Saturday, August 12, 2017

How to Make Birthday Balloons



Hi friends! If you're an elementary teacher like me, then you know that student birthdays are a big deal! I love when the kiddos come in all dressed up with their sweet treats for the class.  I mean, is there anything cuter?

I'll be honest,  I've never been great about birthday gifts for students! I always keep little stick-on birthday badges in a drawer but they easily get misplaced. This year I decided to give out birthday balloons! They are easy to make and they make a cute display so they are close by when you need them! In this post, I'm going to show you how to make birthday balloons!


First you're going to need Krazy Straws. I like using crazy straws because they are a great non-candy option!  No need to worry about any student allergies! You can find them at most party stores or the dollar store. Then, you will need some washi tape. There are some cute options at Target or most craft stores. Finally, you'll need some balloon printables. Click here to grab some from my TpT shop!

Go Krazy!






Print out your gift tags and cut them out! I love the black and white version because they look great on bright paper!

Next, grab a balloon and make sure your washi tape is near by.

Tape the Krazy Straw onto the back of the balloon using the tape. Repeat until they are all finished. 

Ta-da!

I like to keep my balloons in a vase because they make a cute little display. I even added a tag to them!



What do you do to celebrate student birthdays? I would love to hear about it! Leave me a comment below! 

PS- don't forget to the grab the tag and label at my shop by clicking the image below!





Happy teaching!




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Friday, August 4, 2017

Tools to Alleviate Classroom Anxiety




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Hello teacher friends! It’s almost that time of the year…back to school! Soon, our classrooms will have new, smiling faces, our empty bulletin boards will be filled with student work, and our cupboards will be bursting with new school supplies!

As a student, I always looked forward to back to school time (as I’m sure you did too!) I loved buying new school supplies! Filling my pencil box with brand new colorful markers, sharpened colored pencils, and full bottles of Elmer’s glue was so calming! It helped me to feel ready for a new year! (I really was meant to be a teacher, wasn’t I?!)

All the heart eyes for these supplies! 😍😍😍

1. Use your Expo Markers for checklists.

For many students, anxiety can stem from the uncertainty of a new routine. If you have students who have anxiety regarding certain tasks or moments in the day, create a simple checklist for them and laminate it. If students can visually see what is expected of them and what is coming next, it can help to reduce some anxiety. As students complete the tasks on the checklist, they can check them off with their Expo Marker. Best of all, when you use an Expo Marker on a laminated checklist, students can use it again and again! Grab a free and editable version of what I used by clicking here!

Grab these free and editable checklists by clicking the link above. Perfect for EXPO Markers!


2. Create a Calm Down Bottle

One of my favorite tools to help with anxiety is a calm down bottle! They are bright, beautiful, and filled with one of my favorite things… glitter! Best of all, you can easily make one in your own kitchen! Calm down bottles are a great break for students who are feeling anxious. Students just shake up the bottle and watch the glitter settle. It is a great little “time out” from an anxiety-producing situation.


To create a calm down bottle you will need:
An empty water bottle
Warm water
Loose glitter
Elmer’s Glitter Glue
Food coloring
A funnel to add the glitter (Happy teacher tip: Don’t forget this, or you will have a big glittery
mess...)
Optional: hot glue to seal the lid on tight

To create the bottle:
Fill your water bottle about ¾ of the way full with warm water. Warm water will help the glitter glue separate.


Add about 3-4 drops of food coloring. You can always add more or less depending on the size of your water bottle, or how dark or light you want the color to be.




 Squeeze about half of the bottle of Elmer’s glitter glue into the bottle. Again, you can always add more or less, depending on what you want.



Grab your funnel and sprinkle in some loose glitter.


 Put the lid on tight! You may even want to add some hot glue to the lid to make sure it doesn’t come off when your students shake it. I always do this because the last thing I need is a neon-glitter concoction all over my students, classroom, and self.


Once you have finished this, you can add it to your classroom or even a small box filled with other calming tools. I like to even add small labels with directions to remind students of what to do.
I love calm down bottles so much that my students and I have made them together! Click here to see more!


3. Color a calming picture

If you plan to have a calm down box or space in your classroom, a few
coloring pictures can be a simple tool to add. Or, you can tuck them away in a folder. Many students find it calming to color pictures like mandalas or simple shapes. It can be a great break for students that are feeling stressed out over work completion! If you teach little ones, they will just love to color with these scented Mr. Sketch markers or crayons! Seriously, Mr. Sketch is how I won over one of my students who refused to work independently.


Grab this coloring page free from Coloring Pages 4 Kids here


 If you work with older students, try these Prismacolor colored pencils on a calming picture!


Lotus Mandala by Michelle Grewe coloring page. Get it here!

4. Make slime!

I know there are some teachers who are sick and tired of slime. Fortunately, this was a trend that didn’t make it to my school. If you can stand it, though, it's something that kids love, and it’s a great fidget tool to alleviate anxiety. Even better, you can make it in your kitchen!


To make slime you will need:
·       Elmer’s Glue
·       Borax
·       Water
·       Food Coloring
·       A bowl

How to make:
In a bowl, add about ¼ of a bottle of Elmer’s Glue. Add in ¼ cup of water. Mix it together until it becomes a paste.




Add in some food coloring.


Gradually add in ¼ cup of Borax. Stir it until it becomes too sticky. Then, knead it with your hands until it becomes solid.





When you’re finished you can store it in a plastic baggie. I even like to keep mine in the refrigerator to keep it from getting moldy!

 

5. Special Supplies for the Teacher


Teacher friends… I didn’t forget about you! Back to school time can be very stressful on us, too! There is so much to do in your classroom on top of all those meetings! Every year before I head back to school, I always buy myself some special supplies! I absolutely love my Paper Mate Flair Pens! They can brighten up your grading and make some of your note-taking during staff meetings a little more cheerful!



Paper Mate Flair Pens are part of my staff meeting necessities! 

Sharpies, Inkjoy, Paper Mate Flair Pens, and Mr. Sketch make me one happy teacher!

Hope some of these suggestions can help to relieve some of your students’ anxiety! Please note, depending on each individual student's need, not all of these suggestions may work for him or her. For example, a student may not like the texture of the slime or the scent of a certain marker. However, I’m sure some of these tips will work for your students!

What tips do you have? I would love to hear about them in the comments!

Have a great school year and happy teaching!






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Thank you Go Teach! for sponsoring this post. All opinions are my own