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The first day! Plus a quick tutorial…

Whew! I made it through my first day of the year! It was exhausting and my feet are killing me ( two months of sandals means my feet were out of shape for closed toed shoes!) It doesn’t help that the swamp cooler at school is broken as well so my classroom is more like a sauna. But all in all it was great to meet my new students. I am excited to get to really know these kids and get into the fun part of teaching. Our first day is only a half day for students so we literally have no time for fun stuff, it is a whole bunch of organizing materials, going over school procedures, and classroom expectations. I am looking forward to tomorrow because I will have a break when the kids go to music and PE, plus I can actually do some fun lessons with the kids. The best part is I think I got all the names memorized already!

This was my first second year at a school ( how’s that for English?- it’s the first time I have had a second year at a school) so it was so cool to see everyone a year older. My students are now down the hall in the middle school, the little second graders are now third graders and have joined us upstairs. And the little PreKers are now Kindergarteners. Naturally this one hit me close to home as my own little one donned her uniform and entered her first day of Kinder!!

Here is my beautiful girl all ready for her big day:

And here is my new First Day of School Dress that I am just in love with. It is so comfortable and easy breezy. It took me about four episodes of Mad Men this weekend to sew it up. * Yes, I count my sewing time in Netflix episodes rather than actual time!*  I thought it perfect since St. Therese is known as  “The little flower” and the fabric is a graphic rose print.  I’m like a kid- I love to pick out something special to wear on the first day.

Excuse the totally dorky picture!

DIY TIME!

Okay, I referenced my game pieces in an earlier post so I thought it was about time I sat down and wrote out a tute.  I know many of you use some form of Homeworkopoly or some such game, so hopefully someone finds this helpful.  Since I keep my game on a chalkboard instead of a bulletin board, I have always had a hard time with game pieces. So I made my own version of the little marble magnets many people have made!

First you need small round sticky back magnets, flat bottomed clear marbles, and stickers that are round and smaller than the marble. You will also need a sharpie!

I used some book dot labels I had in my drawer. I did not have modge podge at school so I improvised and am very happy with the result. The trick here is that you are writing on the wrong side of the sticker! Use the sharpie to write a number for each of your students on the white sticky side of your sticker, then attach the sticker to the flat side of the marble. You should be able to clearly see the number though the marble.

Next, you take the paper backing off the sticky magnet and adhere it to the flat side of the marble as well.

Simple. As. That.

You now have a sturdy set of game pieces that can be used over and over again throughout the years!

Also, check out what I did to my dice! I simply put adhesive magnets on a clear plastic box so my dice could hang right on the gameboard!

The Everything Teacher Binder TOTE Tute

This is a very basic tutorial that anyone who has beginner sewing skills can master! You can see the way I use my ETBT below in yesterday’s post. If you are not a sew-er,  you can purchase a custom one at my etsy store!

Supplies:

  • 1/2 yard fabric (I prefer oilcloth for this, but any heavy fabric will work) A directional print will require more yardage.
  • Additional 1/8 yard matching or contrasting fabric or webbing for handles
  • 18″ coordinating ribbon
  • 3 or 4 inch binder
  • a swivel hook

Sewing Tools/ Supplies you will need also

  • Matching thread
  • measuring tool
  • chalk or dressmaker’s pen
  • scissors
  • pins

To begin, lay your fabric out flat wrong side up and place your binder on top of it. Measure 1/2 around each edge of the binder. Mark with chalk or dressmaker’s pencil. Remove your binder and cut along your markings.

Put the binder back on your fabric. Lay the remaining fabric out on top of the binder to measure the inside of the tote. You will want your fabric to end about 1/2″ to 1″ away from the binder fold. You can finish the inner edge with a hem, or leave it raw if the fabric doesn’t fray. I like to use my selvege edges here for a fun finished look.

Cut the inside piece to size. Then cut another piece the same size. Now you will need the right side inside piece (this will be the back inside cover of your binder) and your ribbon. Gather up various pens and pencils here too. Take your ribbon and thread your swivel hook onto it. Place the hook at the middle of your ribbon and pull the ends until they meet. Sew the two pieces of ribbon together at the top and bottom edge.

Now you will create the pen holders. Place about 4 of your favorite writing utensils on the fabric. Place the ribbon on top of them, pinning between each pen.

Remove pens carefully so as to not pull out the pins. Sew where each pin is.

You can create handles by cutting two four inch strips the length you want your handles. Then fold each length wise and iron. Fold the raw edges in again and iron. Your finished handles will be one inch wide with four layers of fabric inside. Sew close to both long  edges to finish the handles. You can also use webbing or ready made purse handles.

On right side of inside piece, measure two and half inches from the bottom and top edges. Pin your handles aligning the raw egdes. make sure that your handle is not twisted.

Now sew the handles down using 3/8 in seam allowance. Back stitch several times to add stability.

Now place large piece of fabric right side up (the front of your binder tote that you cut). Place the inside pieces on top, right sides down. Make sure that your finished edges face the middle. Pin all the way around making sure not to catch your handles in the top or bottom seams. Sew.

Clip corners then turn tote right side out.

Carefully push corners out with the a bone turner or capped pen. Smooth all edges out. Then fold down 1/2 at the top and bottom between the two pockets. Sew.

Slide one side of your binder half way into one pocket.

Fold Binder open backwards and slide other side into pocket.

Fold your binder closed and try on your new tote!

Fill it up with your teacher goodies and enjoy the ease of toting it to and from!

Feel free to comment and or ask for clarification if I missed a step!