Classroom Organization: The No Name Drop

One of my classroom team members and I were chatting about 'nice classrooms' last week. As all good teachers do, we thrashed around ideas about the effects of Pinterest on the expectations for teachers - decor, cutesy printables and neon plastic tubs and containers. 




Lesson #6 - foundations 

Following along with my Less=More posts of late I considered all of this. How can you delight in the appeal of the organized, aesthetically appealing classroom and not spend a fortune or every minute of your life labelling tubs. 

The answer is to take the time to analyse exactly what it is that you find appealing about those classrooms. I can guarantee you that when you identify those specific elements and apply them to a space that you can manage, in the time you have available, you will achieve the same sense of classroom-fulfilment. 

Is it the $500 worth of neon plastic that is really appealing, or is it just the colors used? Is it the rows and rows of labelled tubs, or is it just that things are straight and lined up - easy on the eye? 

Think about color, line, shape and space. Take a look at the pinterest-classrooms and look deeper than the things you have to buy. Incorporate some of those elements with the items the school has provided you or with what you already have.


I know from years of practical classroom experience that there are some ordinary 'daily housework' type routines that will make your classroom ooze 'organization'. 

Now, don't laugh, but a simple one is 'nothing on the floor' {mostly 15 minutes before ether final bell rings}. Nobody ever left my classroom until desks and the floor were clear. If you don't think this has any impact on the appearance and 'feel' of your classroom environment, I challenge you to try it for a month. Everything gets returned to its place - and with 50 hands helping you, it can get done pretty fast.

When the children do not know who something belongs to (random pencils, erasers, books, toys and trinkets) or they can't remember where something belongs - it goes into a tub. One tub. It gets emptied on a Friday and sorted. Students can go to find their lost possessions in there through the week if needed.

Here is one I have made for my classroom team member, with a $12 plastic trash can. Students can simply drop items through the flip-flap lid as they tidy the desk and floor. 






If you would like to make one, download the little sign from Google Drive HERE


Similarly to the clean floor, a bright clear clean wall can make a big difference to your overall classroom appeal too. 

One of my classrooms was covered in staples (like, thousands), old blu tac, double sided tape and torn gyprock. It happens over the years. 


Lucky for me, I have a very handy Dad who spent every morning over 8 days with me in the summer, repairing, patching and painting. My sweet husband might have got several blisters from pulling staples out as well. 


The result was sensational. The effect it had on the whole space was so much more than thousands of dollars worth of plastic tubs ever could have made. Elbow grease, some time and a few tins of paint and plaster.

You can see in the photo below (that is my Dad and daughter, very proud of their hard work) I used elements of color and line in my word wall. The effect this has on the room is similar to one you might feel looking at rows and rows of plastic tubs - but cost me nothing. I trimmed a centimetre off the edge of each piece of paper so that the blue background made a line between each pieces - both horizontally and vertically. This gives a sense of organisation and order too. 


Many of my readers are on summer break at the moment and I encourage you to think a little deeper about what it is in a Pinterest picture of a classroom that draws you in - other than the things you have to buy. 

Thanks so much for stopping by, have a fantastic day!

- Mel x

Cactus Screen Wallpaper


Cactus screen wallpaper anyone? I thought so! If you are like me and 'green' always gets you in a terrific motivated fresh mood for the week - you might just like a new screen wallpaper for the week.


Download the files from Google Drive, which are for your personal home and classroom use only. 


Computer Wallpaper HERE

Phone Wallpaper HERE



If you  would like more printables to make your home office super sweet - take a look through my past posts HERE

Be sure to follow me on Instagram to see more shenanigans from my desk! I love being taggedd in your posts, but if I happen to miss one - please tag me again so I am sure to see it!

Have a lovely day friends thank you so much for stopping by!

- Mel x

Pineapple Goodies

Friends, I am beyond excited to be providing you with some fun pineapple printable pages here on my blog for you today as the final 'goody' of the week. 


