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Chad Boender

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 something like these likenessme custom bobbleheads that could tick all of those boxes. 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!

Pineapple Craft for Kids

Who doesn’t love pineapples? This easy and fun pineapple craft for kids is the perfect way to start the school year with this sweet treat! However, beware because glitter is involved! I am teaming up with Fiskars to provide you with five, back-to-school crafts throughout the week. This sweet pineapple craft for kids is a great reminder of how truly sweet each and every student is.

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!

This pineapple keepsake craft for kids is the perfect back-to-school craft for kids and parents, too! Every parent loves to receive a craft with their child’s handprints. Am I right? This sweet craft and FREE editable pineapple tags are fun, and it is a great way to show students how sweet they are, too!

Don’t let the glitter scare you! It can be mess free by using glitter glue. If you’re feeling adventurous then why not use Elmer’s glue with gold glitter to really make your pineapple POP!

1. Cut the FREE Template

Download the FREE pineapple printable and cut with your Original Orange-handled Scissors™ (8″) or your Pointed-tip Kids Scissors (5″).

2. Trace and Cut Hands

Using green construction paper or card stock, trace your student’s hand and have them cut it out using a Pointed-tip Kids Scissors (5″).

3. Glue Hands to Pineapple Base

After your student has cut out his/her hands from the construction paper or card stock, have him/her glue their hands to the pineapple base. The hands will represent the leaves of a pineapple.

4. Add Detail with Adhesive

Using your favorite adhesive, add glue lines to your pineapple base. If you prefer something that is not as messy, have your students use glitter glue. This will save you a step when making this craft. If you’re feeling adventurous and glitter doesn’t bother you, keep reading!

5. Add GLITTER!

Add gold glitter to your pineapple. Set aside to dry before shaking off the excess glitter or adding a pineapple face.

6. Add a Pineapple Face and Print Editable Tags

Add a face to your pineapple using a Sharpie permanent marker. Add the final touch by downloading, personalizing, and printing these editable “We Are a Sweet Class!” tags. You can find the editable tags HERE. Be sure to check out my cactus, flower, and watermelon crafts for kids, too! Check back tomorrow for another back-to-school craft using Fiskars Products!

 

Watermelon Craft for Kids

Nothing screams summer like this watermelon craft for kids! It is back-to-school time for many of us and we are diligently getting our classrooms ready and planning for the first week. This low-prep watermelon craft for kids is fun, easy, and will have your students saying, “We Are One in a Melon!”

I am teaming up with Fiskars to provide you with five, back-to-school crafts throughout the week. This sweet treat watermelon craft for kids is a great reminder of how truly sweet each and every student is.

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!

The one thing that I love about this craft is how easy it is to prep with Fiskars circle punches. As teachers, we don’t have a lot of time in the beginning of the year to prep activities that take a long time. This is one easy craft that your students will absolutely love. Plus, it works on their fine motor skills, too!

turn your craft into a fun counting activity! Label each watermelon base with a number and have your students glue on the number of seeds that corresponds to the number on the watermelon!

1. Cut Outer Layer

Use your Circle Lever Punch (XXXX-Large) to punch out green circles for the base layer of your watermelon. This tool makes cutting circles so easy and it provides a clean cut every time!

2. Cut Inner Layer

Now it’s time to prep the inner layer of your watermelon kids craft! Use the Circle Lever Punch (XXX-Large) to punch out pink/red circles.

3. Adhere layers

Place the inner layer of your watermelon on the outer layer and adhere with your favorite adhesive.

4. Add Watermelon Seeds

Add watermelon seeds until you are happy with the finished product. I used the scraps from the Floral Frenzy Intricate Shape Punch (2″) as the seeds for this craft. If you are looking for much larger seeds, you can use the petals from the Petal by Petal Squeeze Punch (Large).

5. Cut Watermelon in Half

Use your Original Orange-handled Scissors™ (8″) or your Pointed-tip Kids Scissors (5″) to cut some of your watermelon pieces in half.

