A Decorating Tip, A Trip to Target, & A Linky Party

What a BUSY week this has been!  I started new teacher inservice on Monday. That was also the first day for my boys to go to “school”.  This is the first time they’ve been somewhere structured.  We’ve been blessed with the most amazing in-home caregivers since my oldest was just a baby.  We continue to feel blessed beyond measure because this little place they’re at now feels so much like home…it’s just AMAZING and the boys LOVE it!!!  There are definitely benefits to small town living!! 

I spent LOTS of late nights up at school the last couple of weeks just trying to get everything sorted and ready for the first day {pictures coming soon!!!}.  Real quick, I just wanted so say “thank you” to everyone who left comments telling me how to decorate with cinder block walls.  I told y’all I ordered teacher tape…but I lied {sort of}.  I ordered some online, but I guess I never clicked the “submit” button.  I waited for it to come in the mail and when I looked on my bank statement, I realized there was no charge.  Soooo…I was getting pretty impatient and decided to use hot glue like y’all suggested.  Some of you guys said y’all had a TERRIBLE time getting it off the walls, so I was a little scared.  BUT…I’m excited to tell y’all I found a little trick to make things easier. 

PAINTER’S TAPE!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Slightly random and I don’t even know why I had painters tape handy, but it works!  Just adhere the painter’s tape to the back of whatever you’re workin' with…butcher paper, border, etc.  Hot glue on top of the painter’s tape and stick it to the wall.  If you’re as anal as I am about the way things look, then you might like to put things up and take them down a million times before it’s *just right*.  With painter’s tape, things pop right off the wall with no damage and no sticky residue left behind!  Now, y’all might know that already, but I didn’t and I’m pretty excited about it.  SO…if you’re new to cinder block decorating like I am, then there’s a little tip you might find useful :) 

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I took a little trip to Target yesterday after I got a text from an old co-worker/friend of mine showing me something she bought for her classroom.  My friend, Jill, is one of my most favorite people in the world.  I love her and all of her fabulous ideas….AND… I love to give credit where credit is due, so this idea is totally hers. 

I bought a class set of these JUMBO, stretchable book covers {just $1.00 each! in the school supply section at Target}

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I brought them to the classroom and turned them into CHAIR POCKETS!!!!!!!!!!!

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Do you hear me screaming right now?!?!?  Is this not the greatest idea ever ?!?!?!?{THANK YOU JILL!!!}  I’ve been eyeing chair pockets for a lifetime now, but I never wanted to spend the money.  I’d love to make a fabric set, but I can’t sew.  And quite frankly, these are just *perfect*.

They’ll come out of the package looking like this…

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So you’ll want to turn one of the pockets inside out.

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Now just slide the inside-out pocket over the back of the chair and let the other pocket hang.  Voila!  A $1 chair pocket!!!

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I don’t really have a space to store book baskets like I did in my previous classroom, so I plan on using my chair pockets as guided reading/book pockets…these would be GREAT for keeping “read to self” books for Daily 5!

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They had A LOT of precious patterned book covers in all different colors, but I went with solid colors based on Jill’s recommendation.  If you turn the patterned book covers inside out, one side of the fabric isn’t the same as the other and it just looks funky!  So…I went with solids & I love it! 

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Head to your nearest Target and get ‘em while you can!  FOR $1, people!!  You can’t beat it!!!!

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In other news, I went {online} shopping the other night and took advantage of the BIG sitewide sale on Teachers Pay Teachers!  I’m linking up with Blog Hoppin’ today to show y’all what I bought!  SO excited! 

First up, Kathleen’s Backpack Boogie back to school packet!!!  LOVE!!

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I’ll also be using her calendar bundle to start the year.  Some of y’all have my Calendar Companion and I absolutely LOVE that…especially for first grade and up.   What I love about Kathleen’s calendar packet is that it’s perfect for Kindergarten…and it grows with them as the year progresses!!!!   I’ll use her calendar bundle to start the year along with some of the printables from my little companion and then switch over to my Calendar Companion as they get closer to first grade…or not?!?!! I’m SO excited about this!!!

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Here’s a little collaborative writing packet from the brilliant minds of Deedee Wills & Deanna Jump!  Can’t wait to put it to use!

I’m also LOVING this Crazy for Kinders packet from Abby.  So fun!

I really wanted this one to organize myself for a new year!  This is a great resource from Rachelle!

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Finally, I really wanted to try something new this year in math!  I fell in LOVE with this fun little packet from the one and only, Sarah Cooley!!  LOVE!

I’m also obsessed with this back to school unit from Mrs. Lee!!!!!  LOVE her stuff!!!!

Whew!  I *think* I’m ready for the new year!!  How about you?!?!  Link up your purchases over at Blog Hoppin!  Just click on the button below to check out some other great products!!! 

Sneak a Peek

Be back soon for a room tour and some new ideas!! 

