hats are also perfectly paired with ABC Bootcamp. Be sure to check out all of the products that Fiskars has to offer and the cactus, flower, watermelon, and pineapple craft that I created for Fiskars!

Celebrate Learning Classroom Reveal

“Celebrate Learning is a versatile collection that can be paired with other classroom themes and décor, or used by itself. With vibrant, vivid colors, this collection adds a warm touch to any classroom atmosphere while still focusing on the joys of learning and teaching!”

If you’re looking for a fun, colorful, and vibrant classroom decor line, then the Celebrate Learning décor line from Carson Dellosa is the perfect collection for you! Please note that I am partnering with Carson Dellosa and I received product free of charge, but all thoughts and opinions are 100% mine.

Add a colorful touch to classroom displays, message boards, bulletin boards, and more with the Celebrate Learning décor line. Make every day easier by creating a stylish, organized classroom that motivates and inspires.

Check Out My Classroom

Check out all the products in the Celebrate Learning décor line!

Spring Fling 2018 with ESGI & Friends: Classroom Assessments

As the end of the school year approaches, it is easy to feel overwhelmed with the amount of curriculum that we, as teachers, must cover by the end of the school year. However, I know what makes me even more overwhelmed… the number of assessments that I must complete for report cards and the amount of time it takes. Can you relate?

As teachers, we spend countless hours assessing our students throughout the school year. We often assess our students to find out whether the child has mastered the objective or to use our data to differentiate our instruction through small groups or one-on-one instruction. However, when I found ESGI Software, it made assessing my students a breeze!

What is ESGI Software?

ESGI is the simplest, easiest to use assessment platform for conducting one-on-one assessments for emergent and non-readers. This software allows me to store all my student assessment data in one place, and it’s super easy to get started. Simply head on over to ESGISoftware.com and use the promo code MaleKTeacher to get a FREE trial until August 31st! However, it gets even better – keep reading!

ESGI Software can be used on a variety of devices such as: an iPhone, laptop, desktop computer, or iPad! It’s so easy to setup your account and to add your students. My favorite part is that you can even create your own tests that align with your curriculum or a particular standard you are focusing on!

I love using an iPad to assess my students. It’s easy to carry around the classroom and it makes assessing my students on the go simple and easy! Want to try out ESGI Software for FREE until August 31st? Click Here!

A big part of my classroom is student ownership. I want my students to take ownership of their learning, to make goals, and to celebrate their accomplishments. After completing an assessment, a pie graph shows up indicating how the child did on the assessment. I love talking with my students about how they are doing and have them make goals for the next time I assess them. From this screen it is easy to print flashcards that my students can use to practice the skills or concepts that I just assessed.

As teachers, we know parent communication in the classroom defines the learning process, and it is necessary to communicate in order to influence learning. One of my favorite tools about ESGI is the parent letter and report! This letter shows the parents what they need to specifically work on at home and the letter is automatically generated after each assessment. Simply print out the letter, attach the flashcards, and send it home with each student.

2018 ESGI Spring Fling Giveaway

ESGI is offering an amazing deal and giveaway to new trial members until May 15! Want to win some amazing prizes by signing up for a FREE trial of ESGI Software? Just head on over to ESGISoftware.com and use the code MKTeacher and you’re entered to win the following:

1. Sign up for a FREE trial through August 31st by using the promo code MKTeacher

2. Plus you get a $40 SAVINGS​ off of your 1st Year Purchase Price​!

3. An ESGI ALL-STAR T-SHIRT​ with Purchase​​!

4. An ALL-EXPENSES PAID TRIP from ESGI to any one of the Summer 2018 Conferences listed below!

Happy Assessing,

Dr. Seuss Themed Center Activities

 

One fish, two fish, red fish, blue fish! My students love when I create themed center activities based on a topic, unit, or holiday. When planning center activities, I want centers that allow my students to work independently and are engaging, effective, and easy to implement. Here are 7 Dr. Seuss™ themed activities that are perfect for your reading and math centers!

Also, be sure to check out my Cat in the Hat Vowels Bulletin Board and my Horton Hears a Who Door Decoration to carry this theme over to your classroom decor!

Read More on Fun365.com by OrientalTrading

Horton Hears a Who Door Decoration

Whether you are planning for a door decorating contest or browsing ideas for your Dr. Seuss themed classroom, this Horton Hears a Who door decoration is the perfect addition to any classroom! All across the country, schools are kicking off National Reading Month by decorating their doors with various themes from their favorite children’s stories and authors.

This Horton Hears a Who door decoration is a great reminder that “A person’s a person no matter how small!”

Read More on Fun365.com by OrientalTrading

Cat in the Hat Vowels Bulletin Board

March is always my favorite time of the year! I love reading The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss to my students and decorating my classroom with the whimsical characters found created by Dr. Seuss! March is the time of the year when teachers from all across the country are decorating their classrooms and doors with themes from their favorite books, characters, or authors!

