Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Tissue Paper Flowers on Bulletin Boards

Today I had a chance to get back in my room and I started working on the bulletin boards. (It's a new room to me, so I had nothing up yet... less than two weeks until day one!)

After looking at some different ideas online, I decided I could add some tissue paper flowers to my boards!

Here is the first one that I added them to:

I found a tutorial here.

Here's the basic run-down...

First of all, I had to buy this Fiskars punch. It makes it soooo much easier!

So here's what you need:
  • tissue paper
  • regular paper
  • Fiskars Punch
  • stapler
 1. Cut the tissue paper into long strips.

2. Sandwich the tissue paper with regular paper to prevent tearing.

3.  Cut as many scalloped circles as you want (the more, the fluffier) and staple them together in the center.

4. Pull the top piece up toward the top.

5.  Continue pulling up the pieces until it is finished. I kind of squeeze it together as I pull it up to get it to look how I want it to.

6. Add the finished flower to any bulletin board to add a little pop!

I was a little disappointed at first because somehow I expected the tissue flowers to be a bit bigger. It didn't look very good when I just added one, but with three I think it looks great!

How do you add a little pop to your bulletin boards?


Monday, August 13, 2012

Free Bee and Chameleon Clipart

... sound a little random? I know they don't go together that well, but it happens to be the mascots my teaching partner and I picked for our home classes.

Since we will be switching classes so often and need to have book boxes for each class, it's easier if each group has a name. In my room, we will be the bees or las abejas, and in his room they will be the chamelons or los camaleones. :)

I created clipart for some signs and book box labels I'll be making. Feel free to use these pictures in your own creations. Just be sure to give the credit to me for the images, please!


Hope you can make some cute stuff... I'd love it if you'd share!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

20 iPad App Finds

Despite the HUGE sale going on, I figured I would love to write a post on apps. And besides, I bet most of you would enjoy hearing about something besides the sale today for a change.

When I attended the Southwest BLC conference, one of the classes I went to was all about apps. Seriously, it was like an app overload! I think she talked about around 100 apps in an hour. Pretty quick, huh?

Here are the ones that stuck out to me. I did my best to group them by category.

First of all, I hear about lots of cool apps, pin them on Pinterest, sometimes even look them up on iTunes. However, when I get to the point where I am actually ready to purchase an app, I don’t always remember what it was that I wanted. Happen to anyone else?

Well, I heard about this cool thing that I totally should have already known existed. There is a FREE app called AppShopper. You can save your wishlist, and it will even tell you if things go on sale! Pretty cool, huh?

These next few apps are for helping kids to get information off of Wikipedia. Now I know that there are some things we have to be careful about with this, some of you may not even use it, but if you do take a look at these apps. They present/read Wikipedia in ways that makes it easy for even kindergartners to get information from.

Wiki²- This app is for the iPad. It stores all of Wikipedia’s articles on your iPad so you can search and learn without being connected to the internet. Right now it is $0.99.

Wikinodes- This is an app for the iPad. It is currently $1.99. It presents Wikipedia like a web. Here is a screen shot that came up when I searched it on the iTunes store:

Wikihood- This app is for the iPhone or the iPad. It has a free version and a priced version. It arranges information by location. Students could use this to learn things they didn’t know about their own hometown or other places in the world.

Qwiki- This free app is for the iPad. This is my favorite app for Wikipedia because it will actually read the information to you… perfect for primary research!

These next few apps are about making mind maps. I see this as a great way to organize information on a collaborative research project or a great way to review vocabulary.
Popplet- This app is for the iPhone and iPad. It has a free version and a priced version. It allows you to make a web or mind map with pictures and text.


Ideasketch- This free app is for the iPhone and iPad. It allows you to make flow charts, mind maps, etc. with text only.

Maptini- This app is for the iPhone or iPad. Currently it is $4.99, but I think I’m going to purchase it for my classroom. It is my favorite mind mapping tool because kids can collaborate from different iPads and they can access it from the internet. That means they could potentially work on a group project from home!

The next few apps are informational apps.

