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Missed Summer Meals

It’s been a while, friends.

Do you want to hear something unbelievable?

Today is the first day of Autumn!

I’ve felt it coming for a couple weeks now, but was still hesitant to believe that Summer was really over.

There’s no more fooling myself, one season has quickly gone and another is ready to begin!

Between a fast summer, a busy start to the new year, and finally having English TV, I’ve not blogged much for the past 3 months.

As a way to say “farewell” to summer, I’m here today to share my favorite meals that never made it to the blog; not for lack of flavor, but rather lack of time.

So here’s the plan, I’ll post photos and appropriate recipe links. If there’s anything you want to see in more detail, just let me know and I’ll put together a special post for the requested items.

Let’s start way back in June!

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Vegan Kidney Bean Veggie Burgers

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Homemade Hamburger Buns

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Leek and Shitake Mushroom Risotto

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Vegan Peanut Butter Oatmeal Pancakes

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Potato Stuffed Paranthas

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Indian Spiced Potatoes and Cabbage

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Creamy Parmesan Polenta with Roasted Vegetables

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Chocolate Lava Cake

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Lemon Tomato Pasta on Arugula

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Country Style Sourdough Bread

July Missed Meals

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Parmesan Arugula Pizza on Sourdough Pizza CrustP7098760

Tomato Cream Pasta

August Already?!

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Sourdough Apple Bread with Cinnamon and Raisons

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BBQ Tofu Salad

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Greek Salad

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Mixed Salad with Mmmm Sauce

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Orzo with Green Beans and Chickpeas

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Creamy Polenta with Roasted Vegetables and Tomato Dressing

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Tofu Tacos with Refried Beans

September Treats

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Tiramisu Layer Cake

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Chocolate Mocha Cake

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Monster Cookie Dough Balls

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Ginger Carrot Soup

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Spicy Plum Chutney

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Vegetable Biryani

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General Tso’s Tofu

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Baked Pecan French Toast

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Zucchini and Walnut Pilaf

Each and every one of these recipes deserve their own post, but sadly, time has not been on my side throughout the season that was.

I wish each and every one of you a safe and happy transition into my favorite season!

Bring on the soups, stews, apples and pumpkins!

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Eating in Budapest

Welcome back to another recount from my wonderful vacation in Budapest.

This time, I want to talk about one of my favorite things, FOOD!

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As a vegetarian, it was difficult to find traditional, yet meatless, Hungarian meals in Budapest.

Although meat is a must for Hungarian cuisine, Sebastian and I were able to find several delicious vegetarian restaurants in Budapest.

We ate at Govinda Vegetarian Restaurant and Salad Bar twice during our week-long vacation.

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With an alle carte buffet, the dishes change daily. You can either order a set meal or just pick and choose from what’s on offer. The first time we ate at Govinda, Sebastian and I shared the Indian buffet for two. IMAG0184

We received two curries, one with mixed vegetables and one with potatoes and eggplant, saffron rice, dal, a samosa, two tempura eggplant slices, 1 roti, 1 parantha, two chutneys and two mango lassies.

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Wow, were we stuffed!

This meal was so good that we came back once more before leaving Hungary. Although I didn’t get a photo of the meal, everything the second time around was different but equally as delicious!

Another favorite restaurant was Hummus Bar.

As the name suggests, this place does hummus and does it well.

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Sebastian and I both opted for a hummus plate. He had a beer with his meal and I went for a mint lemonade which was really refreshing on such a hot day.

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I couldn’t decide which toppings to get with my hummus plate so went for the option that offered everything. My favorite toppings were the falafel and spiced kidney beans.

The plates were served with hot pita bread. Needless to say, we left this meal feeling very full and happy.

My friend, Josh, would love Budapest because every restaurant seemed to have a comprehensive menu of Belgian beers. If you’re not up for the high alcohol content, don’t worry, you can always get a coke, juice or water.

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Fruit stalls are spotted all over the city, especially near main train stations and metro stops.

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One of the more decadent (read expensive) treats I had while in Budapest was a fancy gelato.

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Fancy because it was formed into the shape of a rose.

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It looked and tasted great.

The main food attraction in Budapest has to be the Great Market Hall.P8170611

With produce, meat, fish, grains and spices, this building has been a a one-stop shop for fresh food since the early 1900s.

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  On the second floor of the market hall, across from the textiles, you can find the food stalls.

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It was here that I had my one and only “traditional Hungarian” meal, a langos.

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Basically a deep-fried dough topped with sour cream and cheese, this may be traditional, but I found it disgusting.

Sorry, Hungary, but I simply couldn’t eat this.

