Have you ever watched 30 Minute Meals with Racheal Ray?
If you have, you know she always has a trusty garbage bowl
 on the counter to throw away the trash.

Well, Racheal's kitchen garbage bowl inspired my classroom garbage bowl. 

I keep a stack of garbage bowls on the shelf,
and whenever we work on an activity that requires cutting,
we break out the garbage bowls. It's that simple.
The kiddos know where they are,
 and the table helpers for that particular week grab the bowls.
 I love an easy solution!

Now, you don't have to buy an official garbage bowl.
You can buy a popcorn bowl from DOLLAR TREE like I did.
Much cheaper and very colorful!

My garbage bowl rules: NO food and NOTHING sticky.
Just paper. That's it!

Take a look at the little bit of floor you can see.
 No Paper! Hallelujah!!

 If you decide to get these particular popcorn bowls,
be prepared for the many ways your kiddos will think of to use them.
They're great hats and so much fun to balance on your head.
This one is hiding from the camera.

This sweet one thought she was in trouble. She was not!
I complimented her on her balancing skills, instead!
Love the look on her precious face!

Finally, we have, grinning for the camera. 
I already miss these faces!!

After a while, the novelty will wear off,
and the bowl will be used for its original purpose.
Thank goodness!

Love, love, love these garbage bowls!


You've all seen this Pinterest pic or one like it, right? 

Well, I wanted to make fun crayons for my students, but my house plan is open, and my kitchen is small. Sooo, if I tried this, my entire living area would smell of melting wax. Hmm, what's a girl to do?

How about, I live in the hot, humid South, and it's summertime!!! I thought I would try a little outdoor experiment. 

Let me start from the beginning.
One of the rainy, last days of school, my sweet kiddos got busy sorting all the left over crayons.  This was AFTER they took home crayons for themselves! 

Once the crayons were sorted, the munchkins began tearing the paper off the crayons. I wish I had pics of these activities.

After the paper was off, the kiddos broke the crayons. This actually became a competition for some of them to see who could break them into the smallest pieces. Whatever works!

These are a few of the bags that came home with me.
And the experiment begins...
I waited for a 95 degree/heat index 100 day.

I found my holiday ice trays I'd been collecting for just this purpose. 

I placed bits of crayon in each individual section of the trays.
Then I set the trays outside on a black metal table,
 and I went back inside.
I checked on them about an hour later,
 and lo and behold, they had begun to melt!! 

I got so excited, I brought my jack-o-lantern ice trays out, too!

Before I knew it, I had all sorts of holiday trays full of melting crayons!
There are pink crayons on the bottom of the hearts. Fun!

Once they were completely melted, I took the crayons inside.
After about 10 minutes of cool time,
 I placed them in the freezer (another 10 minutes).
Then out of the freezer they came.

At first, I tried to pop them out immediately,
 but it worked better to let them sit for about 20 minutes or so.

I seriously screamed with joy when I saw them!
I love the hearts and stars!

 I was not happy with the way the jack-o-lanterns turned out.
You can't really see the faces so it makes it hard to tell what they are.
I'm going to melt them again!

A few tips:
1) If you want contrasting colors, place the lighter colors in first-   on the bottom of the tray.

2) If you want to speed up this process, place the trays on a cookie sheet and place in your car. Your car WILL smell of melted wax, so get ready.

3) The black metal table was hot and helped the melting process.

4) I found the star and heart ice trays at Dollar Tree in the seasonal items for 4th of July and Valentines.

Happy crayon making!!


Happy Summer Thursday, Y'all!
It looks like all of us are working hard this summer!

So, our school has air for a few hours twice a week during the summer. 
This gives teachers the opportunity to work in comfort. 

Tuesday, my partner in crime and I went to school to work and found, 

seriously, 9 other teachers working, also. 

We are all so dedicated! 

Actually, we are just not foolish enough to come work when the air is off...

What did I do? 
I changed the paper on this bulletin board
and made a scrunchy border to go around it.
I had already taken the border off the board before the pic.

Several people have asked me about the scrunchy border,
so I thought I'd share.
This is what you will need:

butcher paper, scissors, and a stapler with LOTS of staples

This is what you do-
I'll be using transition words, here! (even in summer)

First, find the color butcher paper you want to use.
The amount you will need will depend on how big the board is.
Next, cut strips from the paper. I make mine about 3-4 inches. 
You do not need to measure here. Just cut.

