Saturday, May 26, 2012

Day 12: Extra Pieces Game Tin

The challenge today was to make something that camouflages in with its environment.  

This picture came to mind when I read that challenge:

This was from my senior internship when I was teaching the students about camouflage and environmental adaptations.  I drew a bunch of sea animals and colored them to fit in perfectly with some decorations around the classroom.  The students had a blast trying to find them :) 

But of course, I couldn't do that again, so I created something that would help me out now in my reorganizing my house, as well as in my future classroom.

I needed to clean up my games shelf in my living room to make some space for some other things.  I had quite a few old games that were missing pieces or boards, such as a Disney Trivia game that had the trivia cards but didn't have the board (we never used the board anyways, the cards were the fun part).  

I cleaned out these tins, kept the pieces I would still use (such as the cards) and put them in a baggie for each game.  I then used the empty game tin to keep all of the leftover pieces from other games, cards, dice, poker chips, ping pong balls, and small game pieces.  This way, the extra game pieces are organized and the tin camouflages in with the rest of the games!!  I think I'm going to just stick a label on it to remind myself, but other than that it's the perfect solution!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Day 11: Continuation of 'Where I've Been' Dolls

Today I was supposed to make something I was comfortable with using my non-dominant hand.  I took this opportunity to finish cutting and laminating my map people.

I also added little labels to the bottom.

I'm really excited about these and they turned out really well! 

The challenge of the day definitely wasn't my favorite... it took twice as long to do this long and boring project (cutting out a bunch of girls isn't easy with my dominant hand, so this was extra annoying), but I'm glad I got a chance to finish this!

Okay, well it will never really be finished, will it? I'm adding Texas on there next month and I am still missing quite a few countries and states (I used the maps from the atlas I had).



Thursday, May 24, 2012

Day 10: Multi-Colored Roses

Today's challenge was to use water as my inspiration for my project.  This automatically made me remember this site which told me I could dye roses different colors by splitting their stem and dipping them in different colored dyed waters.  It also made me remember this picture of expensive 'college roses' dyed in Gator colors.  I've been meaning to try this out, and today gave me the perfect opportunity!!

I meant to buy new flowers at the store, but I forgot while I was there, so I used some old roses that I was about to throw out anyway. I'm not sure if this will work with... wilted roses, but we certainly will see!!! If not, I'll just grab a flower tomorrow while I'm out and try again.

All I did was split the rose stem in two using scissors.  I put each half in a different cup with blue water or orange water (dyed using food coloring).  Tomorrow, we will see if it looks as cool as the picture!!

I also threw a rose petal in each cup to see what would happen.

This is more of an experiment, but a great one to do with a class learning about plants if it turns out!

Day 9: Oatmeal Peanut Butter Bird Feeder

The challenge today was to make something with my breakfast before I ate it.


Let me just leisurely get up out of bed, wander downstairs, and make something original and creative that I can use in my classroom out of the measly breakfast food I own.


So, I didn't have time to play with my breakfast first.  I barely had time to eat my breakfast before I flew out the door for the busiest day I've had in awhile. Needless to say, I didn't even have time during the day to come home and play with my food.  So it had to wait a day.

[One day late] I was able to brainstorm and come up with the idea to use oatmeal and peanut butter to make a bird feeder.  Browsing around online, I found the easiest way to do this would be by using a toilet paper tube.  I tied a string through the toilet paper tube, spread peanut butter all over it, and rolled it in a mixture of oatmeal and breadcrumbs.

Not sure if it will attract any birds, and it might just get washed away in one of these mid-afternoon summer floods, but I'll keep an eye out and let you know!!

What a great and easy project to do with little kids... like pre-schoolers ;)


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Day 8: Map People "Where I've Been"

Today, I was supposed to make something out of the pages of a book.  No lack of ideas for this one!! My problem for this one was that I had so many things I wanted to make and I had to choose just one.

I'm actually seasoned in making things out of book pages, including:

A Book Letter for my friend Melissa:

A Musical Pumpkin Coach made out of Paper Mached Music:

A Wedding Memories Box made out of Paper Mached Music:

A 'Places We've Been' book for my friend Edie made out of an atlas:

And one of my favorites... a Musical Wreath made out of Sheet Music: 

I had a plethora of more ideas, including a butterfly mobile, an atlas frame, and a 'Where I'm From' poster.  I was getting down to the end of my day and settled on the last one.  My idea was to go off of the idea of a man and woman shape in a frame made out of the map of where they (the husband and wife are from).  Instead, I was going to have my students cut themselves out of a map or an atlas of where they are from.