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Oh well, being in new places is all about trying new things. I’m glad I tried a langos, but am happy to never eat one again.

Luckily, there was lots of beautiful fresh fruits and vegetables to drool over.

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Wandering through the isles of produce was a great way to get to know the food culture of Hungary.

Our trip to Budapest was simply stunning. I mentioned it briefly before, but Budapest is one of the most beautiful cities I have seen.

We stayed for 7 days and left feeling like there was still so much more to do and see.

Since these Budapest posts are going to be pretty photo heavy, I’ll try not to be too long-winded; I’ll just let the city speak for itself.

Parliament Building

An iconic building for Budapest that is most impressive when viewed from the Buda side of the city.

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City Park

A great place to relax in the shade and enjoy a picnic. There are flea markets and regularly scheduled activities throughout the year, so check to calendar of events.

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Hero’s Square

This monument is located at the far end of the city park.

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Castle Hill

The views of Pest from atop Castle Hill are remarkable. Beautiful by day and magical by night.

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Be sure to take in the view over a drink from one of the cafes along the Fisherman’s Bastion.

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I had so much fun walking around the Castle Hill with one of my students and his family. The little boy from my class was so excited to share what he knew about his hometown and his parents made excellent tour guides.

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On our last night in Budapest, Sebastian and I went back to the top of Castle Hill to watch the sun set and the Indian Moon rise over Pest. Wine and cake certainly made the evening even more sweet.

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The Citadel

Another fantastic view can be taken in from the Citadel, also on the Buda side of Budapest.

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On our last day in the city, Sebastian and I hiked up to the citadel. We were hot and sweaty by the time we reached the top, but the view was well worth the extra exertion.

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The pretty and ornate building at the end of the bridge is the market hall.

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Margaret Island

The island between Buda and Pest provides the perfect location for all sorts of activities. From swimming pools to football fields, fountains to flower gardens, there is a lot to do on this tiny little island.

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Market Hall

I’ll write a bit more about the market hall in my Budapest food post, but the beautiful architecture of this building is the perfect setting for the beautiful produce and textiles within.

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Budapest Activities

The sights were great, but the activities we took part in are the most memorable.

House of Terror

Although not a happy place, this museum was absolutely eye-opening to the painful Hungarian history. The museum is now housed in a building that was used as a prison, interrogation center and execution facility by both the fascist and communist regimes. P8170721

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The promise of the building is that it is now used to honor the men, women and children who were murdered by the two terrorizing regimes.

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Walking Tours

Budapest is the perfect city for a walking tour. There are many organizations that offer tours, but Sebastian organized his own Jewish walking tour using a guide he found online. We were channeling my good friend Kim by taking a lot of fun photos at each stop along the tour.

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Thermal Caves

One of the activities that was sadly left uncrossed from my wish list was a visit to the famous thermal spas in Budapest. Although we didn’t make it to the spas, we did see some of the wonderful caves below the city that were formed from the thermal springs. These photos were taken in the very dark caves with my phone, so please excuse the poor quality. If you ever visit Budapest, I would highly recommend visiting one of the 3 caves which are open to the public.

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Night Cruise on the Danube

Budapest is stunning, especially by night when the sights are reflected in the water of the Danube. There are some very luxurious (and pricy) night cruises available, but we went on the free ride that came with our bus ticket. Not the most comfortable boat, but it was all about the city anyways.

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Castle Hill from the Danube.

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The Parliament building.

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I still have so much more to share, but will leave you right here. It is really lovely to relive this fantastic vacation two weeks after returning to Bonn. I hope you’ve enjoyed it as much as I have!

Until next time!

Cinnamon Roll Pancakes

I’m so sorry for my recent absence.

My first full week of school went really well, but I have been so exhausted at the end of the day. This is the first day in over a week that I’ve even turned on my home computer!

I’ll hopefully be back in the swing of things soon. Finding my routine and getting my sleep patterns back in order is top priority for mission “Resume Unending Energy” to be successful.

Until I have a bit more steam to really share what I’ve been up to lately, I leave you with this.

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This is a public service announcement: Make these Cinnamon Bun Pancakes and top them with Maple-Butter Icing.

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Do yourself a favor and double the recipe to freeze the extra pancakes for easy toaster pancakes.

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You will thank me later.

Classroom Displays

This is day 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 of my classroom preparation and organization series. If you’re new, welcome! Please have a look around!

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I may be exhausted, but I’m happy.

My first day back at school went swimmingly! There were only 10 children present and they were all on their best behavior. We had many laughs, shared some great stories and have started the new year on a fantastic foot.

As promised, I’d like to share the classroom displays which are adorning my walls. I still have two displays to share with you but will wait until the kids have left their impression on them.