Then, fold the strips accordian style.

See, mine are not straight.  No need to measure.

After that, scrunch the accordion strips.
Don't be shy here. Scrunch away! 
Looks like a scrunchy mess!

Once the strips are scrunched, unscrunch them,
and you are ready to place the border on the board.
I don't think unscrunch is really a word. 

To attach to the board, simply scrunch and staple, then repeat.
Scrunch and staple until you run out of border.
EASY! Be as creative as you like!

I love the 3D feel it gives the board.
I've also twisted the strips before which is just as easy.

Here's the final product!
I really like the bright border with the black paper!

Have fun scrunching!

The Before Classroom Tour

Like most teachers, I love looking in other classrooms.
Well, since I plan to do a minor overhaul to mine this summer,
I thought I'd take you on a tour of it-mess and all! 
Here it is, in all its glory!

Actually, the floors have just been finished! Look at them shine.
 I did not do them. Our custodians did. They did a really nice job!

Do y'all have to move every single thing out
 into the hall before school is out for summer? It's loads of fun!

Front Wall (Hall)

I'm going to start this tour to the right of my hall door (that dark spot, the lights were off in the hall.) We'll go clockwise.

This is the wall that backs up to the hall. You see a little wall space and my Smartboard. My Smartboard was put over one of my markerboards. I know...

  You also see a lot of electronic stuff covered up for the summer. Dust, you know.

That's a television hanging from the top of the wall. Do y'all have those?? I don't care for it at all, and we really don't use it now that we have a Smartboard. Let's just hope it's secure.

Right Side Wall

Another shot of the hanging television. We're turning the corner here.  The blue wall. I would love to paint this wall, but it's cinderblock. Has anyone ever painted on cinderblock?? Is it worth it??

Thank goodness for another markerboard, and there's my one built-in bulletin board. I'm going to change the paper so I've taken down the border for now. 

Right Side Wall #2
Here we are-the end of the blue wall. Same built-in bulletin board and the beginning of the window on the outside wall. My plan is to get rid of that filing cabinet eventually! I don't have a desk, though, so it's pretty full.

Back Wall (Outside)
This is the outside wall. I love the large windows.  I just wish they opened... We have major fluorescent lighting. Do y'all?? I'll try not to get so much of it in the shot next time. The short brown door in the right corner is the cooling/heating unit with the vent underneath.  I try to keep kiddos away from that. 

Left Side Wall #1
Coming around the corner, you see our precious Teaching Assistant's desk and the sink and cabinet area next to the air/heat. Then you see the restroom door. This restroom is for adults. No explanation needed. After the RR, you see the beginning of my homemade bulletin board. 

Left Side Hall #2
Continuing down the homemade bulletin board wall, you see the closet door (opened by the bb) and the hall door on the side wall. I should have turned some lights on in the closet and the hall. 

Well, that's it. 
                            Lots of fluorescent lighting, a shiny waxed floor, 
and a bunch of other stuff that needs to be put in place. 
But that's what summer is for, right??

I want this place to be a cool colors paradise!
Seriously, I really want to scale down the rainbow of colors in my room.
Yes, they are beautiful, but also very stimulating.
I want peaceful, calm, serene.
You know, peace and love and all that.

I'll keep you updated!

Pencil Sharpener Winner

Before I tell you who won the way-cool pencil sharpener, 
let me tell you about a few other give-aways in blogland. 
Elizabeth at Fun in Room 4B is having a 400 Follower giveaway. 
Check it out here-

Mrs. Bainbridge is also having a giveaway!
Her blog is turning ONE!
Check out her giveaway here-

Thank you all for entering my giveaway! 
Now, for the WINNER!
Congratulations, Conchy!

You are now the new owner of A Classroom Friendly Pencil Sharpener!
Check your email soon!

Hope you all have a wonderful week!
 I plan to work in my classroom and will take pics as the work progresses!

Celebrating Followers with a Giveaway

Hey, Y'all!
I hope everyone is having a great start to summer vacation
getting ready to have a great summer! 

New Stuff
I've been able to spend a little time working on things for next year.
Here are a few of those items.
You can find them on TpT and TN.

If you've read my blog for any length of time,
 you know my kiddos Read and Write the Room every week.
I've made a few of those.  They are $2.00 each.