6. Download, Personalize, and Print Editable Tag

Add the final touch by downloading, personalizing, and printing these editable “We Are One in a Melon!” tags. You can find the editable tags HERE. Be sure to check out my “Back to School Cactus Craft for Kids” and my “Flower Craft for Kids” post! Check back tomorrow for another back-to-school craft using Fiskars Products!

 

Flower Craft for Kids

As we begin another school year, it is important to remember what students know coming into school (sometimes more than others). In kindergarten, I often have to remind myself that many come in to kindergarten not able to line up, to sit in their seats, or to raise their hand when they have a question. However, I’m amazed at how much they blossom into confident, smart, and energetic students as they adjust to the routines and procedures of the classroom.

I am teaming up with Fiskars to provide you with five, back-to-school crafts throughout the week. This bright and colorful flower craft for kids is a great reminder of how much your students will blossom this year.

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 flower 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!

Soup cans, toilet paper rolls, and various containers of different sizes – these are all items that you can always find in a classroom. This craft is another craft that is perfect for utilizing these types of extra containers you might have.

This flower craft for kids is the perfect storage solution for all your crayons, markers, pens, and Fiskar scissors!

1. Fold and Cut Paper

Fold a piece of green construction paper or card stock in half. Use your Pointed-tip Kids Scissors (5″) or the Original Orange-handled Scissors™ (8″) scissors to make long cuts on the folded end of your paper. Get creative with your cuts by using Teresa Collins Paper Edgers (2-pack).

2. Adhere to Base and Arrange

After cutting a number of green stems for your flowers, glue them to a soup jar, toilet paper roll, or other container. I recommend using a hot glue gun to ensure that your paper sticks to the container. Layer the stems and “fan them out” to your liking.

3. Creating the Flowers!

Use the Floral Frenzy Intricate Shape Punch (2″) and the Pretty Scallops Lever Punch (XXXX-Large) to create your flower. Use a variety of colors of construction paper and/or card stock to make your flowers stand out. Use the Round ’n Round Squeeze Punch (Medium) to create the centers of your flowers.

4. Assembling Your Flowers

Assemble your flowers to your liking. Adhere each piece to one another using your favorite adhesive.

5. Assemble and Print Your Editable Tags

Adhere your flowers to the green stems using your favorite adhesive. Add the final touch by downloading, customizing, and printing these editable “We are Blooming in School!” tags. You can find the editable tags HERE. Be sure to check out my “Back to School Cactus Craft for Kids” and check back tomorrow for another back-to-school craft using Fiskars Products!

 

Back to School Cactus Craft for Kids

 

Cactus themed classrooms are all the rage right now! This fun and engaging cactus craft for kids and editable tags is the perfect way to start your school year! I am teaming up with Fiskars to provide you with five, back-to-school crafts throughout the week. This easy cactus craft for kids is the perfect craft for the first day of school, and it will have your students saying, “It’s going to be a sharp year!”

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!

We all know that teachers always have hundreds of toilet paper rolls stored away for that perfect craft or activity. Well, I’ve got the perfect craft for you! This activity is great for working on cutting with your students, too! My favorite part of this activity is the FREE editable tags and craft template. You can download these items HERE.

Use these cactus toilet paper rolls as a perfect solution for storing your flair pens or those extra “sharp” pencils!

1. Download FREE Printable and Cut

Download the free craft template and print on green and white card stock, construction paper, or printer paper. Use Fiskars scissors to cut out the template. I highly recommend the Pointed-tip Kids Scissors (5″) or the Original Orange-handled Scissors™ (8″) scissors. I love how safe, comfy, and durable these scissors are, and they make cutting easy, too!

2. Organize Pieces for Assembly

Every student will need a green cactus base, two cactus arms, and 2 eyes for this project. Be sure your students do not cut off the “glue” tabs indicated on the arms of the cactus. If you would prefer your students to color their own cactus, print the template out on white card stock. This is a great opportunity for students to be creative and make it their own.