I started there, but an original idea developed as I worked.

There are so many ways you could work with this!  

You could have students cut out a shape out of a map of the favorite place they've been, or places they want to go...

or you can do what I started:

"Where I've Been" Doll Chain:

To make this, just trace a template of a girl or a boy on a map of a place you have been/you are from/you want to go/ etc.  Cut it out, then glue the hands of the people together so it looks like a doll chain.  For someone who has been a lot of places, it will make a really long chain, not to mention look awesome.

This would be an interesting project for students to do when studying maps or geography.  For students who haven't been many places, they can include places they would like to go.

I haven't finished my project, but each map can be labeled as well (the maps I have so far are England, Florida, Ireland, and New York).

My favorite idea to do this would be to have every student connect their dolls together and see if they can make it all around the classroom. Each student can have their name and label on each of their dolls. This would be a good way to talk about the different countries of the world or the different states of the United States, as well as the differences between cities, states, and countries.

This is a WONDERFUL multi-genre project, and a 'WHERE I'M FROM' project would be pretty awesome for an ESOL classroom or a classroom that has a lot of different backgrounds.

Oh, I almost forgot.  Of course, students can print out a map to cut their person out on, it doesn't have to be a physical map or atlas.  This would also be really cute with pictures of the place in the background (ex a girl cut out of a picture of the Eiffel Tower for Paris) or pictures of the student in the place!  So many options!!!

This is actually one of my favorite ideas I have come up with, and I can't wait to put it to use, as well as finish my  own doll project! I'll post a picture when I'm done!!!

Enjoy :)

ps. An atlas is a book!!!!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Day 7: Puzzle Template

Today, I was supposed to make a stencil and use it in my work.  To complete this project, I decided to make a stencil I could use in my classroom over and over.  I remembered a project I completed my freshman year of college where I used a puzzle to make a picture poster:

To make the project above, I used a child's floor puzzle and cut and glued the pictures on the back of the puzzle, then reassembed and framed.

I realize how convenient a puzzle template would be in the classroom, especially in a primary classroom, because I could make a puzzle out of anything.  Puzzles can be made out of class pictures, words, letters, or even made to hang up in the classroom or on the door, like shown here.

For my project today, I made a puzzle template out of file folders.  I did this by putting the file folders together, drawing the puzzle I wanted (including basic shapes), and cutting them out.  I made sure to number the puzzle pieces so that I would be able to easily create a puzzle in the future.

I look forward to creating lots of classroom resources using this stencil/template and I will be sure to share when that time comes!


Sunday, May 20, 2012

Day 6: Banoffee Pie

Today, I was supposed to make something out of the first fruit or vegetable I found in my kitchen. Well, I was very limited on fruit and vegetable resources (because I ate them all of course) and I was also limited on time (as usual).  I ALSO happened to be on the way to a friend's house for dinner. In order to kill a few birds with one stone, I stopped by the store and grabbed the first fruit I saw (bananas) and made something out of those.

That something was this:

Banoffee Pie from Cinnamon Spice & Everything Nice

I realized after beginning the recipe that the one on the website is definitely the... difficult way of doing things.  I'm not the kind of person that has to do everything from scratch when I bake.  If they make it for me, I'll use it.  My classification of baking is somewhat loose.  I realized right away that the recipe called for me to make my own crust, so I bought a graham cracker crust instead.  It was when I was sitting there for 10 minutes holding a mixer to mix the heavy whipping cream into whipped cream that I realized it would have been much easier to just buy the frozen whipped topping and use that. Much tastier, too (mine turned out a little bland, it definitely needed vanilla).

I did make the caramel as per the instructions and ended up having a minor caramel catastrophe in the kitchen, and I'm SURE there's pre-made caramel you could buy that could make the process a TON easier.

