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DIY Dry Erase Pockets

DIY Dry Erase Pockets – Learn how to create cute, colorful and durable dry erase pockets for less than 20 cents each!  You’ll love this easy to follow tutorial and your students will love using dry erase markers in class.  Save your classroom budget and save time at the copier.  This is a great teacher hack!

I am such a big fan of working in a paperless classroom.  It is not completely possible, but I love to find ways to save paper AND save myself from hours at the copy machine.  For the last 10 years or more I've been using lap packs.  Lap packs are copies of the treble staff in various sizes, a blank piece of paper and other sheets that I used every day in class.  I pop these into a thick page protector and students can use these with a dry erase marker.  Because I've copied everything on cardstock, they are firm enough to use without a clipboard or table.

This led me to thinking about other ways to save paper and eliminate stacks to grade.  If we are doing a simple assessment, I can walk around the classroom and quickly mark the seating chart with a score while students are working.  This is MUCH faster than grading stacks of paper.  I started using dry erase pockets for such activities.

You've probably seen the pockets on Amazon, Oriental Trading or even in the dollar spot at Target.  LOVE them, but since most of my classroom budget comes out of my grocery budget, I needed a less expensive option.  Project time!  I was able to make an entire classroom set for six dollars.  WAHOO!

DIY Dry Erase Pockets – Learn how to create cute, colorful and durable dry erase pockets for less than 20 cents each!  You’ll love this easy to follow tutorial and your students will love using dry erase markers in class.  Save your classroom budget and save time at the copier.  This is a great teacher hack!
Here's what you'll need:
Thick report covers (I like the kind with that little plastic binder edge that you slide on.)  This pack was $ .97 at Walmart.
Duct Tape -I prefer to use the smaller roll so that less of the cover is covered with the tape.  The larger rolls work, but may cover some of the sheets that you put in them.  You can also use clear packing tape.  It isn't as pretty, but it works well.  I had several rolls on hand as I assume most teachers do.
Scissors

DIY Dry Erase Pockets – Learn how to create cute, colorful and durable dry erase pockets for less than 20 cents each!  You’ll love this easy to follow tutorial and your students will love using dry erase markers in class.  Save your classroom budget and save time at the copier.  This is a great teacher hack!
I rolled the tape out flat so that I could set the report cover on it.  This let me line it up a little better than putting the tap onto the report cover.

DIY Dry Erase Pockets – Learn how to create cute, colorful and durable dry erase pockets for less than 20 cents each!  You’ll love this easy to follow tutorial and your students will love using dry erase markers in class.  Save your classroom budget and save time at the copier.  This is a great teacher hack!
Place the report cover so that it covers about half of the tape.  Fold the tape up to seal the edge.  Trim the edges with your scissors.

DIY Dry Erase Pockets – Learn how to create cute, colorful and durable dry erase pockets for less than 20 cents each!  You’ll love this easy to follow tutorial and your students will love using dry erase markers in class.  Save your classroom budget and save time at the copier.  This is a great teacher hack!

I only taped three of the sides (including the side that isn't open).  At the top I wanted to create a little flap so that my youngest learners would be able to load the pocket themselves.  Instead of running the tape all the way across, I just created a tab that is a couple of inches long on ONE piece of the report cover.  In this way, students can use the tab to open the pocket without my help.  It is much trickier than it seems for some of my younger students.

DIY Dry Erase Pockets – Learn how to create cute, colorful and durable dry erase pockets for less than 20 cents each!  You’ll love this easy to follow tutorial and your students will love using dry erase markers in class.  Save your classroom budget and save time at the copier.  This is a great teacher hack!
LOVE the way they turned out!  I popped some handwriting sheets in so my daughter could try them out.  They were definitely easy to use and pretty durable.  I had tried using page protectors for this project but did not like that they had holes in them.  The holes are for using in a binder, which is handy, but my students liked to poke their pencils in the holes and they tore and looked bad.  The report covers keep this from happening.  

DIY Dry Erase Pockets – Learn how to create cute, colorful and durable dry erase pockets for less than 20 cents each!  You’ll love this easy to follow tutorial and your students will love using dry erase markers in class.  Save your classroom budget and save time at the copier.  This is a great teacher hack!
I like to use these small dry erase markers that have an eraser on the end.  When I don't have them available for workstations I put regular dry erase markers and paper towels or cotton balls there for students to use to erase.
DIY Dry Erase Pockets – Learn how to create cute, colorful and durable dry erase pockets for less than 20 cents each!  You’ll love this easy to follow tutorial and your students will love using dry erase markers in class.  Save your classroom budget and save time at the copier.  This is a great teacher hack!

