Wednesday, May 6, 2015

String It Up Art

My students and I just completed what I think is probably the coolest art project we've done this year - String Art!  I've been wanting to do a string art project for about the past 6 years now and finally decided this was the year.  Instead of doing my usual Mother's Day gift that I do every year, I planned ahead and order the supplies to complete this totally awesome project.  The results are awesome and I'm so glad I did it.  I think the students' mothers are going to love them!  I will definitely do this again each year with my class.

In order to do this project, you will need the following items:

  • Unfinished Wooden Painting Panels - I did 12 x 12 x 1 inch boards.  The BEST price I found was on Consumer Crafts for only $5.97
  • Paint and paint brushes
  • Wire Nails - I used 8 Gauge 5/8 inch Galvanized Wire Nails because they have the head so string doesn't slip off
  • Hammer - I sent home a request for families to send in a hammer and the students shared them
  • String Art Pattern - I created my own and copied it for students
  • Tape

Painted boards
Once you have your supplies, the first thing you do is have the students paint their wooden panel in a color they choose.  After the paint has dried, they should tape on the pattern.  I told the students to do this carefully to ensure that the pattern was not off-centered.  After they have decided where to place it, they should use a piece of tape to keep it in place.  

Now comes the LOUD part - hammering in the nails. I was a bit nervous about having students do this at first, but no injuries happened. They should put a nail on each of the dots.  We talked about how deep the nails should go in - not too deep or they won't be able to put string around them.  

Once the nails are in, they should carefully pull the pattern off.  When they do this, they make discover they didn't hammer in a nail deep enough and may have to redo a few.  

Pull off the pattern
Outline the pattern with string first
Now comes time for the string.  First, I had my students do the outline of the shape by looping around each nail.  After they have completed that, they can begin to create their design.  The best part about this project, is each will look different depending on how they string it together.  I would cut my students off pieces of string, and when they would run out, they would get another piece and knot them together.  Have them cut off the excess string and keep going.  Once they are finished, tie off the final end and trim up any excess.

You can end the project there, or you can allow them to add decorative elements or words to their panel with paint. Regardless, they will each have a unique final wall piece to hang up at home!  

How fun are some of these that my kids did?

Have you ever done a string art project?  How'd it turn out?


Friday, January 9, 2015

Free Your Time With Fifth Grade Freebies

Thanks for stopping on by and participating in the Free Your time With Fifth Grade Freebies Blog Hop!  I'm happy to have you here.  :-)  In case you haven't stopped by my blog before, allow me the opportunity to introduce myself.  

So now it's time for my freebie for you all.  We just finished learning about Life Science and animal adaptations.  So to help my students review and reflect upon what they learned, they created an Animal Adaptation Popplet.  Since I have 1:1 iPads, I love using the Popplet app (it's available online too at, however, if you don't have access to computer, I'm also providing you the project guidelines sheet using just poster board.   Here's an example from my class:

Basically, I took a list of different animals from different habitats and randomly assigned each one of my students a different one.  It was their job to research their animal and create the Popplet/Poster for it.  The Popplet app makes it very easy to create this poster, however, students can easily do the same thing with some poster board or construction paper.  

Hopefully you will find this project as an easy and fun way for your students to do a little bit of research and share their findings with you.   You can get your free copy by downloading it here.  

Thanks again for stopping on by.  Check back soon to for more great technology resources and to hear about some of the fun things we are doing in our classroom.  Now it's time for you to head on over to Creativity in the Common Core Classroom.  

And remember, when you are all done checking out all the amazing authors that help contribute on Fifth Grade Freebies, be sure to stop by our page and enter to win one of THREE $25 TpT gift cards. 



Sunday, December 7, 2014

My Favorite Things

I am so excited to be participating in this AMAZING blog hop, sponsored by Laura from Where the Magic Happens Blog.  There are 100 of us who have signed up to share our favorite things with you and you even have the opportunity to win a prize pack full of them!!

So here we go...

My first favorite thing has to do with my all time favorite make-up item.  Have you ever heard of Younique's 3D Fiber Mascara?!?  If you have, and haven't jumped on the bandwagon, you seriously must!! This stuff is so fabulous that after ordering it and putting it on I was hooked.  I than shared it with my sister who also thought it was the greatest thing since sliced bread and she became hooked.  

Before & After 
So we did what any perfectly human women would do.....and became consultants! haha  Seriously, look at this before and after picture.  We all know that as teachers our time is valuable and trying to look put together is necessary.  I am now able to do some cover-up, mascara and a bit of lip gloss and I'm feeling like a million bucks!  Between my Younique and Jamberry nails (never tried Jamberry??? Fill out this form for a free sample), I'm a simple and easy beauty routine type of girl. :-)

Every Christmas Season I look forward to my favorite holiday tradition of all - Santa Pictures with my beautiful girls!!  And as you can see, this year's picture did not disappoint.  This photo sums up our little girls' personalities to a T. haha  On another note, if you live by one of the malls that offers the Dreamworks Dreamplace Santa experiences, you MUST go!  Best one we have ever been too and worth every penny.  

Finally, my 3rd favorite thing has to do with an awesome art activity project known as Squirrel King Craft Kits.  One of my awesome mothers of a student in my class donated a whole class set of this fun project.  Each kit comes shaped as an acorn.  
Once you pop that thing open, you will find all of the items you need to create your own adorable squirrel.  Look at these fabulous pics of the squirrels my students created.  Each student had to create a squirrel that represented their classroom job.  We then put them all together and created the City of Lyonville! haha I love it!