SO, taking into account all of the short cuts you could take, here is a more simplified way you could bring this into the classroom for an easy recipe to make for life skills or a party:

EASY No-Bake Banoffee Pie:


1 Graham Cracker Crust
1 tub frozen whipped topping, slightly thawed
4 - 5 bananas, firm
2 cups Caramel Sauce


1. Spread 1 cup caramel sauce on the bottom and the sides of the crust, refrigerate for 1/2 hour
2. Cut 4 bananas into thin slices
3. Fold the bananas into the whipped topping
4. Spoon the whipped topping into the pie crust
5. Drizzle the remaining caramel on top
6. Refrigerate 1/2 hour
7. Slice the remaining banana in larger slices and place on top in concentric circles right before serving.


Because Logan (my boyfriend) doesn't like bananas OR caramel, I knew he would be upset if I made this delicious dessert for everyone and he didn't have anything to eat. So, being the wonderful person I am, I made him his very own DELICIOUS dessert... which you'll have to read about at my other blog, Too Many Crafts Too Little Time!



Saturday, May 19, 2012

Day 5: Magnetic Coins

Hi everyone!

Today's suggestion was to work with a collection that you have.  I've been waiting for this one because I've been meaning to do this project for awhile...

I've been wanting to put magnets on the back of some of my foreign coins and hang them on my fridge, and I was finally able to do that. I did it quickly and couldn't find all my coins, but it's a start.  I used magnetic tape and just stuck them on there, that way it would be easy to peel off if I ever wanted non-magnetic coins again.

The genius idea I had to apply this to the classroom was to put magnets on the back of regular (American) coins to teach students about real money.  

I hot-glued the magnets to the back of these coins so they would hold up better against little fingers and falls.  Even the hot glue isn't as strong, so super glue might be a better suggestion.

These would be great in the classroom to teach students money on the board or on their own magnetic boards, as shown in this picture!

That's it for today! Have a great weekend!


Friday, May 18, 2012

Day 4: Palmetto Rose

Greetings all!!

The challenge, or suggestion, of the day was to take a five minute walk, then make something out of what you find where you end up.

Well, Mr. Scalin obviously didn't have a Florida summer afternoon in mind when he created this.

I walked outside after work this afternoon, all excited to be creative, and I met this:

So, it's obvious I was in a bit of a time crunch.  5 minutes didn't take me far, just to the edge of my neighborhood where I met the beginning of a conservation area. Full of trees. And palmettos. And dirt. Not too much to work with.

Hearing the threat of eminent danger reverberating through the sky, I quickly grabbed some palmetto leaves and ran back home, knowing I would figure something out to do with them later.

That's when I thought of those palmetto roses that people sell on the streets... that can't be so hard, right? It's just like origami.

Well, I spent the next half hour trying to find instructions for these roses online, with little luck. There's a few sites, and a few videos, but I wasn't really getting the hang of it.

Eventually, I grabbed my best-of-the-worst-looking rose, fixed it up a little, and called it a day.

Here's what I created, using this site at squidoo:

A little more practice and it might be a cool party trick, but nothing too useful for the classroom.  The challenge (to create something out of what you find where you are) would be a perfect one for the kids at summer camp though! We are always outside and on nature walks, and this is a great way to get your brain moving and use your imagination to make your own thing.

Now, I'm going to clean who-knows-what bugs I brought into my house with those leaves and listen to the rain :)



Ps. If anyone knows something else to make out of palmetto leaves or finds a better tutorial, let me know! I'm interested to see if anyone can master this rose thing too.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Day 3: Origami Heart Bookmark

Today, the challenge was to create something out of paper without drawing on it or cutting it.  Honestly, I was dreading this challenge.  In parentheses, it said that you didn't have to know origami to complete this.  I took that as an extra challenge NOT to do origami.

Over the course of the day, a few ideas came to mind of what I could do with paper without cutting or drawing on it that could be used in the classroom. I thought of the idea of ripping it into a name, but wasn't sure how that would align with any state learning goals.  Eventually, I succumbed to origami and thought about learning to make an origami star that I could give to students who were acting like a star.  I know that kids love origami and gifts from the teacher, but a quick browse over pinterest reminded me of an even better thing I could make using origami that would be PERFECT for the classroom:

 Although not an instructional activity, this would be a great activity for students to partake in during a 'brain break' and it is useful in the classroom, too! It's a little complicated, so it would probably be better for upper elementary school students.  It would also work as a good reward for younger kids, or a cute present to stick in their books.