Thank you so much for your patience - I know this post is a little later than expected but I have had one crazy week! 

I have created a 'pineapple sampler' that includes 4 fun projects for your little ones. 


Silly print the pages and gather some basic classroom equipment to get started.


The pages are pulled from my newly listed 'Fruit Friends Big Shape Tracing' packet,


'Color Create Motivate Classroom Posters' packet,


'Fruit Friends Pinning Pages' packet,


and 'Fruit Fun Directed Drawing' packet.



You can download the sampler from Google Drive HERE

  




  

I've combined these 4 packets with another 4 'fruity favourites' into a Fruit Goodies Bundle for you. These new 'I Want it All 8 Pack' s are a great way to purchase multiple packets that you see me listing and secure a considerable discount.



Thank you so much for your time today and joining me in a week of goodies - it has been so much fun! 



I have planned a few more 'week of' promotions for the coming months but will take this next week off to spend some time with my precious Sam who is recovering from some day surgery. 

- Mel x

Today's Goody! Free HAPPY Banner!


I've just added a little 'happy' banner to the shelf here in my home office. As today's goody, you can download it for free. Find it in Google Drive HERE


I printed my pages out at 50% on the scale function to make the pennants smaller. 



In addition to this goody, I also have the full alphabet version of this banner design as a 'dollar deal' for today only. You can use it in the classroom to make any message by printing out just the letters you need. Included is a backline version that students could help you to shade or paint. 


Thank you so much for stopping by, I hope this goody brought you a little happiness today!

- Mel x

Who loves TpT?




Friends - one of my favourite places in the world is TpT. Yes it is true. I was telling a friend only just last week about my years on the site and how there is so much more to the teacher-author community than what you see on the product pages of the online marketplace. 

I've made friends I will have for life, been involved in amazing professional development and been a small part of something that is changing the way teachers prepare, collaborate and engage across the globe.

Please support TpT. The heart and soul of TpT is teachers and there is no other place quite like it. 

I would love to give some $10 gift certificates away today as part of my 'week of goodies'.

Simply enter you email address here when the rafflecopter opens. Rafflecopter will select the winners at random tomorrow. 


Thanks so much for stopping by today - I appreciate you very much!

- Mel x

Free Font - Rainbowday


Hi friends! Wednesday? Where is this week going?

Nothing like a schedule to keep you on track. While my big little sweetie was having a piano lesson today, I made a new font to add to my growing collection. It was named Pond Rainbowday after the two rainbows I saw today. Profound, I know.

It will be a font to purchase, but as part of my week of special goodies, you can download it for free from TpT today.  



If you stumble upon this post after today, please enjoy other Free Fonts in my store and I urge you to 'follow by email' so you don't miss out on flash freebies like this one in the future. 





If you can't get enough 'fonts' for your commercial projects, check out my  Big Bundle of Pond Fonts. They can be used without credit back to me and I will continually add to the collection. If you are not able to secure a license today, add it to your wishlist ready for the next TpT sale!

Thank you so much for stopping by today - I appreciate you so much!

- Mel x





Cool Pineapple Clipart

Looking for some pineapple clipart to make your next teaching resource or digital resource pop? 


Hop on over to my clipart store to snag these ones for free (today only) as part of my week of goodies!



Have a lovely day friends!

- Mel x

Less=More #5

If you are looking for today's 'goody' post - hop back HERE


This is the fifth post in my little series to help you explore the concept of less=more.


If you can:
- do less, 
-have less, and 
- need less 

you will have 
-more time, 
-more energy and 
- more resources 

for YOU and your students or family!



This one has taken some time to jot down because it is complex and I want to do my best to break it down into a simple explanation in keeping with the general theme. 

Lesson #5 - life

Imagine if you found your life to be perfect. 

Imagine if you did not have to escape from your life.

Imagine if you put your head down to rest every night and work up every morning feeling blessed about how wonderful and 'exactly how it should be' life was. Exactly how it is. 

