Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Extreme Makeover Classroom Edition: It's in the details...

So in addition to the dry erase board and library decor, here are a few more of my favorite details of the room... all of which were homemade and super, super cheap!

 This table set up was super cheap. The bamboo placemat was a set of four found at Ross for like $5.00 (for four). The vase with flowers I put together with materials from Dollar Tree for a total of $3.00. The napkins were a set of two at Dollar Tree for $1.00, and the napkin rings were homemade by me using construction paper, twine, and hot glue.
 Our construction pictures in our construction area. The kids love the pictures and it was a great use of this "climbing" space.
 Here's the other placemat! It looks adorable under these wooden instruments I scored in the dollar section at Target!
 So this is on our sign in table! If you notice the upper right corner you see ribbon that I put around the dry erase board. I thought it made it look a little less cold and more welcoming. I also wanted something cute to put pens in for the parents. I had clear plastic cups so dressed it up using a little twine, ribbon, hot glue, and a couple flowers left over from the table project.
 And yet another placemat makes and appearance in science. The plant was perfect for this small shelf in science and the placemat just made it look that much cuter! Around the edges of the shelf are science related books.
 You know me and my pinecones... had to throw a couple in somewhere! 
Our writing desk! Isn't this little bitty desk adorable?!  I think it's possibly the cutest piece of furniture I've ever seen.  I added an alphabet sign I found in the room around the top to try and encourage some practice with forming letters. Also got the little pen holder at Dollar Tree... if you can't tell I LOVE that place!
 So I don't have a great picture.... but I wanted to mention the twine I used to hold the curtains back!  I didn't think to buy anything to pull the curtains back with on each side so as a spur of the moment fix I just tied a nice big bow on each side with twine. I love the way it turned out!
And the last thing..... "Our Plan" chart, "Helper Chart", and our classroom agreements. The pictures on the plan chart will be replaces with pictures of the kids doing the activities and a little star will move along the pictures as we come to each activity in the day. Our helper chart with feature a picture of each child held up with the clothespins by their job for the week.

Well that's the end of my classroom takeover on the blog!! I'm sure I'll be posting about new things here and there as the days go on but for now we'll be back to the usual post about life and Dax :)

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Extreme Makeover Classroom Edition: The Reveal!

So this post is going to be majorly heavy in pictures.... but here is my *almost* finished room! We've been up and running for a week now and I am really loving it. It's very calming and that is def. reflected in my kiddos.... who, by the way, are absolutely adorable and wonderful. They're truly a great, great group of 2 and 3 year olds. Also impressive from this first week.... my Spanish! I've learned more in one week than I did in two years of college. I'm able to put together a couple full sentences and know enough to get the little ones to do what I'm needing them to do. It's so ingrained in me already, that I've caught myself saying things in Spanish to Dax (I say it in English and then immediately repeat myself in Spanish... just like I do in my class, it's pretty sad). There are still minor things that will be changing over the next few weeks (art work hung up, pictures of the children on the walls, a few more furniture pieces and toys I'm still waiting for, etc) but I really am liking it so far!
 I'll start with some before shots....
 The starts of my room.... and this is already 10 times better than what it looked like the first day I walked in. This is almost the entire room. If you kept panning to the left you would see our cubbies, lunch tables, sign in, and door.
 This will be construction area.
 This will be dramatic play.
This space, after lots of love... will be library and safe place.

Ok.... here it is after lots of love and hard work.... *almost* perfect!
 Parents sign in on the left, kids will sign in on the little board on the right (they'll put their picture either under the picture of the school or of a house)

 Library! I'm hoping to get a small rug soon. And the clear thing on the wall will display pictures of the kids reading.
 Safe place. The white cube has our breathing techniques in it and the colored ones will have family pictures in them once I get them all done.
 Dramatic play!  Since this picture we got a really pretty vintage-y rug which the table is now centered on. We'll also be getting a new kitchen set.
 Construction!  To keep the kiddos from climbing on the bars I "clotheslined" some construction pictures on them. Hopefully they'll inspired the kids to build some really awesome things... preferably ramps :)
 Another view of construction. Lego table, wooden animals and buildings, and large soft blocks.
 Science!  A sensory table will go right in the center once it gets delivered. Where the plant is now will be a fish tank in the near future.
Group area.... that's the main purpose of the space, but we also have balls here, our rocking horse, and instruments.

