Author Archives: mrshnevans

About mrshnevans

Newlywed, Elementary Teacher, Artist, DIY Lover

Classroom Maintanence


Here’s a few more little Pinterest gems I use that make our classroom routines a little smoother.

Job Flip Chart

Now this one didn’t exactly come from Pinterest, but it’s how I do things. For the week, I choose a girl and a boy helper. They do all of the classroom “jobs” that we need (line leader, hand sanitizer, bathroom monitor, etc). This is how I keep up with it. It’s just index cards that are hole-punched with a big ring. Done!


Lunch Choice Magnets

I found these little gems last year at The Dollar Tree and used them for Daily Data. This year I bought another set, spray painted them to match (they come in a set of blue, pink, grey, and black), and labeled a Dollar Tree cookie sheet to keep track of our lunch choices. This is also a super easy way to notice who is absent first thing in the morning.

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Sign-Out Board

Last year I used a pocket chart for this. Students inserted a blue card if they were at the restroom, red if they were out. I liked how I could look at the board and easily know how was out. Students could also see if another student was already in the restroom (we go as needed when I’m not giving instruction). However, it didn’t take long for the little pockets to get torn up, no matter how many times I laminated them. So enter this Pinterest idea.


Now this hasn’t been perfect. I’m having issues with students taking a LONG time to write their names (and add stars… or hearts… or squiggles… or… whatever!), so I’ve had to spend some time explaining it’s purpose (and not it’s purpose) and being a “mean teacher” by enforcing what I’ve said. “If you have time to draw, you don’t really need to go. Sit down.”

Felt Footies

I saw this all over Pinterest and thought there is no way that is going to last. However, after watching my floor quickly turn to a dull shade of grey yet again, I decided to give it a try. I bought colored felt from Hobby Lobby (to match each table color). I recruited my brother to cut them into fourths. Then as a class, we put them on our chairs. The idea was that if the students put them on the chairs themselves, they would be more likely to keep up with them.

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So here’s how it’s going. First of all, the “buying in” really worked. The students spent their own time putting them on and they genuinely keep an eye out for them; making sure they are still on, putting them back on if necessary. Score! And even better, they are actually keeping the floor clean. I’ve already had several compliments from the custodians that my floor is looking pretty good. Of course, if a pencil lead or crayon tip gets caught under a foot, it’s still nice and scratched across the floor, but what cha gonna do?

Despite the general success, I have learned a few things about them that I hope to pass on to you! First, having the students put them on was great for buy-in, but they did not get them on as tightly as needed. They were popping off that day. So I did have to go back and redo those myself. Second, if you keep the rubber band too close to the foot, you create a large flap that can be stepped on. My solution was to put the rubber band on more like this:


Make sure the flaps are tucked in. Now this fixed the problem for most of my students, but my more active ones still step all over theirs. The other solution would be to cut them smaller.

Feeling inspired? Try one and let me know how it works for you!





Little Classroom Goodies


So I’ve taken a HUGE sabbatical from blogging as I got this school year started. I don’t know about you, but our district has adopted a brand new reading program and that means TONS of extra work for me. Luckily, I had some amazing guys to help me assemble our tests today. They are rewarding themselves with a little gaming, and I’ll be rewarding myself with a little blogging.

This post is to showcase a few small Pinterest finds that I’ve implemented in my room this year. Love them all!

Rubber Bands on the Hand Sanitizer

This is such a simple idea and probably the best one ever! Last year, I had a huge issue with hand sanitizer on the floor, which eats the wax. I saw this on Pinterest and it is the quickest solution ever!

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No mess. Just the right amount for little hands. Perfect!

Push Pin Clothespins

I saw this for using on bulletin boards, but I knew it would be perfect for our hall display. We have a long strip of cork mounted to the walls outside our rooms. A thumb tack would be perfect and the clothespin would allow students to swap out their work quickly. All I needed was clothespins, flat headed thumb tacks, and hot glue.