Would you need more? Or would you be content?

The trick is to look at the 'life' part instead of the 'perfect' part. 

Without getting too deep and philosophical - what exactly is 'life' for you. 


Are you aiming for a fairytale or are you being honest about who you really are. 

I had a moment about 20 years ago, shortly after a devastating and challenging time for my family. A loved one looked at me, in the midst of something very routine and ordinary (I think it was grocery shopping) and said 'this is life Mel, this is what it is all about'. And it was so wonderfully amazing to be doing some 'ordinary' things.  

Lightening bolt moment. 

Perhaps it is only when you see and live the absolute worst of life that you can truly delight in what you are privileged enough to be able to do each day in your 'ordinary' life. I cannot outline with any brevity how I got to this appreciation - it has been more than just that one moment - but it makes life simple and beautiful. And I need a whole lot less.

Learn to love 'life'. 

And by life, I mean all the things you 'have' to do to live. 

For the vast majority of us 'life' is always going to involve the day-to-day practicalities of running a house, preparing food, tending to young and elderly family members and earning an income to pay the bills and mortgage. 

For most of us, life will involve work. Lots or work. Lots of very hard work.

Many of the things we complain about and try to escape from.

Finding 4 hours {in the 24 I have been given to live today} to sloth on the sofa and watch TV is not something I expect I will be able to do. I can't do that and do 'life'. Considering my appreciation of what life is and who I am, I won't be judging the success of the day and tying my feelings of self fulfilment on whether I was able to carve out time to do that.  

Am I saying that you have to work all day every day, never rest and never reward yourself with lazy pleasures. Absolutely not. 

But this post is about life and how you see it. 

You can find joy and appreciation in doing 'life' - the living bits. Proudly. Carefully. Routinely. With steely, gritty determined hard work. And love the heck out of it. 

A practical example of this concept would be to think of a family who lives in a home for 11 months of the year in conditions that make them miserable so they can invest their savings in a 4 week lavish vacation to escape their misery. On the other hand, a family who considers 'life' more practically might turn their attention to making their home their sanctuary (and in turn their 'life'). They invest in making their home more comfortable and to their liking and build the potential for a lifetime of happiness rather than a 4 week splurge. 

It is a simple example and clearly there are bigger issues at stake, but you get the idea. 

This is a big one and I can't give you a roadmap or a guide - it will be different for everyone in perfect proportion to how different all our lives are. Start by considering what you think life is and what the pragmatic realities of life are for you.


Thanks so much for stopping by, I look forward to sharing more things that have worked for me to make more from less over the coming weeks.

- Mel x


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Strawberry Paper Kids Craft Free Download


Hi friends!

Each day this week I will have a little 'goody' for you - a giveaway, freebie, sale or idea!


Today's treat is right HERE on my blog - a free printable strawberry 'one page craft'. This craft is a special edition and not included in the bundle that is on sale in my TpT store

One page crafts are easy to prep and implement in the classroom as you just need one piece of paper per child. 

You can get them to colour, paint or crayon their picture and add additional crafty decorations if desired (think sequins, pom poms, google eyes etc)



I've also included writing papers so you can follow up the creative experience with some literacy.

I hope your sweeties enjoy this activity!

If you missed yesterday's goody, be sure to click on the Sunday button to find a fun fresh and fruity screen wallpaper!



If you like this easy strawberry kids craft activity, you may be keen to see my newly listed growing bundle of 'one page crafts'. The price will go up with each new addition, so if you are keen to buy in early - head over to my TpT store today!



Seriously, you can never have too many ways to explore creativity. 

Have a wonderful day friends, thank you so much for stopping by.


- Mel x


A Week of Goodies - Free Computer and Phone Screen Wallpaper


Hi friends!

It is Sunday here in Australia and I am getting my week set up.

First is always making my workspace somewhere I love to be.