Mine is now saving the place in my 365 book!

Ps. NO coloring or cutting for this one... I used scrap scrapbook paper and those fancy rips that involve your tongue.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Day 2: Ruff Day Note Home

Today, I was supposed to create something inspired by my favorite animal.  Of course, my favorite animal is a dog.  Ideas were popping into my head like crazy for this one - a dog template that you lift up and tell about your pet, a dog stuffed animal to use in the classroom, a dog template that teaches you how to take care of a dog...

Eventually, the word 'ruff' popped into my head, and I came up with this:

It is a note that you send home with students who have had a rough day.  This isn't a note you send home with someone who has been misbehaving, but instead send this home with a student who met struggled with challenges beyond their control.  Some examples I came up with are students who were bullied, weren't feeling good, got injured, or were homesick.  The adorable dog is bound to make the child feel a little better, and the note lets the parents know what the child was dealing with that day.
Make sure the note is light, simple, and positive, and end by saying that tomorrow is a new day and will be a great one!

One thing you could do for this note is have the child write it to their parents.  This will keep the child in the loop and not make them feel like they are in trouble when they get this note sent home.  It is also a good way for the child to write their frustrations out on paper, distract them from an injury, or make them feel better when they miss their parents.

I will definitely be using this for camp.  I created a template... feel free to download it and use it in your own classroom!

Any feedback and recommendations are greatly appreciated.  How did you use it? How did it work? What do you think?


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Day 1: Boo Boo Bunnies

Hello all!

Day 1 of my challenge, and I'm already ecstatic about the craft I created.

The challenge of the day was to create something that fits in the palm of your hand using only the materials in your immediate environment.

For the past two days I have been thinking of this first day, wondering what I am going to make that fits in the palm of my hand that will help with teaching or camp.  I was scared to start, scared to mess up on the very first day.

Finally, I broke down and turned to my pins on pinterest.  I found exactly what I wanted to make.

Boo-Boo Bunnies!!!

These adorable bunnies are made from washcloths and have ice inside to use for boo-boos.  They are perfect for camp because I am running to get ice for one of my little ones a few times a day.  I have a feeling I can just barely get away with these toddler-themed bunnies with my first-graders, but we all know they'll love them deep inside.

I created these following the instructions given as an instructable, found here, but for the ice packs I followed a recipe for non-freeze ice gels using 1 part rubbing alcohol to 2 parts water.  I stuck the mixture in mini ziploc bags, taped them shut to avoid leakage, and finished the bunny!

I'll keep you updated on how they turn out after being in the freezer and used by the campers!!

If you end up making your own boo-boo bunnies, please share with me with a picture or comment! I would love to hear!!

Love, Amy

Welcome to 365 Days of Teaching!

Welcome to 365 Days of Teaching!

My name is Amy, and I am a recent graduate with a shiny new degree in Exceptional Education.  I have a great passion for crafts and love creating and sharing my products!  For the past six months or so, I have been blogging away about every single one of my crafts and recipes over at:

My one follower of my blog and good family friend got me an amazing book for graduation... "365: A Daily Creativity Journal". This book is all about a creative guy who made a skull out of something different every day for a year, like out of snow, or sewing, or cross-stitching, or just out of whatever he found in his environment.  In the book, he presents a challenge for the reader to choose a subject and create a craft that follows that theme every day for a year. He gives 365 suggestions to follow as well.

Can I just say, I was beyond excited about this book. I couldn't think of a better present for myself. 

As you can see from the title of my blog, I have chosen to accept this challenge and theme each one of my crafts around teaching.  I am running head-first into my first year of teaching and I am going to need all the creativity I can muster to create the materials that I will use for the next many years.   So, each day I will create something that I can use in my classroom; whether a decoration or a supply or an activity I can do with the kids.

Because I'm still in that job-looking stage and don't yet have an age that I will be teaching, my first crafts will be geared towards the summer camp I work at over the summer.

I'm excited to start this year-long project, and I look forward to all the things I will create!  I hope to gain a few readers so that I can reach out and give ideas for other teachers or lovers of crafts.


Love, Amy