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Now for the record, I had a friend try the same thing and a few are falling apart. I think it has to do with the placement of the thumb tack. Make sure it stays closer to the pivot point than to the top.

So those are a few little gems from Pinterest that have made my year a little easier!


Handlettering on a Chalkboard


This has become one of my favorite projects. When I got married, my new team gave me a gift card to Home Goods. I wasn’t sure what to get with it, so I carried it around for the longest time. I finally settled on a huge, framed chalkboard. There’s a great spot for it in my “kitchen,” and I figured it’d be a good way to display motivational phrases and lyrics. PLUS I saw this awesome pin on Pinterest about how chalk lettering was so easy!

The Process:

The tip I picked up from several blogs was to create a design and print it out. I used Microsoft Publisher, since I became so familiar with it over the summer. Really. It’s much easier than Word for poster, worksheets, etc. Any way, print it out to life-size. IMG_3676[1]

Now here’s the trick: rub the back of your printed paper with chalk. I had better luck tracing over the general outline of the design on the back than just rubbing across the whole thing. It will give you cleaner lines and guarantee you don’t miss anything.



Can you see a little chalk on there? Anyway, then comes the first long tedious part, flip it onto your chalkboard and trace the whole thing with a dull pencil.


This takes awhile and some back strength. Your cat may even be bored out of her mind.


But it’s worth it because when you remove the paper you have this lovely outline!


And now, long, draw-out, tedious part 2: trace it again!


By the way, if you haven’t seen this hand trick on Pinterest, it was a big help! It really works!!!


The Result:

You end up with this beautifully designed and polished piece, ready for display in your home.


The Review:

Overall, this idea is pretty simple with a stunning result, but it takes A LOT of time and a good deal of patience. The outline takes out a lot of the guesswork, but a steady hand is still a plus. Also, instead of using one big paper, you can cut the words apart and work on them individually. This makes filling the whole space a little easier (if you are working with a big surface), but there was something about it I just didn’t care for…

Here are some other pieces I did.



Try it yourself and let me know how it goes!


My Classroom Renovations


Okay, so it’s not exactly a Pinterest project, but I’m super proud of the updates I’ve made to my room this year. This is my fourth year teaching, but the very first time I’ve been in the same school, same grade level, same room, so I took full advantage of it and made it my own. The room already had an orange-ish wall, so I wanted to add a color that would compliment that. Plus, we have a wonderful principal who lets us paint, so I went for it! My theme: teal and dots!


First, I painted the focal wall (the first thing you see when you come into the room). This had two purposes: 1) to add color! 2) to cover up a big black rectangle that had been painted there by a previous occupant. This wasn’t a bad idea, but last year I acquired a Promethean board and that’s the only spot I could put it, so it looked kinda silly back there.


It didn’t take long for the old brain to get to turnin’ and I decided to expand my painting to the two long walls as well. But instead of painting the whole wall, I decided to do something less extreme. I would paint the top two rows of blocks and add something fun: POLKA DOTS!

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I pulled the color scheme from a set of products I found at The Parent/Teacher Store. I knew I was going to implement teal because it was a such a wonderful compliment to the subtle orange already in my room. This color palette allowed me to integrate lots of other colors too.

So here’s the final product:

This is standing in the door.


Looking back at the entrance.


The white board with Daily Data.


My classroom library with coordinating baskets and objectives board.


Cubbies and my meeting table.


So that’s it! I’ll have to post another blog focusing on some of the features of my room, but I’m just in love with the walls! It’s so bright and cheerful. I love being in my room now 🙂 It really feels like MY room. I can’t wait to share it with a new group of students!


Tissue Pom-Poms


I’m sure most of us have seen this oh-so-simple idea on Pinterest:

I decided to update my classroom and add some color, so this seemed like a quick and easy way to do it. So I gathered my supplies (tissue paper, twist ties, and string) and got to work!

