DIY All About Number ____ Board!

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2 Pinterest inspired ideas collide for a great MATH concepts board! Tailor to fit any grade level, any concept. The options are endless with your creativity!

Items to Gather:

  • 1 Oil Drip Pan (Approx. $10 at Wal-Mart in automotive)
  • Colored art/butcher paper on a roll at your school
  • scrapbook paper
  • glass stones
  • magnets (self-adhesive or hot glue them on)
  • hot glue & glue gun
  • chalkboard vinyl & Chalk Ink marker (or regular chalk)
  • Super 77 spray adhesive or Mod Podge
  • Skinny craft sticks for the tally portion
  • Blank ten frames


1.  Measure out a piece of butcher paper the 
length of the oil pan. It won't be as wide, but that's okay. Spray the back of the paper (outdoors!) with Super 77 (or Mod Podge it indoors), center it, and place it on the oil pan for the background color. 

2.  Decide what headers you want on your board, type them up, cut out and laminate. Math headers might include: 

  • Title: "All About Number..."
  • It's Name is...
  • The Number Before it is...
  • The Number After it is...
  • Let's Tally
  • Let's Count
  • Addition Sentence
  • Subtraction Sentence

3.   Print, laminate and cut out all the headers

4. Arrange items on your board in any fashion you choose. An example is shown below. The black boxes are chalkboard vinyl for ease of writing & erasing as needed.

5. For the tally section, add strips of Velcro to that section of your board & place velcro dots on the back of the craft sticks. 

6. Use the glass stones for your counters. Hot glue a magnet on the back. The oil pan is magnetic, of course! 

Don't forget to add your velcro the the "Let's Tally" section,
and glue your blank ten frames onto the "Let's Count" section.
Use dry erase marker s to fill in your dots on the laminated 10 frames. 

The frames for the addition sentences are for students to place the counters (magnets) and then write the sentence underneath on the chalk vinyl. 

Spelling Center Idea...

Other Tips/Suggestions:
* Use for a spelling/word work center
* Can easily be hung on walls with industrial strength velcro (at Walmart)
* Can also be drilled into the back of a wooden bookshelf to hang up.
* For preschoolers, use painter's tape to make grids. Put a number in each grid, and have the child count out that many magnetic counters for each space. What other ideas can you come up with?! 


DIY Caddy!

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Hello Classroom DIY Friends! For most of us school has just started and it is an exciting time of year! Classroom storage and organization has been a hot topic this summer. Most of the time it is all the small things that add up to a well organized classroom. As I was preparing for this year, I was thinking about work zones in my classroom. I realized that I needed some small organizational tools to keep supplies organized and available right where they are needed.

Items to Gather:

For One Caddy:
  • Empty and cleaned vegetable cans
  • Ribbon
  • 1 Box of 24 crayons per can
  • Hot glue
  • Crate or caddy-optional

1.  Clean cans.

2.  Hot glue ribbon around the top edge.

3.  Hot glue crayons to the can.    

4.  Glue ribbon to your caddy!

Other Tips/Suggestions:
Cans make great storage for supplies and they are usually something that we just throw away. What I love about this caddy is that it is made from materials that I always have on hand and that it is quick and easy. A DIY classroom does not have to be time consuming, difficult or expensive to be a fun DIY classroom project that is effective!

I hope you have as much fun as I did creating my Pencil Caddy,

DIY Baggie Books

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These baggie books are perfect for writing and journaling.  They allow you to place items easily directly into the book to make it a kinesthetic writing and reading experience.  

Items to Gather:

  • Fun patterned duct tape.   This tape now comes in many patterns and colors. 
  • A stapeler.   

  • Paper.  Use plain copy paper for an open canvas, lined for writing guides or any other paper that fits your book theme or needs. 
  • Objects to place into baggie that support your writing.   I used coins.  Consider any other item that fits your objective in making this book.
  • Instructions:

    1.  Cut your paper just smaller than the baggie so that it will fit inside.  Be sure that it is small enough that the zipper will close.   

    2. Write your story, facts or journaling.  Draw pictures or diagrams.  You'll need to plan out the pages so you know the order and how many you'll need. 

    3.  Slip the pages into the baggies.  Plan for the order the baggies will be in and how the pages will turn.  Also slip in your objects or artifacts.  

    4.  Zip the bags closed.  Stack them in order and staple them together along the zipper.   
    5.  Tape the edge with the decorative duct tape for a finished look and to cover the staples.  A trick to this is to fold the tape in half so the sticky side is out.  Lay one edge down so it sticks to the table then lay the book edge over the tape that is still facing up.  Lift the other side of the tape from the table and fold it over the other side of the book.  

    Other Tips/Suggestions:

    The ways to use these baggie books is endless.  I see great uses in science or have students collect an item and do a creative writing about it and include the object in the front cover.  Be imaginative in all the possibilities this book format could have for you and your class.     

    Use various size baggies depending on your need.  Note that the freezer bags are  more sturdy, but often have a white box in the middle for freezer labeling.  This may be a problem for the book.    

    We'd love to see your baggie books and the creative ways in which you found to use them!


DIY Sunbleached Puzzles

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Need an easy, fun way to practice letter and/or number recognition? This is the perfect solar powered DIY!


