Monday, July 8, 2013

Monday Made It: Back to School

Happy Monday! I’m on my way to New York, but I made a few things this week and wanted to link up with Tara for her Monday Made It!

I found these beach balls on clearance at Hobby Lobby (do you notice something about those colors??!!) They were so cute and I figured I could think of something to do with them!

And, on the way home I thought of this:

Getting to Know You Beach Ball

It could be a quick 5 minute filler that first day or week of school to “break the ice”. Students take turns throwing the ball around the room and wherever their right thumb lands they need to answer the question to give more information about themselves to their new classmates.

Also, for that first week of school I made a Back to School Autobiography! I’m so excited about this creation! I love the composition book format! This will be perfect for students to work on while I’m assessing my students individually or taking care of all those beginning of the year forms, supplies, and housekeeping!

There are so many ways to use this book:
  • Pre-writing assessment
  • Learn more about my students (interest inventory)
  • Great open house display
  • Creative, fun way for students to write their own autobiography
  • Each page has space for an illustration or 4x6 photo
WANT TO WIN THIS FOR BACK TO SCHOOL? You can "pin to win" below! After you pin from my blog or TPT, copy the url address and paste it in the comments below. Three winners will be chosen!
I finally made my pom pom dry erase markers I've been seeing all over Pinterest. This literally takes seconds-I hope that little pom pom really erases! I’ll update you the first week we go back!
(I hot glued 1 ½” pom poms to the markers).
 Several people asked me questions about this money bag, so I wanted to show the inside of the bag with the money rolled up.
(Yes, we had another birthday party this weekend!)
 It’s rolled up so that when it’s pulled it doesn’t get stuck. Kids love these money machines! Like the last time I posted, if you’d like the pull here arrows, leave me a comment with your email and I’ll be glad to send them to you!
I’m also linking up with my sweet friend Christy for her Eating, Drinking, and Linking Oh My party! Now, I don’t like to cook, but I always get a lot of requests for this recipe! :O)
Don't you love it? Whenever I sign up for M&M Casserole, people who don’t know about it get very excited about this delicious sounding dessert…until they see the casserole dish with several kinds of M&Ms mixed together! Of course, I come in with potholders and a little flour on my face! I put out the recipe cards as an extra touch!
 Hope you have a great week! Don’t forget to pin to win! Winners will be announced and emailed Wednesday!


  1. You have lots of great ideas for have to give away money! :) I want to come be YOUR friend! :)
    Creating Lifelong Learners

  2. Such great ideas as always! I love the beach ball game and autobiography project. Have a very safe trip and a wonderful week!

    Mrs. Laffin's Laughings

  3. I love both of your back to school ideas! I'm heading to Hobby Lobby today to see if I can find a beachball still in the clearance section to make this same project. I love it! I pinned your other project (well, I pinned both). Here's the link to the "All About Me" pin:

    One more thing before I go...I love the M & M casserole. Too funny!

    Fun in Room 4B

  4. Haha the M & M casserole is hilarious. I love how simple the beach ball is. I'm positive I've bought some before at the dollar store and never used them. They must be some where... I stole my school's binding machine for the summer so I'm thinking about your back to school book and whether I should make something for my kids while I have it!

    Literacy Spark

  5. I love the beach ball idea!! I have the dry erase pom poms pinned to make too :)

    A Sunny Day in First Grade

  6. I love all of your ideas!!! I am going to have to remember them for the beginning of the year!

    Rosie's Rambles

  7. I love love love the money bag idea! Only problem is that we no longer have $1 bills in Canada. :( Using $5 bills would make quite an expensive gift for it to be worth it. Maybe for my own kids, on their birthdays... Thanks for sharing!!


  8. love the $$ idea, but the casserole? HAHAHAHAHA! LOVE!!!

    Hodges Herald

  9. I love the beach ball project! I may have to do that! Your zebra one is super cute!

  10. Love all your Made Its, Joanne!! What a clever Expo marker idea. I haven't seen that one. For the money machine, do you put different amounts of dollar bills in each bag linked together and they don't know how many they will get?