Well that's a peak of almost every center! I just realized that I don't have one of our atelier (art) and our writing center, manipulative's area, and gross motor. I'll get some of those soon! I have some home made (cheap) details in the room that I particularly love so they'll be a post on those in the near future :)

Thursday, February 16, 2012


This house was full of love this year...  and for some reason I felt way more into Valentines day than I usually do.... maybe having two valentines makes it that much more exciting :) 

Dax fingerpainted the Valentines for his classroom and teachers.
Not only did he love doing it.... but they turned out super cute and didn't cost a thing!  I just cut the  paper in strips, folded them to be able the size of valentines, and wrote Happy Valentines Day inside. They were perfect. For his teachers we did some that were about the size of 5x7's and fixed up a little goody bag of treats.

Now here's how Valentine's Day morning looked at our house this year...
Daniel leaves the house at about 4:30 to head to the hospital each morning. I stayed up late the night before and got all these goodies ready and left this note...
The white teddy bear was from Dax (you could squeeze it's hand and it was a little kids voice saying "i love you soooo much" and making kiss sounds. adorable) and the rest was from me.  He also has a new messenger bag with his initials monogrammed on it on it's way as well (for overnight stays at the hospital).
The "i love you because" frame was an idea from pinterest!  I made my own version with a plain black frame I had at home and some scrapbook paper.  I wanted to make the frame a little cuter so I decided to get a little craft :)
Again, this was all just stuff I had at the house so that was super convenient. I had the stencil so I just sponged on some acrylic paint and here you have the finished product....
I'm really happy with how it turned out! It will be fun to keep around the house so we can write things on it to one another every now and then :) (ps if you haven't seen the pin on pinterest you just use a dry erase marker to write a message on it).

Daxton got the most adorable stuffed monkey and some new big boy forks and spoons for Valentines Day from mommy and daddy. I got surprise with roses and guirardelli chocolates... and the best part..... a morning of sleeping in and room service with Daniel in a couple weeks!  We've decided the thing we miss the most about not having kids is being able to sleep until noon on Saturdays together. Our little boy wakes up by 6 most mornings.... so in at least 18 months.... we have not slept past that.  Also in 18 months.... I have yet to leave Dax overnight. Crazy huh??  So to make that a little easier on both him and me, Daniel's parents will come to our house and spend the night with Dax there while we have our night getaway in downtown Tulsa. I'm pretty excited about it.... ok... maybe a lot excited about it (I mean sleeping in.....room service... what's not exciting?!)  It's the little things when you become a parent.... no need for expensive gifts and diamonds.... just a good nights sleep is all it takes to make this momma happy!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Extreme Makeover: Classroom Edition Part 2

Here is probably my favorite project for my new classroom.... and I will def. do this in any of my future children's rooms....

I found this jewel in my classroom while going through old books.
It had gorgeous pictures in it and is such a classic that I wanted to display some of the artwork in my room.   I also had a ton of these that I bought on sale at HobbyLobby with no plans in store for them..
And remember the burlap I used to cover my dry erase board??  Well I had about 50,000 yards left of that (I may be exaggerating... just slightly). So I cut burlap to fit over each circle, leaving maybe about an inch around the edges..
After closing them all up they ended up looking like this...
I already thought these looked pretty cute with just burlap alone.... but I went ahead and picked out some of my favorite images from the book and tore them out to fit on the circles. They.looked.perfect. Better than I expected that's for sure!   I used Alene's Tacky Glue  (which I'm 95% sure I've talked about on here before because I'm that in love with it)  to put the pictures on the burlap and it hasn't let me down yet.
Well drum roll please.... because here they are...
"There are many little ways to enlarge your child's world. Love of books is the best of all" --Jacqueline Kennedy

Be looking out for Extreme Makeover: Classroom Edition Part 3 in the near future!!!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Extreme Makeover: Classroom Edition

So the past week I have been working hardcore on this mess called a classroom I've been given. I walked into a classroom full of junk (literally... that's what most of it was) that had been used a storage for a range of infants-4 year olds, and was told to turn it into a room for 2-3 year olds. Whoa. It was super overwhelming at first but I'm really happy with how it's coming along. Here is one of the projects I've been working on this past week...

This big beauty eyesore was hanging smack dab in the middle of the room. Not cute. And completely useless for a class of two year olds. My friend Jennifer gave me the brilliant idea of covering it with burlap so from there I came up with this...

These adorable vintage-y letters were a pinterest find (free printables...yes please!) On the lower half of the board I'll display some of the kids art. I think it turned out super cute and def. softened the feel of the room!