This Dr. Seuss vowel bulletin board will get your students excited about reading and learning their vowels, too! Find out how

Read More on Fun365.com by OrientalTrading

Christmas Student Gift Idea

Learn365 has a number of Christmas-themed products that are perfect for student gifts, events, and/or occasions. As you’re shopping the Christmas sales for gifts for your students for next year, be sure to check out the wide range of products that Learn365 has to offer. I am excited to share with you one of the gifts I made for my students this year. Let’s grab our supplies and start planning!

What You’ll Need:

This post may contain affiliate links for your shopping convenience. Any purchases made through one of our links earns us a small commission, which helps to support the blog so we can continue sharing content like this with you. All views and opinions expressed are purely our own.

Student Gift Ideas: Painting Bright Futures Idea

While I was browsing Oriental Trading and Learn365 for Christmas gift ideas for my students, I came across these acrylic paint strip classpacks. Right away I had the idea of gifting my students with a DIY wood ornament, a paintbrush, and a fun tag.

Print out the FREE, printable “Students like you paint bright futures” tag from my TeachersPayTeachers store! Cut out a tag for each of your students and set aside.

Use a one hole punch to add a hole at the top of your tag.

Simply thread the Christmas Baker’s Twine  around the DIY nutcracker ornament, the paintbrush, and the acrylic paint classpacks.

These gifts are definitely something that your students will enjoy painting and it has a great message, too!

Merry Christmas,

Personalized Student Christmas Gifts

Finding the perfect Christmas gifts for our students can be difficult. We, as teachers, always try to find gifts that are easy, cost-effective, and memorable. These personalized student Christmas gifts are so easy to make! I found these Plush Long Arm Reindeer on Learn365, and I knew that would be the perfect Christmas gift for my students! Be sure to check out all of the plush stuffed toys that Learn365 has to offer. Each of these can be personalized based on the event, season, or holiday! Let’s grab our supplies and let’s get started!

What You’ll Need

This post may contain affiliate links for your shopping convenience. Any purchases made through one of our links earns us a small commission, which helps to support the blog so we can continue sharing content like this with you. All views and opinions expressed are purely our own.

Personalized Student Gifts: Name Plush Reindeer

Step One: Adjust Your Design

1. Select the Page Setup Window and adjust your width and height to 12 inches by 12 inches.

2. Measure the area of what you’d like to place your text on. For this project, I chose to place my students names on the front of a Plush Long Arm Reindeer.

3. I found that the best size was around 9 inches tall and 9 inches wide.

4. Resize your design to the dimensions you got from measuring. In order to resize your design, you will select it and then drag in the outer corners.

5. When cutting the design out of heat transfer you have to mirror your design or your words will be backward. In order to mirror your design select your design, right click, and select flip horizontally.

Step Two: Cut Your Design

1. Load your heat transfer material into your machine (If you are using a CAMEO or a Portrait you can load your material in without a cutting mat). You’ll notice Heat Transfer has a shiny plastic side and a matte side. You will want to place the heat transfer in shiny side down.

2. In Studio, select the send tab in the upper right-hand corner. For material select the Heat Transfer, Glitter (depending on which Heat Transfer you are using) cut setting. Adjust your blade to the cut setting and select start.

3. After your machine is done cutting, unload the Heat Transfer from your machine and weed away unnecessary parts of the design.

4. Place your weeded design on your plush reindeer, right side up.

5. Leaving on the clear protective on, iron your design onto your shirt. You may also choose to place a cloth barrier in between the design and the iron. Once the design is cooled peel away the clear plastic.

6. I used a Clover Mini Iron for this project. The size of this iron makes it perfect for ironing on those small designs.

These personalized student Christmas gifts are the perfect gifts that your students will definitely cherish for a lifetime.

Print and Cut Pumpkin-Theme Bulletin Board

I am frequently asked how I use my cameo in my kindergarten classroom. We all know that creating a bulletin board in a classroom can be time-consuming and tiresome. However, it’s a good thing I have my Silhouette Cameo!

This machine has been a lifesaver! Using my Silhouette machine in the classroom to create interactive bulletin boards, crafts, and activities has saved me so much time. One feature that I use consistently is the cut and print feature. This feature saves me countless hours, and it prevents hand cramping, too! Today I am excited to share how I created this fall-themed bulletin board using the print and cut feature in Silhouette Studio®. Let’s grab our supplies and let’s get started! 

 

Supplies Needed:

 

Step One: Create Your Design in Silhouette Studio®

1. Start with a blank file with page size of 8.5 in. x 11 in.

2. In the Page Setup window, turn on the registration marks by setting the style to “Type 1”. Adding registration marks is important because your machine reads these in order to cut your printed shapes out perfectly.

3. Find the image or clip art that you would like to cut out. I used Melonheadz: Happy Fall clip art and Punkin Patch 2 by Melonheadz. Click and drag the image into Silhouette Studio® or go to File and then Open to locate your clip art.