    The M&M casserole had me laughing! I had to read it twice because I really did think those cards showed a recipe to some type of candy casserole!! Haha!
    Fourth Grade Flipper

  11. Love the autobiography book! And I am so stealing the M&M idea:)

  12. The beach ball idea is very cute and looks easy to do! That casserole recipe is my kind of casserole! :)


  13. Love the autobiography much better than just an interest inventory! Here is the link to my pin:

  14. I wonder if I could substitute Peanut Butter M&M's or Goldfish crackers in your M&M casserole. Sounds yummy! He he! I love it!


  15. The beach ball will be a great filler activity and will give your students a little move around time. Thanks for sharing!

    Foreman Teaches

  16. Love the beach ball idea! I will be stealing this idea for the first day of school!


  17. Love the all about me book!

  18. I created an Autobiography Book for the beginning of the year as well! I had the same intentions-use it during assessing! :)

    Adventures in Room 204

  19. I love the back to school beach balk! I am definitely going to add this to my list of back to school activities!

  20. would love to use the autobiography book in the beginning of the year!!! may have to come up with a "dopleganger" if i don't win :)


  21. Love the autobiography book idea for the beginning of the year. It relates to our common core literacy theme!


  22. What great ideas! Very creative for a Monday! ;)
    Head Over Heels For Teaching: Monday Made It: Back to School -

  23. Great idea I am always looking for something that is low maintenance for them to do while I am doing assessments.

  24. This is a great idea. Always looking for ideas to use while assessing other students.

  25. This looks like a great little tool for my kiddos. Can't wait to learn all about them.


  26. Such a fantastic giveaway! I love that this keeps the children busy without them doing "busy work". It serves many purposes simultaneously- especially the beginning of the year writing sample which tends to slip minds! Love love love it! Thanks!

  27. LOVE the composition notebook! What a super cute idea - and perfect for back to school assessment time!


  28. Love this idea and making it a composition look!

  29. I'm workin' on a recipe book right now of all of my grandmother's recipes she has made throughout the years. I'm goin' to slip this in there. She will get a kick out of it!
    Great Monday Made Its!
    Rockin' and Lovin' Learnin'

  30. I have to get a beach ball to do what you suggested! Great idea for back to school. I also love your composition notebook idea I pinned it here And the M&M casserole would be hilarious for my treat day at school next year. It would go really well with the teachers who bring a bag of chips and a jar of salsa and put them on the table! I am sure they would shocked if I did it, and that would make it even more fun!

  31. Love your ideas! The M&M casserole cracks me up and the money bag is so clever! Thanks for sharing and I am looking forward to checking out your next Made Its!

    Mrs. Z & Company

  32. Your ideas are so awesome! That beach ball matches my classroom perfectly! I hope my hobby lobby has one...

    Here is the link to my pin:

    I hope that I win your all about me... such a good way to keep students busy while assessing them...

  33. Love the m&m recipe! Your all abou me book looks like a lot of fun and would be perfect while doing individual assessments and beginning of year paperwork! Thanks for sharing another great idea!

  34. Love the beach ball and autobiography ideas! They will definitely come in handy those first days of school!

  35. Love the beach ball and autobiography ideas! They will definitely come in handy those first days of school!

  36. I love the Beach Ball idea! That is super cleaver! This whole "All About Me" idea is truly fabulous, especially for those assessment times!! LOVE IT!!


  37. Love the zebra beach ball icebreaker and goes perfect with my zebra classroom theme. The autobiography ideas is fabulous,crossing my fingers to win it!!!


  38. Great Back to School ideas. I think I need to go to Hobby Lobby.

  39. I absolutely love your beach ball idea. I'm keeping my out for a cute one. Have fun in New York. I was there two weeks ago, and I had a blast!

    Fit to be Fourth

  40. MMM! M & M Casserole sounds wonderful! Thanks for sharing!

    Have a great week--
    Sarah @ Hoots N Hollers

  41. Cute ideas for the first few days!! Love the M&M casserole!!

  42. So many wonderful ideas friend!! Love them all. That casserole is a hoot! I'm definitely bringing that dish to the teacher lounge come test taking time.

    Thank you for linking up and for the chance to win!

    Teaching Tales Along the Yellow Brick Road

  43. Fabulous teaching and cooking:) ideas! I LOVE your gift bag and would really appreciate a copy of the cute arrow. Thank you.

    I love these ideas!


    I can't wait to try these exciting ideas out with my students!



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