Friday, April 25, 2014

EARTH DAY Jump-rope Project

Do you have just short of a million of these lovely balled up plastic bags like I do hanging around your house? I may stuff them into a cutesy cloth bag that neatly hangs in my coat closet where they are easily pulled out the bottom one by one but it doesn't make the fact that I have way too many of these laying around!

So when my daughter's school sent home an "optional" earth day project I was more than excited! I ran to Pinterest to find something a little off the beaten path for recycling projects and loved this jump-rope idea! My daughter will jump-rope through the house when she goes to brush her teeth, or goes to the table to eat dinner, or just to try new tricks and combinations. She jump-ropes outside, she jump-ropes at school and I think by now you get why I loved this project for her! The directions where I found it were a little vague so I thought I'd make my own little post with what I found out.

You first being by cutting off the handles. Next you cut down the sides of the bag stopping when you reach the bottom so you can unfold it into a big rectangle. Then just cut strips. Make them a couple inches because we learned if they are too thin they tend to rip apart and tear during the process.

Once you have lots of little strips tie about 6 or 7 of the strips end to end. Repeat this until you have 9 long strips. My daughter is 7, a little short for her age and we did 5 strips and it was a little short. Still useable but short so depending on the age and height of your child add or take away strips. You need the strips to be quite a bit longer than needed because you will braid them together and they will shorten. Remember you can always cut extra off!

Once all the long strips are made gather all the strips even on one end and tape with duct tape to secure. Next tie it or rubber band the end on the top of a chair, similar to how you would safety pin friendship bracelets to make it easier to work with.

Once secured to a chair gather into three groups of three, and braid. This is where I realized that although this project boasted it was for little kids (my daughter is seven and very crafty) the strips were so long that I had to braid it slowly to keep all the strips seperated and from tangling. And be careful not to step on the strips - they will rip easily!

Braid it all the way down as tightly as you can, tucking in as many tied ends as possible. Don't worry, some will escape but you will just cut those escapees off when you are done.

Once you reach the end fold over the plastic a couple inches to make it nice and thick and secure and duck tape ends to resemble handles. Finally snip off those fly-aways and voila! Homemade jump-rope that cost you a couple strips of duck tape!

So good luck, have fun creating and Happy Earth Day! (a couple days late)

Thursday, April 10, 2014

I'm two days away...

I am incredibly pumped because tomorrow I will load up with white clothes and head to Dallas for my first ever 5K race!! Why the white clothes you ask? Well it has something to do with neon colored powder...that's right, The COLOR RUN! It has been an interesting journey as it started out with friends my age and turned into girls that have recently come out of our youth group instead but they are a blast to be with and I'm super pumped!

May I just stop to ask, is it wrong that one of my first questions was "Can we find a cool cupcake shop while we are there?!"

Anyway we will talk of my cupcake issue later. We (and I say we because we are running as a team) started training back in February using the Hal Higdon's website. He provides training schedules and tips for any length and type of race! Wonderful site and dummy-proof! We started at 1.25 miles and worked our way up over two months to the full 3 miles and it felt great towards the end of our training to reflect back on my week and say proudly "I ran a total of 8 miles this week!"

I know for runners this is no big deal but for a beginner who hasn't run long distance since high school it made me feel so good and it is in the tiniest way becoming infectious! I feel better and have more energy. I feel motivated and have a goal to work towards. It has just been a wonderful experience overall.

And this weekend ends the journey. Well the first of many that is (wink). I've been pa-rousing through photo ideas and researching tips so the experience is enjoyable and I think I'm pretty prepared for a first timer anyways! If you have ever considered it or found yourself saying one day I want to don't wait until someday becomes no day. Just decide it's now or never - baby steps! Take a deep breath and sign up for one, as big or small as you want and go make yourself proud!

I'll be posting my "colorful" photos later for you to see!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

"Read like a Detective" Anchor Chart

 We Are Teachers

I took this idea from a handout provided by WE are TEACHERS and ReadyGen of

I loved the detective and the theme of proving a case for reading comprehension! Hope you like it and can possibly use it in your classroom too.

(Click the above link to see the original print out version for your classroom)