I've seen teachers that hot glue a pom pom on the end of the dry erase marker lid and students use those for erasers, but haven't tried that.  If you have, I'd love to hear any tips or ideas you might have for keeping them usable all year.

DIY Dry Erase Pockets – Learn how to create cute, colorful and durable dry erase pockets for less than 20 cents each!  You’ll love this easy to follow tutorial and your students will love using dry erase markers in class.  Save your classroom budget and save time at the copier.  This is a great teacher hack!DIY Dry Erase Pockets – Learn how to create cute, colorful and durable dry erase pockets for less than 20 cents each!  You’ll love this easy to follow tutorial and your students will love using dry erase markers in class.  Save your classroom budget and save time at the copier.  This is a great teacher hack!

These worksheets are from my No Prep Music Worksheets -Summer.  They are great examples of worksheets that I would use in workstations.

DIY Dry Erase Pockets – Learn how to create cute, colorful and durable dry erase pockets for less than 20 cents each!  You’ll love this easy to follow tutorial and your students will love using dry erase markers in class.  Save your classroom budget and save time at the copier.  This is a great teacher hack!DIY Dry Erase Pockets – Learn how to create cute, colorful and durable dry erase pockets for less than 20 cents each!  You’ll love this easy to follow tutorial and your students will love using dry erase markers in class.  Save your classroom budget and save time at the copier.  This is a great teacher hack!


I hope you enjoy this teacher hack and can use it to save some money and create a more functional classroom! Enjoy!


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Music Freebies Round Up

Music teacher freebies?  Got ‘em!  This list features free resources that you can download now and use tomorrow in your classroom.  Music history, composers, rhythm, melody, instruments and more downloads await!  Most of the resources are geared towards elementary classes, but several would work well in middle school and high school general music classes.

Let's face it, most music teachers spend hundreds (I've even heard thousands!) of their own money each year on resources for their classroom.  It is one of the reasons that I am so glad that I found TeachersPayTeachers.  I love the affordable resources that were created by teachers like me.  

I've compiled a list of some great freebies that I think you'll love in this post.  I hope that you'll try them out and follow all of these amazing music educators there.  You can follow them (and me!) by clicking the green star by the name of the store.  When you do this you'll get occasional notifications via email when they add new resources.

History and Composers

The Big Apple Dance Craze of 1937 by Sally Utley of Sally's Sea of Songs
How did I live this long without knowing about the Big Apple?  Your students will be just as delighted as I was!  This PowerPoint file is linked to several amazing videos.  You'll want to add this to your yearly lesson plans.

John Williams Foldables by Kim Maloney from Music Teacher Resources
I am such a fan of John Williams and so are students that are introduced to the magic of his music.  This set of foldables is perfect for the classroom or private studio.  With ample opportunities for research and writing, this freebie is great for cross curriculuar integration.

Favorite Folk Songs: Looby Loo (Teacher Toolkit) by David Row of Make Moments Matter
I love, love LOVE David's amazing collections of folk songs.  They make great bulletin boards and great tools for introducing songs.  After using several of them, my students were more than disappointed to learn that our next song did not have the "cool slide show" to go with it.  LOVE that!

Composer of the Month Johannes Brahms  by The Bulletin Board Lady-Tracy King
I love celebrating composers of the month with my students and I created this series of composer bulletin boards and writing activities to use.  Since I used the kits for Kindergarten through 6th (and for a few years 7th and 8th grades), they were designed to used accordingly.  Grab this one (normally $5.99) for free!

Music teacher freebies?  Got ‘em!  This list features free resources that you can download now and use tomorrow in your classroom.  Music history, composers, rhythm, melody, instruments and more downloads await!  Most of the resources are geared towards elementary classes, but several would work well in middle school and high school general music classes.

Instruments

My Book of Instruments  by The Bulletin Board Lady-Tracy King
I'm always looking for ways for my youngest learners to write in music class that don't take up our entire time together.  This book is my solution!  We can do a page or two on an instrument that we are studying and continue to add to it as the year goes along OR I can leave it for a sub and they leave with a beautiful book to take home.

Rainbow Ukulele Starter Kit by Shelly Tomich of Pitch Publications
So, a few years ago in the midst of 20 snow days at home, I ordered a ukulele.  I did not do well.  LOL.  I think that Shelly may have convinced me to try again!  This is a great way to get started with the uke.  You'll probably want to check out her post about choosing a great instrument too.

Recorder Black Belt System by Linda Seamons of Floating Down the River
Learn about Linda's recorder program and get tons of music to use with your learners.  She starts with C and A instead of the traditional BAG.  This freebie is filled with many great ideas for teaching and organizing.  I wish I had this twenty years ago!