The Process:

I bought the mixed set of tissue paper from The Dollar Tree, so the first thing I did was separate them into colors.


I combined two sets of each color (two packs) for a total of 10 sheets of each color.


Then came the accordion fold. Easy enough.


And twisty-tied the center and tied a string around that. Then I clipped the ends. Some I did in a rounded petal, some pointed, and some not clipped.

Now here was my snag. I tied the twisty-tie TIGHT, so when I went to fluff ball, I couldn’t get down into the center without tearing it.


My solution was to untie it and retie it more loosely (almost flat). This helped a lot, although I have since seen some folks pull it off with a tight tie in the middle. To each his own!

The Result:

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Overall, I’m pretty impressed. They were simple to assemble, fairly easy to fluff, and made a big impact. They were also MUCH cheaper than buying them ($4 for 10 vs $8 for 3 at Party City).  Here they are in my classroom:


The Review:

Pretty simple and impactful. Just remember to take your time when fluffing, and I had better luck with a lose tie in the center.


Listerine Foot Soak-A Guest Post


I’m super excited to have my first guest blogger. It’s none other than my friend who inspired me into the blogging world, Alyssa from Two-Thirds Scarlett. Here’s her latest misadventure from Pinterest:

If you’ve ever read my blog, (Two-Thirds Scarlett, shameless plug),then you know I’m not what you call “crafty”.  Very rarely do I attempt anything on Pinterest.  But this little home remedy was so easy I had to try it.

I have really dry, cracked feet from wearing nothing but sandals for months.  Not very pretty.  This “miracle” pin said:

“Mix 1/4 c Listerine (any kind but I like the blue), 1/4 c vinegar and 1/2 c of warm water. Soak feet for 10 minutes and when you take them out the dead skin will practically wipe off.”


First off, I had to double all the “ingredients” to even make a puddle deep enough to soak my piggies in.  Ten minutes later…nothing.  NO change.  No softening.  No dead skin falling off like snow (sorry for the visual).  The only thing I accomplished was making my feet smell minty fresh.  And they were tingly so that was kind of nice.

Long story short: Pinterest FAIL.  Don’t waste your time (or your mouth wash for that matter).  Apparently the real miracle home remedy is applying Vicks Vapor Rub or Vaseline to your feet and then just…putting on socks.  Surely Chris has a pair he wouldn’t mind sacrificing…

Thanks, Alyssa, for being my first guest blogger and sharing your Pinterest adventure with us!

Back to School! DIY Owl Decor


Well, that time of year is here: back to school! It both gets my mind running with new ideas and fills me with fear at the same time. No more sleeping in or having all day to accomplish simple tasks. No more squeaky clean house or friends over at all hours of the night. But I get a whole new crop of children, new ideas to implement, and I even picked up a few new teammates this year. I’m super excited!!! And so I decided to jump in to the back to school spirit with a fun, simple project I kinda found through Pinterest, but more

I love owls, and I’m using them as a minor theme in my classroom (you’ll have to check out my blog about my classroom make over to see the main theme). So when I found this template on, I thought, “What a great door decoration!” So here it goes:

The Supplies:

scrapbook paper
white paper
black paper
yellow/orange paper
template… “paper” (cardstock, cardboard, etc.)

The Process:

It was simple enough. Create the template, trace, assemble. I happen to have this fabulous Quickstitch paper lying around. Both my husband and I worked/work for an accessory company that used to do embroidery inside acrylic products like cups and key chains. When they nixed the department, we picked up the leftovers. It worked wonderfully!

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The Result:

Absolutely adorable owls! I had a lot of fun placing the pupils to give them personality. LOVE!





Here’s what I did with them. Welcome new friends!

The Review:

Nice and simple. It took a little time to cut everything, but overall it was simple to do and had a powerful result.

Here’s the link to the free template again. Happy crafting!