I've been working on my room for a couple of hours a day for the past couple of weeks. I have gotten a lot done, but there's still so much more to do! We report for the first day of pre-planning on Monday but it's ok. I work best under pressure!

I just wanted to share this quick and simple tip with you. My brain does NOT work this way, so I have to give credit to my husband for this one. My dilemma was that I wanted to hang this heavy wooden alligator from Hobby Lobby on my Brain Builder task card bulletin board.

When I tried to hang it with just a push pin and the metal hanger on the back, it was way too wobbly for me. I could just imagine a kid grabbing as set of cards and having that gator bonk him on the head which is a huge no-no.

So Jeff came up with a great idea, that totally worked. We used velcro! But I didn't want to put the adhesive part of the velcro directly onto the painted surface of the bulletin board because if I ever remove it, I don't want the paint coming with it.  So what we did was to first determine where he would go on the board and temporarily place him with push pins holding him up.

But nothing was securing him to the wall and it was way too flimsy. So we then stapled one side of the velcro to the board without removing the adhesive strip.

Then we stuck the other side of the strip on to the part we just stapled. THEN we exposed the adhesive. Then we pushed the gator into place which stuck the velcro to the back. In the end, I left of the push pins too even though it really feels strong enough with the velcro alone, but better safe than sorry!

The finished result:

The wooden alligator is from Hobby Lobby, I picked him up last year. He's our school mascot, so he's been just hanging around with no real purpose until now. I finally opened my YEAR OLD Silhouette Cameo and figured out how to work it (I KNOW!) to make the vinyl letters. Love how it turned out!

If you're interested in the task cards, I've got tons in my shop, but you can find the main bundles HERE and HERE.

Well, I'm off to enjoy my last weekend before we report back on Monday. If anyone sees my summer, can you please return it?  I seem to have misplaced it and I'd really like it back!

Glad that you were able to join us for the third annual Orange Ya' Glad it's a Blog Hop!
I am the

If you have hopped with us in the past, some things will be familiar, and some things will be new!
This year, all of our bloggers are focusing on free tips or ideas that they can share with you to get your school year off to a great start.  Some ideas will have a freebie, others might just be a stand alone concept.  The idea is to try and share things that will solve problems and create a happy and stress free first few weeks!

Today I'm sharing an idea for a fun first day activity that my team and I have been doing for a couple of years and it's always a HUGE hit. It's practically zero prep for you, so win-win!  I think ice-breakers fall into two categories for most kids - exciting or terrifying. Your outgoing, verbal kids love them and get super into them. Your shy, introverted kids can't wait for them to be over. This one usually works really well for both kinds of kids. And it involves play-doh - what kid doesn't like play-doh!? I'm sure there are probably some, but luckily I haven't found one yet.

So, this is super simple. Give each kid a little mini-tub of play-doh and let them explore for a few minutes. Then tell them to use it to create something that they can use to tell about themselves. I usually model something quick like a coffee cup or apple while they're sculpting so I can start things off.

The explanations are usually pretty awesome.
Huge water slide on a cruise ship:

A girl and her family:

Baking cookies with grandma:

Pancake breakfasts on the weekend:

I love science!

Taking care of the dog:

Instead of putting each child on the spot and making them talk in front of the whole class, I have half of the class stay with their creation and let the other half wander around. Then they chat informally with each other. Then we switch. It's a great way to get the conversation flowing in a very non-threatening, fun environment! Sometimes you can find mini-tubs of play-doh(ish stuff) at Dollar Tree. So far this year, it's been a little hard to find them there. You can get this set of 10 on Amazon for $4.99.
So back to the hop. I'm letter

 The letters all work together to give you the name of a type of orange!  This year is a bit tricky...it's a two word name!  **Hint: Starting on my blog and going through will give you the right answer!** 

Once you've solved the puzzle...take a picture of the answer.  
Post it on instagram and hashtag it with #orangehop2015.  We love original ideas...so, do something fun with your image!

We will go through the pictures and select a winner.

Next up is another amazing Sunshine State blogger, the adorableTammy 
The Resourceful Apple. 

For the third year in a row, I'm joining with some wonderful Florida bloggers to give you some great back to school ideas to start the year off right! You can look forward to seeing tips  and winning prizes from the following Florida PreK-5 bloggers!

Please join us on Saturday, August 8th at 12 noon!

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