Back to School DIY Ideas

You'll Glow in 2nd Grade Glow Sticks!

I had a dream the other night, (or nightmare), that I ran out of colored ink in the middle of printing. THAT IS HOW MUCH SCHOOL IS ON MY MIND! Who said that teachers have it easy and don't do any work in the summer? I feel like that's all I've been doing. Last night I spent 3 hours laminating and cutting 100 sheets. 

In service starts tomorrow for me. I've been doing a few things at home so that I can set them up in my classroom ASAP. I also organized my 15 bags of stuff I bought over the summer for the students and classroom. Now I have to figure out how to use it all! When you buy so much, you forget what you've already bought. 

Here's a breakdown of my weekend. 

I made schedule cards that were tailored to my school. Since it is a private religious school, we have a few different subjects that aren't on the schedule cards I saw on TPT, so I decided to make them. I made two versions - one where you can fill in the timings, and one without. I am going to use the ones without because my schedule fluctuates. 

 Another great idea I saw was with the Lowe's toolbox kits. I found wonderful free labels from the MN teacher on TPT. The toolbox cost about 16 dollars. It is going to be so wonderful to not have to rummage through my drawers for these little supplies and get stung by a thumbtack by accident.. :)

DIY Teacher Supply Box - find labels for free on TPT

As for students, they are going to get these cute glow sticks attached to a star that says, "You will glow in second grade." The star templates are from the Bubbly Blond Teacher. I forget how I got them because I'm not sure if they are in her TPT store, so it might have been a freebie at one point on her face book page. Anyway they are super duper cute! I did have a few casualties as I was taping the stick to the back of the star. I bent a few by accident, so they cracked and lit up. Thank goodness I had just enough to still make enough for all my students. I printed the templates on polka dot card stock btw. 

Another thing I was able to accomplish was finishing off my whisper phones. Initially I was only going to make about 6 or so. But then I had so much PVC pipe left over, that I cut it all and got more elbow pieces to make the rest. This way I was able to make about 30!  So any student in the class can use it at any time when they are reading, if they so desire. You can see how I made them HERE. 

While I was over at Home Depot getting the rest of the elbow pieces to fit the whisper phones, I saw paint stirrer sticks. I had remembered that I saw a few teachers use them to attach a name or number on the end and use them as library book place holders so that kids can remember where to return the book. I asked the man who worked in the paint section, (verrrrrry nicely), if he could spare a bunch of paint sticks. He asked what's a bunch? I was hesitant to say 27 because that seems so many! So I just said I figured I could get the rest another day. But he was super nice, grabbed a huge handful, (probably around 30 something), and dropped them in my cart! Very excited to use these!

Phew! This was all done in the last 3 days. Now that I've written it all out, that's quite a lot, considering I had a clingy baby who had just gotten over the flu, hanging on me most of the day. You get very efficient at laminating with one hand and holding a baby with the other when you've had enough practice. 

There were still a few more things I wanted to get done this weekend, but I think I'm going to sit back and enjoy the rest of the day light hours on this last Sunday of summer vacation. *YEA RIGHT*



  1. I LOVE your blog Amna! Didn't realize how much preparing teachers have to do before school starts! Your students are going to love being in your class! Good luck!

  2. oh i just saw this! thanks nida :)

  3. oh i just saw this! thanks nida :)

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