Sunday, July 28, 2013

Sunday Smorgasbord Randomness!

So it's a good thing that Fabulous in First hosts this fun Sunday Smorgasbord linky, because everything I have to blog about right now is kind of random.

I've been reading everyone else's back to school posts with a mixture of jealousy (I know, easy to say that now!) and relief. I'm a crazy planner, and I love to be ahead of the game. I'm moving classrooms AND grade levels this year, so I feel like I'm already weeks behind the curve. Right now my school is being cleaned, so I can't get into my new room and work. So that's where the jealousy comes from. The relief is that I still have a few weeks of summer to get my act together.

So, time for some randomness! If you follow me on instagram, then maybe you've seen my growing addiction to one of the latest craft trends, washi tape! As a long-time crafter I've been using colored/patterned craft tape for years. But I always bought it online with a very specific use in mind. But now that washi tape is becoming popular, I can find it in stores easily. Before I knew it I had accumulated these 18 rolls in the matter of a few days. 

While working on non-teaching related crafts I've ended up with lots of scraps, so I randomly started doing this to my keyboard. Now it has become a craft of its own and I'm using it as an excuse to buy some more varieties of tape to finish off the last 13 keys I plan to do. (I'm not going to do the letters and punctuation I don't think.) See how this problem is growing? I've found myself washi taping all kinds of things. It's out of control.

You could tell the mailman was wondering
why I was delivered 3 giant boxes that weighed
almost nothing!
So, I did a donorschoose project last year and acquired a bunch of brand new beanbags for my classroom. And when I moved my stuff into my new classroom (all in boxes, stuffed in closets...stress) I discovered that the exiting teacher had left behind 4 large black beanbags for me too! The problem? They're all flat as pancakes. So, that's why I went ahead and ordered these big bags of bean bag pellets from Walmart online for $12 a pop. I couldn't find any in person. It looks like a lot of stuffing, but I'm curious to see how far it goes in the beanbags. 

I broke down and solved a problem that I've dealt with every few years for my entire career. I don't know if everyone else deals with this or not, but I have been buying and replacing these blue cardboard mailboxes every 3 or so years because by that point they're collapsing and broken. I bought some new ones the year before last with classroom funds, but since I am moving rooms and grades I had to leave them behind, leaving me in the position of either buying the same blue ones or investing in something else. 

I decided to try out this plastic set from Staples. I bought two of them, but put them together to just make one big set of mailboxes. It's still only about 2 feet tall. I'm pretty happy with how sturdy they feel, and I'm looking forward to not having to worry about replacing mailboxes ever again. Of course, spending another $110 out of pocket was the trade off. Shhh...don't tell Killer B!

Now I just need to find a durable and reasonably priced solution to book boxes. My magazine files are BEAT. I'm thinking about doing plastic shoeboxes in their desks. Thoughts? Solutions? Help!

Have you seen this documentary yet? If not, it's on Netflix instant streaming right now and well worth the hour and 40 minutes. Killer B and I watched it last night. To see how some of these community members and educators handle (or not handle) bullying is heartbreaking, but eye-opening. It's a good reminder that this stuff is happening everywhere, every day.

On a lighter note...

Today is the last day to sign up for my 350+ follower giveaway! I'm going to put together one of those fun "everybody wins" giveaways if/when I finally hit 500!

I hope you've stopped by the great Grades 4-6 Pins board on Pinterest. The $50 TpT gift card is still up for grabs for the rest of today! Go enter if you haven't already (the rafflecopter is in my last post), and thanks so much to everyone who has taken the time to follow my TpT store!


  1. I am so going to washi tape my apple on my MAC! I love it. Thanks for linking up!

  2. I love your keyboard. I want to try it out as well. My bean bags are flat too but I can't get the darn zipper to open to refill.

  3. I Washi taped (new verb) clothespins yesterday and am moving on to popsicle sticks! Love it!
    Grade 4 Buzz

  4. The sturdier mailboxes will be worth it! I actually have metal boxes I found at Costco of all places and they look brand new and I've been using them for 7 years! I know a few of my partners had the cardboard ones and they just don't last - they probably spent more than me over the last few years! I inherited a small set for some picture books and it looks like it's been though a hurricane even though it just sits on a counter.

    Love your tape collection... I don't see anything wrong with accumulating 18 rolls. You never know where there may be a tape emergency or (gasp) shortage ;) You're just thinking ahead.

    Thanks for sharing,

    My Shoe String Life
    Follow me on Bloglovin'

    1. I am moving rooms and grade levels as well....STRESS!!!!!!! Hang in there :)

      Fluent in Fourth

  5. Last year I invested a ton of money into these plastic book boxes from Really Good Stuff and I am in LOVE with them. Someone wrote a post the other day and had found a cheaper rival product that seemed to be just as good and now for the life of me I can't find that post! Anyway, this is the link that shows the bins I use.

    They are very durable. I'm not sure how long they'll last, but they seem like they will last for a long time. If I find that post, I'll send it your way!


    1. Here's that link from Ms. Fultz's blog

  6. Love what you've done with the washi tape! I may just have to do something like that to my school Mac, too... :)

    Check out my blog if you get the chance!
    Colleen Patton
    Mrs. Patton’s Patch

  7. I will be using washi tape on my clothes pins. What else can I use it on??? :-P Looks like a fun addiction to have!
    ideas by jivey
    Follow me on Facebook!

  8. Honestly, this is the first time I've ever seen anyone do this to a keyboard! Awesomeness! :)
    Creating Lifelong Learners
    Follow me on Bloglovin'

  9. Nick, I just saw some bins at Target that I think would be perfect for book bins!
    They are 3.99 each, so they are a tad cheaper than Really Good Stuff. Target does 5% off if you use a red card, so if you are buying a whole bunch of stuff it could help! Also, I got an ad in the mail the other day from Target for $5 off a $75 dollar purchase. I think with all of those discounts, you could get a great deal! Good luck and thanks for sharing your Sunday Smorgasbord!

    I'd love for you to check out my blog, too!

    Mrs. Thompson
    Adventures in Teaching (A First Grade Blog)
    My TpT Store

  10. You mentioned that your magazine files are beat, but you are looking into plastic shoe bins. Have you tried out the plastic magazine files, or the metal ones? You can find them at Staples if you are interested! I use the plastic magazine files to hold all of my National Geographic for Kids, Kids Discover, and other educational magazines. Worth a shot!

    Mindful Rambles

  11. I understand your pain...I'm moving grade levels and classrooms, too! On the upside, I've gotten ridden of SO MUCH STUFF that just accumulated in my old room!

    Last year, I didn't have room for those magazine boxes for each kid. So after much random shopping, blog and Pintrest stalking, I wound up buying each child a tote bag from the Dollar Tree and an adhesive hook (not Command hooks) for the side of their desk. They hung their well and the kids were able to keep up to 3 pounds of books in their bags. There was a slight learning curve and a few hooks had to be replaced throughout the year, but the kids loved just grabbing their bags on their way to a reading spot!


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