Sunday, August 5, 2012

Waiting, Debating and Creating

     It's no secret that every little girl thinks her Dad is the strongest man in the whole world.  I now also believe that most grown-up girls think so, too. My Dad just had his surgery for the Big C (I still can't say the word . . .) and boy is he a trooper! Although the anticipated 5 hour operation turned into a 9 hour ordeal, he came through like a rock star! The doctors got out everything that needed to come out, reconstructed a few vital things, then stitched him back up. He's got a long road ahead, but as long as my Mom doesn't knock him out (he's not the best patient), things are looking up. Thanks to everyone who has sent notes of encouragement, they provided a lot of much needed smiles!
     With 9 hours in the waiting room, my Mom, my sisters and I were trying to distract ourselves from worrying.  We all kind of went to our own "comfort zones." My mom did crossword puzzles, my sister Danni knitted (she's making socks for Dad that say "F$#@ Cancer" - how funny is that?) and my sister Squeebie read her Kindle. I went to my go-to place - thinking about school stuff, of course!
     The first thing that kept me occupied was my annual debate about what to put on my big wall.  I like to do something big with the students' names on them, then after taking first day of school pictures, we add their digital photos to the wall as well.  For example, last year I did big train cars with the kids' names on them, and we added their pictures to look like they were riding in the train. This is a picture of what it looked like before the pics were added.
     So, here's my dilemma - what am I going to do this year?? It needs to be something big enough to fit the names horizontally, and also be something that you could potentially ride in or sit on. I don't want to do something that I've already done (spaceships, roller coaster cars, hot air balloons, and rocketships), but I'm drawing a complete blank! Help! Do any of you genius teachers have an idea for my name wall?  I am not above begging - please, please, please leave a comment if you can help me out!
     When I was at the point where I was ready to pull my hair out, I gave up on the wall debate and pulled out my laptop and starting working on a new back to school project.  Being creative always calms me. I like to do a lot of work with names in the beginning of the year, and I like to make something name related for my bulletin board for Open House. I came up with a pretty cute Detective Craftivity that fits the bill and will also let me observe fine motor skills and how well the kids can follow directions. After following the picture directions to make their little detectives, the kids will cut out magazine letters to spell their names.  Sometimes we like to do matching bulletin boards with our 3rd Grade Reading Buddies, so I made a second version with a writing prompt inside, where the big kids can write their learning goals for the year.
     You can check them out in my TPT store, and I'll also send a freebie to the first three people who leave a comment with an idea for my name wall. Remember, it needs to be something I can incorporate the photos into and also be long enough for names.  Thanks for your help!

Have a great night!


  1. You could do something like Name Corral. Since you said something to ride on was thinking horses. Or they could ride on a boat and have something about a School of Names, like they are fishing.

  2. Skateboards? VW bugs? Sailboats? Submarines? Surfboards?

  3. Forgot my email is

  4. What about old mining carts connected together? Or submarines? Even the fronts of safari vehicles would be cute (like just the hood/windows). Even just putting their picture behind a construction paper window frame would be cute!


  5. Blessings to your dad-sounds like a fighter and that he has a wonderful family supporting him. Hang in there.
    To go along with your explorers we did a lil cartoon explorer body and put our students heads on top-super cute. Put them in jeeps with their names on it. Could also do the people with anything-farmer, astronaut, etc. Keep us posted!
    -Christy & Tammy

  6. Virtual hugs during a difficult time!!

    How about...race cars, airplanes, an incredibly long stretch-limo, (lol) submarines, sailboats, a horse??

    Hope these help

  7. Glad to hear your dad did well in surgery. Hope all continues to go well for him!!!


  8. Your detective craftivity is SO cute! You could do go-carts/bumper cars, golf carts, sailboats, or jumparoo balls! :) I can't wait to hear what you picked!!!



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