WolframAlpha- This app has a free version and a priced version for both the iPad and iPhone. It’s pretty cool because it can solve pretty much any equation you want no matter how difficult. The presenter showed us how it can compare things, too. For instance, if she wanted to decide if it would be better to live in LA or Dallas, she could compare pretty much any stat about the two cities.

(Funny side story about this one… she kept saying the name so quickly that no one could understand it. It almost sounded like a sneeze! If you think I’m crazy or if you don’t believe me just say it 3 times as fast as you can… )

MyCongress- This free iPad app provides information about your local representatives. The presenter said she used it to get addresses or twitter feeds to stay in contact with them.

Leafsnap- This free iPhone app identifies leaves from pictures you take. I believe it also has a research function.

VideoScience- This free iPhone and iPad app contains videos of science experiments that are easy and fun for kids to replicate.

BirdWatch- This free iPhone app helps you to identify birds by sight and sound. It could be useful for researching birds as well.

AmericanPresidents- This iPad app is currently listed at $3.99. It gives all kinds of information about the presidents, but the neat thing about it is the way it presents the information. You can view it as a timeline where it has a cartoon picture of each president. The cool thing is that they are scaled correctly so you can even visually compare heights! Couldn’t stop myself from sharing this screenshot…

These next few apps are ones that are great for creating. I see these as useful for reflections after a lesson, ways to stop and process information, or for any other Dual Language teachers out there… a fun thing to incorporate into Language of the Day or Specialized Vocabulary Instruction activities.

SockPuppets- With this free iPhone and iPad app, students can choose backgrounds, characters, and voices. They can record themselves saying something and the app changes it to sound more like a sock puppet would. I’ve used this, and the kids just get a kick out of hearing what they said changed to sound like a puppet. Talk about student engagement!

Puppet Pals- This free iPhone and iPad app lets students create a puppet show and record audio in real time. One of the neatest things about this app is that they can put themselves in the story by creating a custom puppet.

Toontastic- This is another free app for the iPad. It also lets students tell a story. The thing that sets this one apart from the others is that it helps teach story elements. Check out the screen shot below to see what I mean.

StripDesigner- This iPhone and iPad app is listed as $2.99. It lets students create comic strips. They can include their own pictures and text. See the screenshot below for more details.

I have two more apps to tell you about. These two are ones I would use for me to make videos for the kids. The kids could use them too, but I think it would be a great tool for teachers.

ShowMe- This free iPad app lets you draw on it like an interactive whiteboard while recording your drawings and audio in real time.

ExplainEverthing- This iPad app is priced at $2.99. It is similar to ShowMe, but lets you also include photos. It can be set up more like a slide show.

Phew! I hope you were able to find something in there that you want to try out. If you have any others that you really like or if you have any reviews on these listed, please share! I’m sure others would enjoy reading your comments as well!

Hope you enjoyed this post. If you are someone who wanted to hear about the TPT sale, my items are 20% off. You can read my previous post for details about the coupon code and my newest addition if you haven’t already.

Have a fabulous Sunday! Don't forget to add your thoughts or insight about these apps! :)

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Rainbow Dots Classroom Theme

After working many, many hours and arguing with Adobe Illustrator... I finally finished my Rainbow Dots Classroom Theme Pack! I am so pleased with it! 

I couldn't wait to make some things for my own room. Here's what I made already:

This is a banner I'll have up for Meet the Teacher Night. 

I just added ribbon I already had to the printable in my Rainbow Dots Classroom Theme Pack, and made a cute sign!

I also made this welcome sign:

Ignore the tubs... still working on unpacking the office...

I made it from the big circle letters in my pack. They are 7.5 inches in diameter. Love them!

If you want to check out a sample of my pack, you can download the freebie here. If you want all 150+ pages of printables, check it out here

You can add it to your cart, but please don't buy it right now. Wait until the BIG TPT sale tomorrow. You can use the coupon code BTS12 to get 10% off my already 20% off store items! You'll want to be sure to load your cart today as the site seems to get overwhelmed with visitors during big sales!

BTS 12 250x125 

I can hardly wait for tomorrow!