Be sure to head over to the Squirrel King website and Facebook and give them a like.  They have teamed up with me this December to offer one of you, your very own Squirrel King Craft Kit.  After you have created your squirrel, you can submit their photo to their webpage.  Come on!!!  Does it get any cuter!?!

However, I also recommend getting your own and not waiting.  Every Christmas tree needs one of these super fun (and CUTE) kits underneath them this year.  It will be the most unique present you could give someone special! 

Finally, as a very Merry Christmas to you, I would like to offer you my Winter Themed Math Task Cards with QR Codes at 50% off.  Head on over to my TpT store to get your copy. :-)

Because we value our followers and wanted to treat you to our favorite things Oprah style, we have put together the best giveaway of the season! My bloggy friends and I welcome you to the best, biggest, most cheerful event of the season:

7 winners for 7 prize packs!

Come and enter the giveaway and check out my bloggy friends' favorite things:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Jamberry Giveaway - A $750 Value!!

I am beyond excited to announce this fabulous giveaway.  I have partnered up with 49 other independent consultants to bring you this ultimate Jamberry Nail product prize!  One winner will walk away with 50 (YES - FIFTY!) nail wraps or lacquers of their choice on December 1st.  Perfect to keep for yourself or split up and give away as gifts for the upcoming holidays.

So, you want to know how to enter?  It's easy!!

Choose one of the entry options below and complete it using your consultant that referred you (that's me!!) to the giveaway. (must be one of the 50 consultants who are sponsoring the giveaway and I am one of them).  
  • Entry Options:
    • Requesting a sample and posting a 7-day challenge picture - worth 1 entry (no purchase necessary). You can request your sample by filling out this form. When asked about which party you are apart of, put "Jam Wrap Up"
    • Purchase a Holiday Gift Box - worth 2 entries (Currently sold out in less than 4 hours - check back Monday for more information on new ones!)
    • Purchase a Buy 3, Get 1 Free - worth 3 entries
    • Order the Stylebox for 3 months - worth 4 entriesHost a party during that calendar month that has $150 in sales or more - worth 5 entries
After you place your order at or submit your 7-day challenge picture to me at, you will go to and put your valid entry in the rafflecopter.  Be sure you have the following information to enter. 
  1. Consultant's Name so me - Katie Lyon
  2. Order Number (if applicable)

The Fine Print
  • Open to U.S. Residents Only
  • No Purchase Necessary to participate in the sample and 7-day challenge picture
  • Contestants can enter multiple times for each valid purchase entry
  • Contestants who enter false information will automatically be disqualified
  • Contestants MUST ORDER from one of the 50 participating independent consultants who are sponsoring this giveaway.  I am one of them. :-)

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

The Walking Classroom - The First Few Weeks

There was nothing more exciting this school year than announcing to my class and their parents that we would be participating in The Walking Classroom program this year.  If you have never heard of this amazing program, I highly encourage you go to their website and check it out.  The whole idea behind it is to get students out there doing aerobic activity multiple times a week to help build brain cells WHILE listening to a podcast on subjects ranging from language arts, science and social studies.  The best part? Each podcast is tied into the standards, making it easy to justify spending this time.

I had been on the waiting list for a few years hoping (praying!) that I would be able to get a class set donated to my 5th grade.  I was beyond elated when I got an email during the summer that my wait was over!  The Walking Classroom Organization themselves, were providing a grant to my school and would send me the walk kits. I'm telling you the day I received that box in the mail it was like Christmas!!

You get a binder full of lesson plans that go with each of the podcasts on the walk kits.  Each of the lesson plans come with a comprehension quiz to go a long with it.  The walk kits come preloaded with the content on them, so there is no extra work (with the exception of putting the batteries in and strapping on the lanyards!) Easy peasy!   The Walking Classroom was developed by former 5th grade teacher, Laura Fenn, M.S., Ed when she saw there was a need for student activity during the day.

And student activity is what you get with this program!  My students and I venture out into our neighborhood taking a the same 1.1 mile walk three times every week.  Yes, you read that right!  Three times a week my students and I are out there Walking, Listening, and Learning!!   That is over 3 miles that I am working into class time EVERY SINGLE WEEK.

Labeled and stored in cubbies in the classroom
If you were to ask my students how they felt about the walking classroom you would get an array of answers.  But the most commonly said phrase is, "I love it!"   And they aren't kidding.  My students have really come to enjoy this time of the day where we get to take a break from the classroom walls and get outside.

A couple of weeks ago, we were even featured on ABC 7 Los Angeles for our participation in this awesome program.  It was exciting to see my students get their moment of fame for something so positive!  Even better, is the support we get from our school community about it.  Students who aren't in 5th grade are looking forward to participating when they are, and those who are past 5th grade in our middle school are sad they didn't get the opportunity.  Even better is they have recently developed the curriculum for 4th grade, which our school is looking into purchasing.

So far, my class has walked over 25 miles this school year and it's only the end of October!  Already, I am seeing a difference in my kids and their fitness level, as well as their attentiveness when we get back.  This is a program I would recommend for every school!

Head on over and check it out!  This program is definitely worth looking into.

Have you ever heard of The Walking Classroom?  If you are interested in applying for your own grant or purchasing the program, check out this link.

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