Saturday, August 30

Banish Lamination Glare! Quickly and Easily!

Does the glare from lamination drive you and your students crazy? It makes it so hard to see the item that was important enough to be laminated, which means the resource is less effective. Drives me nuts!

The first thing I do, is actually laminate fewer items....which saves resources, time and planet earth!

For what I do choose to laminate, though, I want exactly zero glare.

I'm just not much of a DIYer.

I see ideas on Pinterest and pin the bejeezers out of them.

My mom and stepdad are inCREDible DIYers.

I'm a WANNAbe DIYer.

Ya know those Pinterest fails?

That's me.

EXCEPT with this!

It was QUICK!

It was EASY!

And I didn't even get the idea from Pinterest! I saw this in the store and thought, waaaaait, is there a clear version? Saw it, bought it, tried it, LOVE IT!

Other people in the world have probably thought of this idea and done it, as well...but I'm not gonna lie, I was pretty proud of myself, hehehehe. Affiliate links included in this post.

(Gorgeous alphabet is from the impeccable Jen Jones at Hello Literacy)

All I did was lay out the laminated pieces on a whopper piece of cardboard from my school's receiving room. I set up just outside to avoid too much odor. It took about two minutes to spray the first coat onto the already laminated cards. Then I waited a few minutes (five mn max) and spent another two minutes to spray the second coat. Then I waited a few more minutes and carried it back to my classroom.

The directions say that it dries to the touch in five minutes and it will be fully dry in 24 hours. It dried to the touch really quickly.

I started hanging it up...and loved the results so much that I had to share!

Product Deets...
I used Rustoleum Matte Finish spray and it did have a bit of an odor, most noticed (but still not terrible) when I sprayed it inside my classroom...So for future projects I tracked down a Low Odor version from Krylon. The low odor is a couple dollars more than the regular version. If you buy a different brand, make sure you look for it to say "flat" or "matte" finish. You DEFINITELY do NOT want GLOSS!

By the you read this, I'm guessing you've sorta maybe thought that technically this is not really a DIY project. Thank you for not telling me that all I really did was spray laminate with a special finish to banish the glare. Which doesn't really constitute a DIY. You guys are the best!


Sunday, August 17

Back To School Freebie

Thinking about going back to school yet? I'm guessing that you're like me, in that you always feel like there's more you could be doing in each and every area of your life.
Back to School Freebie
Amazon Affiliate links are included in this post, for which I make a small commission at no cost to you.

I'm working really REALLY hard to give myself grace and mercy and to focus on what I HAVE done versus what I have NOT done.

Thanks for bearing with me! Btw, there are some Amazon Affiliate links in this post, which means if you click and order I will receive a small commission at no cost to you.

Last year you might have snagged up my "You're o-fish-ally" tags...from this post.

But this year I really would like to give my students a bag of goldfish crackers AND a glow stick...but I didn't want to prep two gift tag items...

Then this saying hit me like a ton of bricks...

While I was trying to ignore my daughter's tantrum today, I quickly left the area and wrote it down on a post-it so I wouldn't lose it later on.

I only need first grade, but I have grades pre-k through 5th grade.

When I printed them on my amazing HP color laser printer, I set the pdf to print two pages on one so that eight smaller tags printed on each page. The pdf is set up for four per page...cuz that's the best I could do while crazily multi-tasking.

I typically order a box of goldfish crackers and a family size bag of Swedish Fish (I put the Swedish Fish in ziplock baggies unless I am able to score those Swedish Fish mini-bags like what you see around Halloween.)

I usually have a basket with all three options (goldfish, Swedish Fish, non-food option) available and have the parents help supervise the choosing.

Some schools and families prefer non-food options, so here are some options I've used the last few years (whichever option is the least expensive is the route I go):

12 Pieces Fish Pen Ballpoint Pens Cute Fish Pen for Fish Pen Decoration Party, Christmas Halloween Near Year Gift

fish shaped gel pens (packs of 12)

shark stackable pencil (packs of 12) HUUUGE HIT!!!

UPDATE: I added a red background option (for the Swedish Fish!) AND a plain background for each grade, too! Why? You can print the plain background on any of your favorite colored paper! My favorite is always Astrobrights!

Back to school freebie

Of course I want to share them with you! So just click here or on the top picture to download them!

Saturday, August 2


I'm soooo honored to be participating in the book study for my friend Barbara Gruener's absolutely INCREDIBLE book!
Affiliate links included in this post

If you have not seen her blog, you MUST GO! She blogs at The Corner on Character. Her posts resonate. 'Cuz she's just so special.

I even got to meet her last summer and then saw her again a few times this summer! Lucky, lucky, LUCKY me!!! Here we are in San Diego, with Shauna from The Picture Book Teacher's Edition...where Barbara (who lives in TX) and I (who lives in WI) both happened to be at the same time!

I absolutely adore this entire book...Barbara's anecdotes and examples make each trait come alive and help me know exactly what I want to try in my classroom. It's more of a handbook than a one time read and I know that my copy will be dog-eared and tabbed sooooon!!!

The entire book is amazing and I have lots of pages tabbed already! You can find ideas and examples for each of the character traits highlighted.

She's set the book up so that each chapter highlights a character trait...using the acronym:


    • Service
    • Unconditional Love
    • Perseverance
    • Empathy
    • Respect
    • Honesty
    • Enthusiasm
    • Responsibility
    • Obedience
    • Encouragement
    • Self Discipline
Brilliant, right?

I am super late to the party (sometimes life just explodes, right? Thank you for your grace and friendship, Barbara. Love you!) with my post on Chapter 3...but better late than never, eh? This is a party that I absolutely did NOT want to miss!

'Cuz I LOVE the book and I LOVE Barbara!
Book Study - Perseverance Chapter

In this chapter Barbara emphasizes the importance of Perseverance...aka...stick-to-it-iveness.

What's Under Your Cape? Superheroes of the Character Kind

When something new is hard, ya gotta have it.

When challenges come your way, ya gotta have it.

When learning to read or write or solve is hard, ya gotta have it.

When learning has been easy and all of a sudden you're stretched, ya gotta have it.

It's especially powerful when perseverance is demonstrated with a positive attitude.

Along with fantastic examples and ideas, Barbara recommends several picture books...

I can't describe how lucky I feel to have my review quote selected and placed on the back of the book...

Barbara's entire book has me thinking about how I will tweak my classroom setup and though I always infuse character development into my classroom community, I'm wanting to go decorate with the Superhero theme...of the character kind! I'll keep you posted on how it goes.

I LOVE to combine our initial study of perseverance with finding text evidence - this best seller is engaging for my classes every year and produces powerful results! They LOVE holding each other accountable for finding text to support their answers. You can read more about this unit by clicking the picture below or {this link right here}.

You might also be interested in these posts about Growth Mindset...

In the meantime, here are some freebies for you to use when you work with your students on this mission-critical lifeskill! Click the pic to download!

Don't forget to pick up your copy of What's Under Your Cape? Superheroes of the Character Kind!!! Click here to get it personalized from Barbara!
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