52 comments:

  1. You are a freaking super genius for those chair pockets!!!! :-)
    ~ Rachel at Sub Hub

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    1. You're so funny Rachel!! TOTALLY NOT my idea!!! My sweet friend Jill clued me in on this one ;) I LOVE IT!!!!!!!

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  2. Wish I wasn't in grad class right now because I want to get to Target and get these! Love this idea!! Love this blog site!!

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  3. I love this idea about the painter's tape! I am starting in a new classroom that has cinder block and I am so glad that I saw this post! Thanks Cara :) AND I actually saw the chair pocket idea on Pinterest somewhere... I love it! I hope my pockets look as good as yours! You are a rockstar!

    --Holly
    learningadventureswithmrsgerlach.blogspot.com

    P.S. I have been looking at your blog for MONTHS... You are incredible! You are actually what inspired me to start my own classroom blog. Thanks for sharing :)

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    1. Awww....thanks Holly! You're so sweet! I clearly haven't been pinning enough!!! HOW the heck did I miss this idea?!?!? I bet this is where my friend got it from!!!! Whoever is responsible for it is a dang genius!!! I LOVE IT!!!

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  4. Ok girl! You just totally made my day. Thanks for the shout out {Woot!} and thank you SO much for the chair pocket idea. Straight up genius! I tried pillow cases, but they were too flimsy. The book covers will be perfect!!! Yay! One of my problems solved!!!

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  5. The chair pockets are such an awesome idea! Thanks for sharing!

    The REAL Teachers of Orange County

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  6. Wow! I love the chair pockets! Now I want to go to Target :) I hope you have a wonderful school year :) You are an inspiration! Thank you for sharing your wonderful ideas!
    Alexa
    http://bilingualscrapbook.blogspot.com/

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  7. I saw the book cover chair idea on Pinterest too! I hustled myself to Target and snatched up a class set. Everyone was staring as I dug thru the bin for the colors I wanted (blue and green) and began making little stacks in the aisle haha. Unfortunately, there weren't enough and I had to expand my color selection to yellow as well. Oh well, they look super cute and I'm going to use them to hold our dry erase sheet, expo marker, and sock. It took FOREVER to pass all that stuff out last year so I hope this solves that problemo! :)
    Samantha

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    1. DANGIT!!! Seriously...where have I been?!?! I haven't seen that yet!!! I bet that's where my friend got the idea! HA!!! Yes...everyone was staring at me, too!! But it was worth it ;)

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  8. Seriously the chair pockets from book covers is the best idea EVER. I screamed when my neighbor showed me the trick last week during pre planning. I broke them out today with my Kinders and they worked GREAT!! Where has this been all my life??

    Danielle

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  9. Cara,
    Thanks so much for posting this awesome chair pocket idea! I'm so sad because I just went to Target today. Oh well, a good excuse to go back, right? I absolutely love your blog, I've been stalking it for awhile but I'm finally an "official" follower since I started a blog! I'm also moving from 1st to K this year, so I can't wait to see all your great ideas!
    -Jessica
    Hearts Flowers and Kindergarten

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  10. Thanks for sharing the chair pocket idea. I can't wait to try it. Here's hoping Target has a good supply left. Thanks again!

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  11. Oh my goodness!!! And I have been to 5 different Targets in the past 2 weeks and passed those by every time (yeah, there are actually 8 Targets in NYC area). I’m going back this weekend! Thanks for this!!!

    - Kate
    windowsintomyclassroom.blogspot.com

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  12. Oh my gosh - the chair pocket idea is fabulous! I bought a TON of the stretchable book covers at Walmart last year after B2S on clearance for 10 cents each! I thought, I don't know what I will do with these, but couldn't pass up the deal. I think I have 30! Hello, chair pockets! Thanks for sharing...

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  13. It's 10:54 PM in sunny Florida and I just got back from Target. OMG... I cannot thank you enough for all that you do and have done for me. Thanks so much, Cara! I am blooming into a better teacher each day because of you! Blessings unto you!

    <3 Shaneka

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  14. I did this too!! I need some orange ones though and can't find them anywhere!! They were on sale for 80 cents after I paid $1 so I went and got my money back! :)

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  15. Thank you so much for the idea of using the painter's tape to hot glue on cinder block walls! I've seen the chair pockets, but THAT idea is genius! I've had a roll of butcher paper propped against my cinder block wall all week, trying to figure out how to hang it and YOU just solved that dilema! YOU're the best! Thanks, again!

    ~Tanya
    Mrs. Dwyer’s A+ Firsties

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  16. What a fantastic idea! Thanks for sharing Cara and Jill! I want to run to Target right now a grab some book covers, shucks it's late! Oh well, tomorrow. I love your blog!!

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  17. Oh I just hot glued some stuff to the wall today. I wish I had seen the painters tape trick sooner. Oh well, next time I guess.

