Monday, August 24, 2020

Back to School with Cricut in the Classroom


This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Cricut for Cricut. All opinions are 100% mine.

This back to school season is unlike anything we've ever seen before. With social distancing guidelines in place, I knew I needed to change how I handle classroom supplies. I usually do "community" supplies, but I want to make sure I'm keeping my students as safe and healthy as I can once they return to the classroom, so this year, I made bags of supplies for each student to use while they are in my classroom.

My classroom theme is all about COFFEE this year, so I knew I wanted some way to decorate the bags that incorporated my theme. I designed this coffee cup graphic in Cricut Design Space using their images and fonts. No scrambling around, searching for SVGs. I could make exactly what I needed right in Cricut! I arranged them in a group of four so I could cut four at once on my Cricut Maker, saving time and vinyl.

A tip for weeding: use TWEEZERS to get all the long, little pieces. It will make your life so much easier!

I used the Cricut Heat Guide to make sure I heated the Easy Press to the right time and temperature settings for my material and got to work. The Easy Press made attaching all of the decals quick and easy, and I know they'll last.

Once my bags were ready, I filled them with two pens and pencils, a dry erase board with a marker and an eraser, a clipboard, and a binder with notebook paper. My plan is to hang them on my classroom wall with command hooks so the kids can come in, grab their bag, and get ready. At the end of the class, they'll put their supplies back in the bag and replace them on the hooks.

I am excited to have these bags for my students, and I'm excited to have been able to decorate them with my Cricut! How are you preparing for back to school?

Thursday, August 20, 2020

Building Student Relationships from a Distance

 This back to school season looks like no season we've ever encountered. Some of us are going back to school with masks over our faces and some aren't going back face-to-face at all. But one thing is not changing: building relationships with students is more important now than ever. 

Many of our students have been home since March. They didn't get to finish out the year with their friends or teachers in person. The best thing we can do for them now is show them we are excited to get to know them, even from a distance. 

One fun, easy, and FREE activity you can do is a virtual movie night! Give your students the opportunity to get to know you and their new classmates outside of a "classroom" environment. Send a link and share your screen. There are also several "watch party" applications that you can utilize that you can find out more about here.

Once you have your link, it's time to invite the kiddos! Download the image below and upload it to PowerPoint or Google Slides to create your invitation. Email it to your families or post it as an announcement in your LMS.

Follow up with an activity where they write about or draw a picture of their favorite part. See who liked the same part as you! Make a new friend and make some memories together. 

Though we are socially distant, we can still come together to build that sense of classroom community and strengthen those relationships!

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Spread Justice Not Germs Cricut Project for the Classroom

When getting ready to return to school this fall, I knew a lot of things were going to look different. Masks, hand washing stations, dividers... more things to keep us apart. With the tension that boiled over during the summer, I wanted to make sure that my students know that I side with the side of justice. I want my students to know that I am for them. I want them to know that seeking and spreading justice is within their hands, even if they aren't permitted to be within six feet of each other. So I came up with the idea of a sign to go beside our bottle of hand sanitizer that states, "Spread Justice, Not Germs."

I used an image from Cricut Design Space called "Strong, Black, and Proud."

Since I wanted to add my own words, I needed to remove the ones already present in the image. I was able to do that by clicking "Contour" on the bottom right, then "hide all contours." After that, I was able to select only the shapes in the fist to use in my design. 

I wanted a bold font, so I used the font "A Frightful Affair" available in Cricut Design Space. I got the words positions around the graphic and welded the entire project into one cut.

I used my Cricut Maker, but the entire project is small enough to be made using the new Cricut Joy available now starting at $179! I also used permanent vinyl to make sure it wouldn't peel after it had been applied.

Once it was cut, I applied it to a small chalkboard so it would be able to stand by the hand sanitizer bottle. I have shared the Spread Justice Not Germs as a public project on Cricut Design Space, so feel free to make your own by clicking the link!

Mugs Made Easy with the Cricut Mug Press

 I don't know if you've noticed, but... I'm a little obsessed with coffee. Big surprise, I know. For me, it's not just about...