My sweet pumpkins love "I Have, Who Has," too!
Here's a fun one to start the year!
This one is $2.00, as well.

I also use Classroom Coupons, so I made a new set of those.
I'll post about how I use them later. 
They sell for $2.50.

Here are the links to my stores: TpT and TN!

Here's a Freebie for you, too!
Click the pic to download from GoogleDocs!

Let me share something interesting with you.
I now have almost 250 blog followers AND just over 300 TpT followers.
Somehow my TpT followers passed my blog followers...hmmm...

Either way, we're having a giveaway!!

A few days ago, I posted about this awesome pencil sharpener...How would you like a chance to win one???
Well, I have one to give away, and it could be yours!!

What do you need to do?? 
Well, you have 4 chances to enter.

1) Follow my blog and leave a comment.

2) Follow my TpT store and leave a comment.

3) Like my BRAND NEW FACEBOOK page and leave a comment.
Make sure you hover over the "like" button and click on  "subscribe to feed."

4) Blog about my giveaway and leave a comment.

I'm a little afraid of Rafflecopter right now. 

That's it!! 
I'll choose a winner this Sunday, June 17! Good luck!

Have a wonderful week! 
Sending Peace and Love!

THAT Pencil Sharpener

Let me ask you a few questions.
 What kind of pencil sharpener do you have in your classroom? 
How many do you have?
 Well, this past year, I had 3 electric pencil sharpeners in my room.
 As one came close to biting the dust, I would add another one.
 By Christmas, we had 3 very loud, slow, pencil eating sharpeners.
 What's a girl to do?

Well, in January I was given the opportunity to try out 
and review the Classroom Friendly Pencil Sharpener. 
I haven't looked back. We LOVE it! 
It's easy to use, quiet, and turns out the sharpest lead I've seen in some time. We're hooked!

 As a matter of fact, we are not the only fans. 
Many of the teachers in our school have come down
 to see the cool new pencil sharpener. 
My first graders have been able to demonstrate the sharpener
 to older students in the building. 
How neat is that?
We love it so much, we have no problem taking turns!!

There is also a great clamp that attaches the sharpener to a table.
It's not shown in these pictures.
We don't use it because my students like to sharpen
 in different places in the room.

This is seriously one awesome pencil sharpener!
Click on the pic to go check it out!
One more thing: If you purchase 3 sharpeners, you pay only $17.99 each. 
Find a few friends and place an order! You won't be sorry!

I'll be back this weekend with a fun giveaway!
Happy Thursday!

Let's Party-Part 3 and 4 and 5 and 6

Tonight we're party-hopping!! Lots of linkies to join! 
First stop-Jodi at The Clutter-Free Classroom.

We're sharing our summer books here.

Personal Books
I'm playing catch up with a few of these books.
I know plenty of you have read Water for Elephants andThe Boy in the Striped Pajamas.
Have any of you read My Lobotomy or The Thirteenth Tale?

Professional Books
Growing Readers and No More "I'm Done" are on my list
 as well as a reread of Math Work Stations.
Sorry for the glare. My house has very poor lighting!
And notice, I have no Kindle or Nook. Should I invest??

I also have no idea when I'm going to get in all this reading...

On to the next party-

Next up is Farley at Oh, Boy Fourth Grade!
It's Currently time!
Here's mine!
I do love the beach!

Let's keep moving...

On to Natalie at Teachery Tidbits!
We're sharing favorite fonts here!
You know we all love some fonts!

Here are a few fonts I use a lot!

Are you getting tired yet?? We have one more stop-

Our last stop for the night is Mary at Sharing Kindergarten.
She wants to know our favorite things.
Hmmm, there are so many-

1-Coke-The Real Thing! I am quite addicted to Coke...and Sweet Tea!

2-Turner Classic Movies-Do you ever watch TCM? I'm hooked! 
I love me a film from the 40s or 50s. That was real Hollywood!

3-Speaking of  television, this is one of the best shows on the telly right now.
Love, Love, Love some Downton Abbey!
If you haven't watched yet, get on it! You'll be hooked, too!

4-Lastly, I finally finished this little thing! 
I bought the supplies over Christmas but never completed!
FINALLY! I think it's one of my favorites already!!
Again, not the best pic. I'll take another one at school.

Okay, I'm spent from all these parties tonight!

Don't forget to link up with these fun girls!!

Have a great week!