Saturday, June 22, 2013

Student Birthday Card Freebie

To get ready for next year, I spent some time today making student birthday cards.  I like to get them done in the summer so I don't have to worry about them during the school year.

On the day of a student's birthday I leave their card out by my attendance sticks so each student can sign it as they enter the classroom.  We present the birthday boy or girl with their birthday card and a fun birthday pencil when we sing to them. The birthday boy or girl loves getting their birthday card signed by all of their classmates.

If you would like to make birthday cards for your class you can go here to download the printable birthday card front that I used for free!  I made it editable to you can add your name to the "from" section or, you can change it to read the birthday student's name.  After you print off the birthday card fronts, just cut them out a glue them to a front of a colored piece of paper.

I hope you enjoy this freebie.  If you do be sure to follow my blog for future freebies!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Five for Friday June 14


I am linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for Five for Friday.  I missed Five for Friday last week so here are five random things from the last 2 weeks.

1. Today I found out that I will be teaching first grade next year! I am sad to be leaving second grade but I am very excited for a new adventure in first grade. (Thanks for the cute number graphic)
Cartoon Number One

2. I posted several new products to my TPT store this week.  I posted a fun Birthday Book writing activity (you can read more about it in my post here).  I also posted a fun Bingo Game for practicing sight words with little first graders!  I am so glad I got this game put together so I can use it in my classroom next year.  I plan to post Bingo games for the second and third grade sight words over the next few weeks.

3. I tried out a new recipe this week!  These pretzels were so easy to make and they only took 30 min start to finish!  (Mine are nowhere near as pretty as the ones in the original blog post)

4. Congrats to the class of 2013!  I loved getting the chance to see my pretty younger sister graduate last Friday (which is why I missed posting my Five for Friday). (Graduation hat from

Graduation Cap

5. I crossed another book off of my summer reading list!  I really like The Dead and Buried by Kim Harrington. I love YA fiction, especially ghost stories like this one! I  recommend this book if you are looking for something that's a little on the scary side. 

The Dead and Buried

Monday, June 10, 2013

Birthday Book Writing Activity- Free download until Wednesday June 12!

Birthdays are always exciting when teaching younger grades.  One thing I like to do to get the whole class involved with celebrating birthdays is to write a birthday book (see cover above).  This birthday book serves as a special keepsake for the birthday boy or girl and fun writing practice for the rest of the class.

First, I help the class brainstorm reasons why we want the birthday boy or girl to have a Happy Birthday.  Some of my favorite reasons they have come up with are:

  • you are nice
  • you are a good friend
  • you are good at sports
  • you help others
  • you are smart
  • you are good at math
  • you are as pretty as a purple store (this one cracked me up!)

Then I give the students one of the pages below.  I generally use the page without the sentence prompt to give students more options when they are writing.  However the sentence prompt page would be great for kindergarten or first grade students or for older struggling writers. 


After the students have finished writing, they get to draw an illustration for the birthday boy or girl.  They usually draw a cake or a present that they hope their friend gets on their birthday. 

I have put together a pack available over at my TPT store that includes everything you will need to make this birthday book with your class.  Also included are printable pencil toppers and candy stick toppers that you can use to make birthday presents for your class!  The best part is this pack is free until midnight on Wednesday, June 12.  If you do download the pack, please think about following my store and my blog as well as leaving feedback on TPT.  Click here to download.

Included in this pack are:

  • Pre-made Covers (in color and black and white) for grades K-3rd (these covers include a blank for the student's name)
  • Editable covers (in color and black and white)  These covers have no text so you can edit them to say anything you want!
  • Student letter pages both with and without a sentence starter
  • Birthday balloon pencil toppers
  • Birthday balloon candy stick toppers

All graphics used in this pack are from

Monday, June 3, 2013

How to Make a Clothespin Wreath

Since I am moving classrooms this year, I have been looking for some cheap and easy ways to update my classroom decor.  This simple craft was just what I was looking for!

To make your own clothespin wreath you will need:

  • Clothespins (I used 42 for a 8.75 inch wreath form)
  • Scrapbook Paper and Modge Podge, glitter or paint
  • Cardboard or sturdy paperboard
  • Colored paper to cover the cardboard (optional)
  • Circular objects for tracing
Step 1: Trace a circle onto your cardboard (pots and pans work great for making neat circles).  This will be the form for your wreath. Note: your finished wreath will be about 1-2" in diameter larger than your cardboard circle due to the length of the clothespins.

Step 2: Cut out the inside of your circle.  You want to have a ring about 2 inches thick when you finish.  As you can see from my picture this step dose not need to be super neat because it will be covered by the clothespins!

Step 3: Cover your ring with paper (optional).  Small amounts of the cardboard ring will show between the clothespins. If you wish, you can use colored paper to cover the ring so that  you do not see the cardboard showing through.

Step 4: Decorate the Clothespins.  There are lots of ways you can decorate the clothespins for your wreath.  I chose to use scrapbook paper and Modge Podge.  However, you can also use paint, or glitter to decorate you clothes pins.  To cover your clothespins with scrapbook paper first, trace the clothespin on the scrapbook paper and cutout a correclty sized strip of paper.  Then, paint a layer of Modge Podge on top of the clothespin.  Place the strip of scrapbook paper on top of the Modge Podge then paint an additional layer of Modge Podge on top of the scrapbook paper. 

Step 5: Add your clothespins to your wreath.  After your decorated clothespins have dried, arrange the clothespins on the wreath for the the opening of the clips towards the center of the wreath.

Step 6: Add ribbon for hanging (optional). If you wish, tie a piece of ribbon to your wreath to use when hanging.