    M

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  18. Thanks so much for the painter's tape trick. I love hot glue and hot glue everything up...my custodians love me when it is time to paint the room :)

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  19. If I wasn't still in my pajamas I would run to Target right now! What a fabulous idea!
    I have had the cinder block wall situation before- I wish I had known about the painter's tape trick!
    Carol
    Still Teaching After All These Years

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  20. Thanks for these ideas! I'm pinning your chair pockets ;)

    ✿Valerie
    All Students Can SHINE

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  21. Maybe a stupid question but how will you stack chairs w cover on it and books. We have to stack or put upside down on desk. But don't want all stuff to fall out or worry about whos chair goes where. Any thoughts

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    1. Maybe you could 'spin' the pocket around in the afternoon and let the pocket part and its contents rest in the seat where a bum would sit. ???

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  22. What an awesome idea. Especially for people who can't whip out a pattern and sew it. So impressed!

    ஐRikki
    The Hive

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  23. Masking tape works too! It definitely takes more time but is totally worth it!! My suitemate taught me this trick 5 years ago and I'm so glad!!

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  24. BRILLIANT! I too have been thinking about pocket chairs... LOVE!! Thanks for sharing!

    Shayla

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  25. What a great idea! I love your bracelet too! =)

    If you get the chance, I would love for you to come read about our ready confetti and jitter glitter. =)


    Heather
    Heather's Heart

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  26. Oh my I love this idea for the books! I'm going to look for these tomorrow! Thank you for sharing!!!

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  27. I came across your blog a few months ago. I am a future teacher and your ideas are greatly appreciated! The book cover idea is great, I can't wait to see pictures of your new classroom. I hope you & your kiddos have a great start to the new school year.

    Courtney

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  28. What font do you use to sign your name at the end of each blog post? It's so cute!

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  29. Does anyone know what kind of fabric the book covers are made of? Is it a vinyl? I am just wondering how durable they would be? Anyone have experience with them?

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    1. A stretchy nylon. They are durable enough that the students most likely will not damage them. However, they won't hold lots of heavy items so you will need to be selective as to what you place inside of them. Hope that answered your question.

      Terena at The Kinder Cupboard

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  30. Thanks to you and your friend for the chair pockets idea! I went to Target already!

    I've been wanting chair pockets for YEARS. I cannot wait to put them to good use!

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  31. LOVE LOVE LOVE the painter tape/chair pockets idea! The glue comes off of the wall without damaging the wall? We've been able to staple for quite awhile, but I think that is about to change. We've tried using sticky tack, masking tape, regular tape, but our rooms become so humid and everything falls off. So we're trying to come up with different ideas in getting things to stick to the walls and NOT damage them : )

    eviburk@gmail.com

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  32. Fabulous Idea I can't wait to get to target.
    Thanks so much for sharing.
    Claire

    www.firstgradesmarties.blogspot.com

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  33. Love, Love, Love all these ideas!!

    http://firstthingsfirst2012.blogspot.com/

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  34. I too purchased these when Target first started carrying school supplies. They are terrific and an inexpensive solution to those of us who do not sew! Just don't put too much inside the pockets or they will begin to sag.

    Terena at The Kinder Cupboard

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  35. Thanks so much for the chair pocket idea! I bought them last night and took them to my new class today. I looked silly sorting color piles on the floor but that's ok. :)

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  36. This idea is amazing! I ran to two different Targets and I could only collect 17! Fingers crossed I can find enough for 24 kids! :)

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  37. This is such a great idea for books when space is an issue! Thanks for sharing!

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  38. Next time you go to Target grab the bubble microphones. I grabbed a class set to use as birthday gifts. We are going to sing Happy Birthday with it and then that kiddo will get to take it home. They are adorable and I made a cute little tag to go with it. I would love for you to come and check it out. =)

    Heather
    Heather's Heart

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  39. I love, love, love this idea! I almost bought the plastic tubs for Daily 5 but these chair pockets are perfect!!!

    Thanks for sharing!

    Andrea
    http://groovyeducator.blogspot.com/

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  40. SHUT the front door! I love, love, love your chair pocket solution. I spent the summer making a set for my classroom (okay, half of them are finished and I need to finish the other half...) and then I see this super easy solution?!?! :) They look awesome!

    Thank you for sharing!

    Jana

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  41. so did you put the glue on the side that goes against the wall or the side that goes against your picture?

    come over to see my new blog design
    Melissa
    Pre-Schooler Daze

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  42. I LOVE the tip about hot glue. It has made classroom setup SO much easier! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

    Deb
    Mixed Bag of Crazy

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  43. Ok I'm in the same boat, I really want to get chair covers, but WAY to expensive. This idea is perfect, thanks for sharing!

    Dynelle
    http://firstgradefunmrsdunn.blogspot.ca/

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  44. The stretchy book covers are a great idea for storing a few things, but you will soon find that they stretch out and flip all of the contents on to the floor if you put too much in them. I used stretchy book covers for 3 years, but this year I will be using The Original Seat Sack!

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