4. Open the trace panel on the right-hand side toolbar. Click “Select Trace Area.” Click and hold down until your image is fully selected (Note: Your image should turn slightly yellow). Be sure that your image has a yellow border around the perimeter of the image. If not, you can adjust the High Pass and Low Pass filters until you have a solid yellow border. Click “Trace Outer Edge” at the bottom of your trace panel. Your image should now have a faint red line around it.

Step Two: Print & Cut The Design

1. Print out your design on the white card stock by selecting the printer icon.

2. Once it has been printed, place your printed design on your cutting mat (Note: Remember to keep the large black box in the upper right-hand corner of your cutting mat.) Load the cutting mat into your machine.

3. In Silhouette Studio®, select the Send tab in the top right-hand corner. Select the plain card stock cut setting and select Send. (Remember that if you don’t have an Autoblade, you will need to adjust your blade settings.)

4. Your machine will read the registration marks and then cut out your design (Tip: If your machine is having trouble reading your registration marks, try manually moving the blade directly over the square registration mark. You can do this by moving the blue arrows in the Send tab in Silhouette Studio®).

5. Once your machine has cut out your clip art or image, remove the pieces from your cutting mat.

Step Three: Assembling the Bulletin Board

1. This print and cut feature is perfect for creating seasonally themed bulletin boards without the hassle or stress of cutting out images by hand. Cover the background of your bulletin board with Fadeless® Weathered Wood Paper Roll to give it a true rustic, fall look! Adding Lots of Dots Black Bulletin Board Borders compliments the wood paper background, and it makes the images pop, too!

2. Using your Silhouette machine, cut out pumpkins in various sizes using the print and cut feature explained above.

3. Use the same print and cut feature to create larger scaled images by piecing together your cut images. I did this with the scarecrow and the boy holding the pumpkin. To do this, simply enlarge the image and ensure that the image overlaps the previously printed image.

4. Add text to your bulletin board using your Silhouette machine and Silhouette Studio®. Start with a blank file with page size of 8.5 in. x 11 in.

5. Create a text box by clicking the text tool on the left-hand side toolbar. The font used to create the “Welcome to our” is KG Why You Gotta Be So Mean, and the font used to create “Patch!” is KG Ways to Say Goodbye. Place orange cardstock on your cutting mat. In Silhouette Studio®, select the Send tab in the top right-hand corner. Select the plain card stock cut setting and select Send. (Remember that if you don’t have an Auto blade, you will need to adjust your blade settings.). Complete this step with black card stock to give your lettering dimension.

 

What kind of classroom crafts, bulletin boards, or activities would you like to see?

 

Frog Craft for Kids

My classroom is TOAD-ally not ready for school to start, but I am! I’m excited to meet a new group of wonderful, energetic, and smart kindergarten students! This frog craft for kids is a great way to show students that they are TOAD-ally awesome!

I am teaming up with Fiskars to provide you with five, back-to-school crafts throughout the week. This TOAD-ally awesome frog craft for kids is a great reminder of how students will make leaps and bounds of growth this year in school!

Please note that I am partnering with Fiskars and am compensated for my work. I received product free of charge, but all thoughts and opinions are 100% mine.

Fiskars scissors makes this watermelon back-to-school craft both fun and safe for my kindergarten students! Be sure to check out all educational products that Fiskars has to offer by Clicking Here. Let’s grab our supplies and let’s get started!

I always look for crafts that are easy to prep, kid-friendly, and fun, too! This frog craft for kids will have your students hopping in excitement. Let’s get started!

1. Cut Card Stock with Fiskars Punchers

Use your Circle Lever Punch (XXXX-Large) to punch out green circles and red circle. These will be used to make the mouth of the frog. Prepping for a craft is easy with Fiskars punching products. Cutting these circles was a breeze and did not take a lot of time (we all know that teachers are short on time).

2. Adhere Circles Together and Fold

Adhere the red and green circles on top of one another. Fold circle in half. I recommend folding immediately after gluing together with your favorite adhesive. Else the paper might bubble or not adhere well if you what to fold it after it dries.

3. Cut Out Eyes and Add Detail

Use the Round ’n Round Squeeze Punch (Medium) to create the eyes for your frog. Add black dots on the circles using a black Sharpie Marker.

4. Adhere Eyes and Add Details

Adhere the eyes of your frog to the face using your favorite adhesive. Add two small black dots using a Sharpie Marker.

5. Making the Tongue

Create the tongue for your frog by cutting a long strip from red card stock. Use a pencil, pen, or other writing utensil to wrap your red strip of paper around it. This will make your frog’s tongue curl. Adhere the tongue inside the frog’s mouth.

6. Print Your Editable Tags

Add the final touch by downloading, personalizing, and printing these editable “Our class is TOAD-ally AWESOME!” tags. You can find the editable tags HERE. Be sure to check out my cactus, flower, watermelon, and pineapple crafts for kids, too!