3. Adhere Eyes and Add Detail!

Adhere the eyes to your cactus body. Using a fine point and ultra fine point Sharpie permanent marker, add detail to the body of your cactus. Be sure your students have flipped over the paper so that the “glue” side of the body is on the table and the green side is facing up! Let your students be creative and come up with their own facial expression for their cactus.

4. Wrap Around Toilet Paper Roll & Add Finishing Touches

Adhere the body of your cactus around the toilet paper roll using adhesive. If you are using card stock, I highly recommend using glue dots or hot glue to make sure your cactus body stays on the toilet paper roll. Fold the two tabs on the arms of your cactus and adhere to the body.

5. Print Your Editable Tags

Add the final touch to this fun, cactus craft by downloading, customizing, and printing these editable cactus tags. You can find the editable tags HERE. Be sure to check back tomorrow for another back-to-school craft using Fiskars Products!

 

THE JELLY DONUT DIFFERENCE – SPREADING KINDNESS

Some of my favorite books are those that build character and leave a lasting impression on our students. That’s exactly what Maria Dismondy, an award-winning author, emphasis in her books. As a twin, I can easily relate with Maria Dismondy’s latest book, The Jelly Donut Difference.

“In today’s society, it’s important to remind children that, although we are different on the outside, we are very much alike on the inside.” – Maria Dismondy

I am excited to be partnering with Maria Dismondy and a number of inspirational educators around the world to share with you my review of Maria Dismondy’s latest book. In this book, Leah and Dexter are brother and sister. In fact, they are twins! However, they don’t always get along. There are even times they can be downright mean to each other.

After getting to know Ms. Marvis and hearing her story, Dexter and Leah realize the symbolism of a special kind of donut called a paczki (pronounced POONCH-key). The ooey, gooey jelly donuts in this story are a testament to the power of kindness, caring and generosity. My students absolutely loved the message in this book, as well as the illustrations. After reading the story, we shared how we can be kind to one another and pay it forward – just like Leah and Dexter paid it forward to Ms. Marvis. Overall, this book has a wonderful, heartfelt message. To find out more about Maria Dismondy’s books, check out her website: www.MariaDismondy.com.

Meet Maria Dismondy

I am truly blessed to call Maria Dismondy one of my friends. I had the opportunity to meet her at a Michigan teacher/blogger meet-up. She has a heart of gold and her stories are life-changing. Check out my interview with Maria.

Award-winning author, Maria Dismondy inspires lives through her poignant stories about topics challenging today’s modern child. Maria’s background in early education and commitment to teach the importance of character building enables her to touch lives the world over while touring as a public speaker in schools, community forums, and at national conferences. Maria’s eighth book, The Jelly Donut Difference, drives home the important message of generosity and kindness. She included the polish donuts as a nod to her heritage. When Maria isn’t writing, she can be found embarking on adventures throughout southeast Michigan and beyond, where she lives with her husband and three book-loving children.

Q: How did you come up with your first book Spaghetti in a Hot Dog Bun in 2008?

A: Spaghetti in a Hot Bun was inspired from my own experiences as a child. I had the idea to write the book when I was teaching first grade. I wanted a book that was realistic for children to relate to, that empowered them to have the courage to be themselves and that really made a difference.

Q: Since your first book, we’ve been introduced to many admirable characters. What do people love most about your stories?

A: Readers like the strong moral messages, the diversity found in the books and the likeable characters.

Q: What do you hope readers will learn from your books? Is there a message for adults in you stories too?

A: I hope that children remember the characters and how they handled difficult situations when they are in similar positions in their own lives. I believe adults can be reminded of the importance of the power of our actions in my stories. I hope caregivers, teachers and parents of young children will see the importance of modeling positive character to the children in their lives and see what an important role they have shaping the next generation!

Be sure to check out Maria’s latest book, The Jelly Donut Difference. You can purchase the book on Amazon and at Barnes and Noble.

Would you like to win a book for yourself? Enter to win using the Rafflecopter giveaway below. Entering is simple and you can have up to 7 entries! The winner will be chosen in one week, on Saturday, April 1, 2017.

Win a FREE Copy of The Jelly Donut Difference

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Happy Reading,