Fun, engaging bulletin boards are one of the easiest ways to create a unique classroom environment. On the first day of school, students are instantly drawn to the appearance of their new classroom. For kids and parents alike, first impressions matter.

Throughout the year, my bulletin boards are more working walls than display boards. The boards are constantly referred to and adapted to reflect our current learning. Students reference the walls for a variety of reasons including spelling and examples of correctly used skills.

Even though the walls were not yet in active use when I took the final photos this morning, they were ready for action and dressed to impress.

Here’s a quick, direct from my camera phone, guide for preparing bulletin boards for the first day of school.

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First up,measure the boards. To make life easier in the future, write the measurements directly on the boards using a permanent marker. This way, you will never have to measure again!

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If several of your boards have the same measurements, you’re in luck! Three of my boards are 250.5x 120 cm so I can measure and cut all three papers at once.

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Simply layer the paper you want to use, measure once and cut twice or thrice. Give yourself a bit or extra paper for each end of the boards to guarantee that it will fit. Any extra paper can later be cut away with an exacto knife.

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Mark the measurement on each end of the paper then place a meter stick in the middle to help form a right angle fold.

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Fold the paper over the meter stick then remove the meter stick and press the paper to form a crisp fold.

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Cut along the fold using a sharp knife.

Your background paper is now cut to size and ready to use!

Staple it up, edge with some fancy borders then get to filling in the boards as you wish.

Here’s a quick view of the displays in my classroom this year.

Reading Strategies CAFE Menu.

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I first saw the idea for the awning on What the Teacher Wants. They got the idea from here.

This display is right next to our emergency door which gets quite drafty at times. So rather than using post it notes for the kids to mark their reading goals, they each decorated a clothes pin to clip to the sign which reflects their reading goals.

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This project was yet to be completed when I left school last night. I was so pleasantly surprised to come in this morning and find my awning hanging in place. I still want it to stick out from the wall a bit more, but I am so happy with the look as a whole.

Today we posted our first two reading strategies so the display is already doing its job.

Even though I printed, backed and laminated the CAFE signs, it wasn’t until I looked at these photos that I realized the CAFE descriptions hadn’t printed. Oh well, I’ll just write them on tomorrow!

Vibrant Vocabulary Word Wall

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I’ve not had a word wall until now because I couldn’t spare the space for one permanent display. This year I took the plunge and decided to go for it. I’m sure we will use the wall frequently enough to make up for the “lost space.”

 

Recipe for Success in Year 4B

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I made this display last year to accompany our first day of school Recipe for Success activity. It was such a hit, I decided to do it again. Even at the end of the year, parents and children were still talking about the Recipe for Success. One family continued to follow the recipe at home and made our first day activity as a snack throughout the year. To hear more about the display and activity, click here.

Play Fair in Year 4

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Another display that I used last year, this display sets the expectations for behavior in the classroom by referring to football (that’s soccer for all my American readers.) The kids get warning before receiving a yellow or red card depending on the severity of their misbehavior. This is one of the best behavior management strategies I’ve used or seen used. It is based on the understanding that the children are all respectful and will play fairly, but is prepared to help manage any unsportsmanlike actions. You can read more here.

Math Working Wall

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(Yes, that says Maths. Those silly Brits put an ‘s’ after the word math.)

This is another active working wall that will be used throughout the year. I loved The Clutter Free Classroom’s Math Workshop Rotation Board. I put my own spin on her ideas to make the rotations work in my classroom.

You probably can’t tell by the photo, but there is one star for each day of the week. There is also space for the work book page and extension page to be completed each day. I only have 12 students this year so have decided to go with 3 groups.

I plan on starting the math lessons as usual with mental math, class instruction, whole group practice and work book pages. This will probably take 40 minutes. I plan on using the last 20 minutes of our math lesson for stations. The kids will rotate between the five stations you can see labeled on the trays- one station per day. I’ll let you know how it goes!

 

Reading Recommendations

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Each child has a pocket on this display where other kids can leave book recommendations. There is even a pocket for our classroom assistant and me (which I still need to make labels for.) Everyone loves receiving mail, especially in the form of a specially recommended book!

What are you Reading?

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Every year I take a photo of each student holding a sign that says “I’m reading.” These photos are then printed, laminated and stuck on this display. The students place a post-it note on their photo sharing their current read.

This is a quick and easy way to share books and create the platform for book talks. Last year one of my students collected her old post-it notes and was so proud of her “book stack” at the end of the year.

