Weekend Warriors: The Glue Sponge

I’m back for part 2 of Weekend Warriors back to school tips and tricks.

I’m actually doing a throwback post. Do you do a lot of crafts in your classroom? I do. Do you use a lot of interactive notebooks? I do. Are you constantly fighting a glue battle with your kids? I am. I hate glue bottles because no matter how much you practice “dot, dot, not a lot”, your papers still end up messy and they always get stuck together. I have a love hate relationship with glue sticks. The kids either mash them down to hard and they break, or they loose the lid and they dry out.  I have a solution to fix those problems. Are you ready??? The GLUE SPONGE! You can read my original post about them here.

I posted a picture last week on my IG and facebook pages of my glue sponges and my comments blew up with questions about what it was and how it was used. Ya’ll, this is the best thing since slice bread for a teacher. They are absolutely perfect for crafts, journals, and all those small pieces of paper. They are super simple to set up. Here is what you need:

Glue Sponges by Saddle Up For 2nd Grade

Tupperware containers. (I got mine from the dollar store. Make sure that the lids close tightly.

Soft sponges

Elmers glue (I have never used a different brand but I’m sure it would work too.)

I always purchase enough for each group/table to have one. Last year a I made 4, this year I made 8. Lay your sponges in your Tupperware containers and pour and entire bottle of glue over the sponge. 

Glue Sponges by Saddle Up For 2nd Grade

That’s all you do!! Close the lid, and let them sit for at least a day before using them. I made mine on a Friday and they were ready to go for Monday. The glue soaks up into the sponge.

When your ready to use them for crafts, all your students do is dab their paper onto the sponge. It puts the perfect amount of glue onto the paper. No mess at all!

Glue Sponges by Saddle Up For 2nd Grade

Glue Sponges by Saddle Up For 2nd Grade

About once a week, I’ll squirt water onto the sponges. Last year, the glue lasted me until about March. Then I just poured another bottle onto the sponge and I was good to go. Not to mention that the kids LOVE them. They think they are so cool.

If you haven’t tried glue sponges in your class, I highly recommend them.

Now click on the links below to check out more great back to school tips.


Weekend Warriors: New Students Bags

I’m back with my Weekend Warrior gals to bring you some back to school cool tips!

At the beginning of every year, we rush around with our heads cut off trying to get copies ran and forms together for parents to fill out. The first week of school we spend so much time setting everything up for the year. When we think it’s all settled down, here comes the new student and you rush around once again to try and get everything together for them. Two years ago, I got six new students in one year. I don’t mind getting a new student at all. It’s all a part of it. I don’t like spending time out of that day trying to get everything together for that student. You know what I’m talking about, the journal set up, behavior calendar, and anything else that they might use daily. Here is my solution to fix that headache. At the beginning of the year, when I’m making all of my back to school copies, I make 5 extra sets.

New Student Bags by Saddle Up For 2nd Grade

I take everything a new student might need and put it in a Ziploc baggie. Shown above is everything I passed out at meet the teacher. Included is my classinformation packet with our schedule and info, a letter about class dojo, a copy of our dojo behavior tracker, their 2nd grade helper, and their writer’s notebook setup (I’ll be blogging about this soon, so stay tuned.) This includes their spelling dictionary.

New Student Bags by Saddle Up For 2nd Grade

 I put these baggies in my filing cabinet. When I get a new student, I pull one out and it has everything they need. I’m not running around during my conference time trying to get everything together. It’s so helpful and takes no time at all.

I hope this b2s tip has been helpful. Don’t forget to click on the links below to visit other WW posts for some great tips.


Classroom Tour 2014

The time as come for the big reveal! I'm not gonna lie....I'm flat out EXHAUSTED! Let me give you a little run down. They repainted my classroom and I got new carpet this summer. I had to take everything down off my walls (except the red one because I didn't want it painted over). They repainted my walls in July. Once they were finished I was able to start getting my walls prettified but still couldn't really set anything up because of our carpet getting fixed. It was installed last week!!!! Here is my classroom a less than a week ago.  My walls were done but nothing else. 