After all the sweetness of ice cream and cake last week - I need to focus on the goodness of real food! A rainbow of fresh happy fruit will keep me happy, healthy and creative.


I've made a new screen for my computer and phone and would love to share these with you too. 


And of course, for my paper loving fiends a week planner in the shape of a strawberry! Grab all these free goodies at the end of this post!


Week Wall Planner HERE

Screen Wallpaper HERE

Phone Wallpaper HERE

Be sure to check out some past posts for more ways to make your desk space cute and fun!

Have a wonderful day friends, thank you so much for stopping by!



- Mel x


Friday's Sweet Treat: Free Directed Drawing


A directed drawing makes a relaxing summer art project for kids! I have an ice cream version of my popular directed drawings for you to try today! 


I have posted this 'clever ice cream' in a previous blog post but have now updated it to include 4 different presentation options, including 2 writing papers. Have your students draw AND write!




Find it in google drive HERE as  today's 'sweet treat'!

If you love directed drawing as much as I do, you might want to check out the new packet on TpT. It is on sale for another 24 hours!




Thanks so much lovely friends, have a fabulous day! 

- Mel x

Thursday Sweet Treat


Hi friends!

I have a very special treat for you today! A fresh new set of Ice Cream Friend clipart images that include my brand new 'easy' terms of use. 

Head over to TpT to download them for your classroom, personal and commercial use. 



These new 'easy' terms broaden the allowable uses to encompass emerging technologies like Google classroom resources. I've also taken the opportunity to remove the term requiring you to add credit and also make online projects (blogs, websites etc) covered as well. 

All my clipart form today forward will have these new terms included. If you would like the extended use over image licenses you already own (anything drawn by me prior to today) you will need to buy this extension.

I also have a new bundle on sale as a sweet treat today! IN my classroom resources stop you will find 8 'sweet' themed resources in one easy-to-add-to-cart bundle!


I will be back very soon with a more close up look at these fun new resources!

Thank you so much for stopping by and joining in the sweet fun this week!

- Mel x


Wednesday Sweet Treat


Friends, my newest addition to the Pond Fonts Big Bundle 'Pond Sweet' is free for today as a single font. 

Head over HERE to my clipart store to find it!


Thanks so much for stopping by - I wish you a fabulous Wednesday! 


- Mel x

Tuesday Sweet Treat


Hello hello hello friends! 

I'm so excited to be bringing you another sweet treat today! Head over to my TpT clipart store to find a free (for today) 'sweet treat' themed set of Edge It frames.

Edge It frames allow you to add a 'little something' to the very edge of your page, without tooooooooo much clutter and distraction from your brilliant content!


And if you are as addicted to Edge It frames as much as me, you may like to check out my very new bundle that includes Set 66, Set 67, Set 68, Set 69 and Set 70. 


Thank you so much for stopping by and supporting me in so many ways - I appreciate you so much!

- Mel x



Monday Treat - Free Summer Craft


Hi friends,

It is a week of sweet treats for you!


Each day this week I will have something little to make your day a little sweeter - a giveaway, freebie, sale or idea! If you don't have time to regularly check Instagram and Facebook, you can always hop over here and click this little button in my sidebar:



Today's treat is right HERE on my blog - a free printable 'one page craft'. This craft is a special edition and not included in the bundle that is on sale in my TpT store

One page crafts are easy to prep and implement in the classroom as you just need one piece of paper per child. 

You can get them to colour, paint or crayon their picture and add additional crafty decorations if desired (think sequins, pom poms, google eyes etc). 


Students then cut around the simple shapes and 


glue together.


Ive also included writing papers so you can follow up the creative experience with some literacy.



I hope your sweeties enjoy this activity. 





If you like this activity, you may be keen to see my newly listed growing bundle of 'one page crafts'. The price will go up with each new addition, so if you are keen to buy in early - head over to my TpT store today!




Thank you so much for stopping by - I look forward to our sweet week together! 
Enjoy your weekend. 

- Mel x