 

Visual Time Table

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This time table helps the students to feel prepared for the day and helps me to not hear “what are we doing next?” 1,000 times a day. I made this chart by cutting plastic files in half and taping them against the large cardstock to form top-opening pockets.I simply swap out the cards and spin the movable clock faces to match our agenda for the day.

Odds and Ends

I love quotes and have had a lot of using them around the year this room. Although these are not displays, they do decorate our room and help create a one-of-a-kind environment.

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I recreated this sign in power point to match a poster from pinterest.

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One of my favorite quotes is an extension off of Dr. Seuss’s “The more you read…” quote. I like the extended version but am unsure of the original author.

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If you’re after the fantastic sign against my writing station, click here to download a copy for yourself.

So, there you have it! I hope you enjoyed my display tour.

Check back tomorrow to see two more displays: Frame Worthy Work and our Classroom Commitment Tree.

Yarn Mâché

This is day 1, 2, 3, 4 of my classroom preparation and organization series.If you’re here for the food, you’re in luck, I’ve even tossed in a tasty link today!

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Today we welcomed the new students and families to our school. I have one student who is new to the school this year. She is absolutely adorable. As soon as the Head introduced me, the little girl hopped up from her parents, grabbed my hand and pulled me out of the hall because she was so excited to see the classroom. 

A good start to a new year!

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I still have one project to finish before I show you the big reveal, but here’s a sneak peak of how the classroom looked when I left school today.

Tomorrow is our first day of school. In preparation for the athletic event, I ate a carb-loaded dinner of pasta with avocado cream sauce. It might look strange but it is so creamy and delicious!

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With all the excitement for tomorrow, I’m sure I won’t be able to sleep tonight, but one can wish.

Alright, on to the project of the day!

You know paper mâché, but have you heard of yarn mâché?

I hadn’t either until it exploded all over pinboards on pinterest.

yarn balls

I was instantly hooked on this photo and the simple how-to instructions.

Since I knew these {please read in a British accent} simply wouldn’t go with my home decor, my mind instantly visualized these lovely hanging yarn balls over my classroom desks.

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I prepped my table, blew up differently sized balloons (in retrospect these were much too large), snapped a metal clip to the bottoms of the balloons for a bit of extra weight and got to work.

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I made a mixture of equal amounts school glue and water then dropped my yarn in.

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This was a messy project that the kids would love! I on the other hand got bored after two balloons so called in quits for the day only to return to the project a day later.

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Just for fun, I sprinkled a bit of glitter over the sticky yarn.

I hung the balloons to dry for a week while I was in Budapest. When I returned, some of the balloons had slightly deflated which made for better balloon removal.

A few other yarn balls clung to the deflated balloons for dear life. I even left some balloons inside- these are my favorite.

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All in all, my project didn’t turn out as perfectly as the inspirational photo, but I still love the look of the slightly deformed yarn balls.

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Once the yarn balls were hung to hang and streamers were added, the whole look really came together!

If you’re looking for more pinterest-inspired classroom projects, head over to Jen’s website. She’s sharing her pinterest projects all week this week.

Wish me luck tomorrow! I’m bubbling with excitement and nerves.

Be sure to come back tomorrow to hear about my first day back. I’ll also be sharing (fingers crossed) all of my new school year classroom displays.

Fast Pockets

This is day three of my classroom preparation and organization series.

Day 1: No-sew radiator slipcover

Day 2: Maintenance-free classroom library

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Ah, library pockets, you organize, display, group, and guide an endless amount of classroom projects, how I love you!

One thing I do not love is your pre-made cost or restrictive sizes.

I also do not love cutting, folding, and gluing homemade versions of you.

Traditional library pockets, I’ve left you for your simple, fast, reusable and homemade cousin… I hope we can still be friends.

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Fast Pockets

Materials

Cardstock

Paper cutter

Laminating sheets

Laminator

Ruler

Exacto knife or box cutter

Procedure

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1. Cut your cardstock to the size you desire. If you feel like making funky shapes, go for it, these pockets are made for you by you, be as creative as you wish!

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2. Fold the cardstock to form a pocket, no need to seal the sides.

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3. Place each pocket in a laminating sheet with plenty of space along the sides.Run the pockets through the laminator, once, twice, three times to really form a firm seal.

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5. Cut around the shape leaving at least 1 cm of lamination on all sides.

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6. Use a ruler to guide your exacto knife along the pocket top you created earlier. Carefully cut the top open to reveal the pockets, just be sure not to go all the way through the cardstock!

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Super simple, huh?

These green pockets are now hanging on my book recommendation display. Each student has a pocket that his or her friends can pop book recommendations into. A fun way to “get mail.”

Tomorrow I’m going to share a pinterest inspired decoration project. Be sure to come back for more!