Our professional development week started last Monday so there were many late nights working this week. As tired as I am, it is all worth it. I'm really happy with how my classroom turned out this year. I still have some few minor things to do like labeling. My printer is out of ink...the school color printer is out of ink...my husband said I can't buy ink until next paycheck which is Monday, so I'm toughing it out and waiting a few days. 

Now on to the good stuff! 

Here is my hallway. I really love my display this year. At first, I had all the camera name tags stapled to the wall like you see here. I actually gained a few students and got tired of unstapling and restapling so I hot glued them to clothespins and hung them with a tac. 

The bulletin board outside my door holds my class list, a where are we sign, and I'll post our cafeteria calendar and other important info for parents. 

I'm kinda sorta in LOVE with my door display this year! I printed my Melonheadz characters in poster size, taped them together, then laminated to make them large. I've gotten a lot of complements on them. EEKK!

Here's the view you see when you first walk into my room. Yes, I have a bright red wall. It was like that when this classroom became my home away from home. I love it! It matches my Red Raider personality! :) 

When you walk into my room, and go to the left, this is the wall you will see. It holds my reading focus wall, writing tips and tricks, grammar posters, and my AR board. 

The photo on the far right is my AR board. You can read all about how I keep track of AR points and get a freebie here
I love these grammar posters from A Cupcake for a Teacher!

I don't have room for student mailboxes in my classroom. I never have. I use something called a "pick up folder." I have hanging files in a crate and it works perfectly. You can read all about how I use this here.

Here is my desk area.

I used some of my favorite clip art to decorate this year.

I moved this small bookshelf next to my desk. I'm going to place seasonal books there. I had planned on painting it this summer and that obviously didn't happen.

This is what the front of my room looks like. You can get the number posters here, the alphabet line here (these are actually my word wall headers turned alphabet line), and my classroom rules FREEBIE here. I bought my chevron rug from Wal-Mart online last year.

The magnetic pocket charts came from Mardel, you can get my zebra and glitter calendar set here, and the schedule cards are a freebie from Cara Carroll.

Here is a closer look at my writing center. You can read about my interactive word wall here and you can click here to purchase it in my TPT store.. Find out all about my filing cabinet makeover here. 

My math station chart is set up and ready to go. 

This is my station area. The brown shelf holds my math stations for the week and the plastic shelf will hold word work options. See those key boards in the far right pic...our tech guy threw them in the trash can so I swiped them! Perfect for WW and spelling words. 
My entire red wall is dedicated to math poster and resources. 

I'm really loving my classroom library. In the past, I've organized my books by AR level. This year I decided to switch to genres. You can get the labels here from Owl in a Vowel Tree.

I don't have a ton of space so I bought these crates from Wal-Mart and zip tied them together. I still have a few basest to label. There is also a larger shelf to the left of the crates that holds all of my fiction books. You can see it in the larger picture above.

My entire back wall is floor to ceiling shelves except for right here where my backpack hooks are.

Here are the floor to ceiling shelves I was talking about. My curtains aren't very pretty right now. That is another project that didn't go right. I'll explain later. They are just there for now to cover up the mess that is on those shelves. LOL

My class size has almost doubled from last year so to save space I had to take out my listening center area and place it on one of these shelves. 

All of my crayons are sorted into tubs. This is the fourth year I have done this and I absolutely love it. No more kids digging through a big tub trying to find the color they need. You can get the labels as a freebie here.

I use these cute classroom helpers signs from A Cupcake for the Teacher. My Daily 5 clip chart is a FREEBIE in my TPT store. It's offered in zebra, polka dot, strips and chevron.

This cabinet is right by my door. The pocket chart hold synonym sticks for writing. Last year I had these as a large bulletin board called "fry flat words" and they were in french fry containers. I don't know what to call them this year. Suggestions????

There it is! My home away from home. We start back tomorrow and although I'm already exhausted, I'm really excited for the new school year and the new adventure it'll bring. 

Back to Top