Items to Gather: 

    • black or dark construction paper
    • letters or shapes of your choice
    • tape (optional)
    • sunny day


    1. Head outside on a bright sunny day and find a flat place to lay your construction paper.
    2. (Optional) You can use the tape to adhere the paper to the flat area, so it doesn't fly away. 
    3. Randomly lay your shapes or letters around the paper. 

    4. Let the letters or shapes lay in the sun for at least an hour.
    5. Take the letters or shapes off, and TADA you now have a matching puzzle for your little ones. 


    *The idea for this project came from Pinterest

    Other Tips/Suggestions:

    1. Laminate your new puzzle so that it will last.
    2. Use coins, blocks...the ideas are endless.
    3. Spell words with the letters, attach a picture of the word prior to laminating.
    4. For older students this is a great lesson on solar energy as well as which colors absorb more heat (using different color construction paper). 

    Best of Luck!

    DIY Upcycled Dry Erase Board

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    An easy, very inexpensive, and planet friendly way to convert those old DVD cases into a functional mini dry erase board!


    Items to Gather:

    • DVD case
    • Colored cardstock or construction paper.


    Step 1: Locate old DVD cases and take out the original sleeve.

    Step 2: Cut the paper of your choice to the following dimensions:  7-1/4" X 10-3/4".

    Step 3: Open the case and slide the paper in. 

    Step 4: Be in awe of this easy to make mini dry erase board.

    Other Tips/Suggestions:

    Hot glue a pom-pom onto a dry erase marker for students to use as an eraser.  
    Original idea pinned from here

    Have fun expressing your creativity!

    DIY "Frosted Glass" Windows

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    Do you have a classroom window that faces the playground and is frequently filled with faces of former students spending their recesses peeking in? Or what about a window that looks upon nothing but the unsightly modular classroom building a few feet away? If you have a window issue, but you don't want to lose natural light, this DIY project might help.

    Items to Gather:
      • Clear contact paper 
      • Scissors or a personal cutter like a Cricut.
      • If you're not using a personal cutter, you'll need a shape to trace.  
      • Utility knife 
      • A pot scraper or something to smooth out bubbles
      • Window cleaner



      Step 1: Choose a simple, tessellating shape.

      Step 2: Input the shape and size into your personal cutter. (*Recommended) Or cut a pattern to trace. Smaller shapes are easier to work with and adhere to the window with fewer bubbles, but larger shapes make the project go faster. I used 3 inch diamonds for my small window project.

      Step 3: Insert your contact paper into your personal cutter and cut lots of your shapes, or trace and cut freehand.

      Step 4: Make sure your windows are clean and dry.

      Step 5: Peel the backing off of your contact paper and adhere to the inside of your window. Start at the edge and work your way across. Leave a thin space in between each shape to let the light shine through, and so you can see the outline of your shape. Use an X-Acto knife to trim the edges.

      Step 6: Continue cutting and attaching until you've covered as much window as you'd like covered.

      Other Tips/Suggestions:

      "Clear" contact paper is not actually clear. It has a foggy appearance, so it gives your window a frosted glass look. 

      Before you dive in... A few caveats: 
      #1: This is not a quick project, so I recommend covering small windows or partial windows only.
      #2: This is best for windows that don't get tons of bright, direct light because small bubbles are more obvious in super bright light. 

      I got the idea for this project when I saw these adorable but expensive window clings. Obviously contact paper is a budget substitute but it's a great option if you need to cover a window, but are unable to hang a curtain, or don't want to cut out the natural light.


      DIY Fleece Pillows

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      Would you like to make these super cute and comfy little pillows for your classroom?  You don't problem!  If you can cut a straight line and tie a knot this is the project for you!
       Items to Gather:
      • Fleece fabric to match your room decor 
      • Poly Fil (polyester stuffing)
      • Scissors
      • Tape Measure


       1. For this pillow I measured and cut a sixteen inch square piece of fleece. 

       2. Use this piece as a pattern to cut your second square.

       3.  Put the wrong sides of the squares together, the right sides (fabric you want on the outside of the pillow) facing out.  With fleece this usually doesn't matter, because both sides are usually right sides.

      4. Measure and cut three inch squares out of all four corners.  These squares will dictate the length of the fringe on the pillows.

      5. Start by cutting a three inch slit in the center of each side.  Then cut three inch slits so the side is divided into fourths.  You are then going to cut each of those fourths into thirds.  This will keep your slits even.

       6. Tie the top and bottom pieces together in a double knot.  Do this all the way around the pillow leaving 3-4 untied at the end.
      7. Use the Poly Fil to stuff your pillow until it is nice and plump.  Tie all but the last piece together.  Poke stuffing in through the last little hole to fill up that corner.

      8. These fun little pillows cost about $3 a piece. They took about 10-15 minutes to make.

      Other Tips/Suggestions:

      You can make whatever size of pillow you want.
      For a 20 inch pillow I cut 4 inch squares out of each corner
      For a 25 inch square pillow I cut 5 inch squares out of each corner.  Just remember the fringe will be however long you cut those squares on the corner.  

      Happy Crafting!

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