Brass Instrument Races (Aural Identification) by Chrissy Hutzel from Hutzel House of Music
This is such a great idea!  In this freebie your students are asked to listen to an unidentified instruments (sound files included) and then race to identify it by retrieving a card.  FUN!

Orff Instrument Labels by Stacie Bates of The Bates Clef (I love that name!)
Do you love the look of camo?  You are going to love this set of Orff instrument labels!  Make sure your instruments are decked out with these free printables.


Melody and Singing Activities

Fishin' for Melody by Linda McPherson
I am a BIG fan of centers in music class and this free download sets you up for four (Yes.  I said FOUR!) recorder stations.  It's easy.  It takes little explanation.  It's brilliant.  Did you hear me? Go get it!

Kindergarten Music Lesson Plan Day 1 by Lindsay Jervis
I've said this for years and years "I knew how to teach music after graduating from college, but no one taught me what to do on that first day!"  This detailed and engaging lesson plan does just that.  Songs and activities and a great sequence are laid out in detail.  Try this freebie and you may want the entire year!

The Adventures of Sophie Solfege - Sophie Climbs the Ladder by Angie Kelton of i heart teaching music.
This is a clever (and quite adorable) way to introduce lines/spaces and solfege to your students.  You are probably already acquainted with Sophie Solfege, but if not this is the place to start.

First Grade Music Lesson  by Aileen Miracle
This is a fun and engaging lesson for first grade!  It is actually a sampler from a much larger work, but this is a stand alone lesson plan with great ideas, a detailed plan and several songs and activities.

Fall Vocal Explorations by Anne Newman
Warm up with these fall vocal explorations.  These slides are laid out in beautiful autumnal colors and would be a great way to start class.

Copy, Transfer, Transpose (sol mi set) by Debbie O'Shea from Crescendo Music
Such a difficult skill, such a great freebie to help!  With these worksheets, students transpose sol and mi to different places on the staff!  Although this is probably intended for younger students who have just learned sol and mi, I can see it being handy for older students too!

"Come Along and Sing with Me" (2 part round) by Sandra Hendrickson of Sing Play Creatively
This catchy little round is laid out perfectly for your Kodaly classroom.  You get the sheet music, solfege and pitch names version as well as a file to introduce it.  WOW!

Peter and the Wolf Vocal Explorations by The Bulletin Board Lady-Tracy King
This is a great set to use for vocal explorations at workstations (or as part of your Peter and the Wolf workstations).  It's a great way to warm up a group before singing and it is a fun (and silly!) way to review the characters in PatW and the instrument that plays their theme.

Music teacher freebies?  Got ‘em!  This list features free resources that you can download now and use tomorrow in your classroom.  Music history, composers, rhythm, melody, instruments and more downloads await!  Most of the resources are geared towards elementary classes, but several would work well in middle school and high school general music classes.


Rhythm

Rhythm Whack-a-Mole by Cara Coffey of MiscellaneousMe
Okay I must admit that I haven't played this game with students yet, but I have about 20 different props for whacking!  LOL.  Cara has put together a simple, but ridiculously fun game that you'll want to download today.

Engine Engine Number Nine by Anne Meleski of Anacrusic
Working with ta and titi?  You'll enjoy this bright and colorful download of "Engine Engine Number 9" that works on quarter notes and barred eighth notes.  Working from lyrics, then steady beat and then rhythm, this is a great plan.

16th Note Worksheets by Jamie Parker
I'm always looking for print and go worksheets to use with my students.  This sampler of 16th note worksheets is great!  You'll get worksheets for "Dinah", "Old Brass Wagon" and one that works great for ear training.

Rap It, Clap It, Music Match It  by The Bulletin Board Lady-Tracy King
This has to be one of my primary students' favorite activities!  Students say (or rap) the pictures, clap them and them match them with rhythms.  The worksheets make assessment a breeze!  This is a freebie, but be sure to check out the entire line of Rap It, Clap Its in my store.

Rhythm Clap Backs by Jennifer Foxx of Music Educator Resources
What's a rhythm clap back?  Well, you know.  It's a rhythm that you clap back!  This freebie has 5 different rhythms represented iconically and a worksheet.  Such a smart idea!

Measure Tiles by Nancy Otto of The Rested Musician
This game is essentially music dominoes and it's FREE!  A great resource for music workstations or to use during a reward day, you'll want to print and laminate this one and use it for many years.


Don't have time to grab all of these fabulous freebies now?  PIN this list and grab them later!
Music teacher freebies?  Got ‘em!  This list features free resources that you can download now and use tomorrow in your classroom.  Music history, composers, rhythm, melody, instruments and more downloads await!  Most of the resources are geared towards elementary classes, but several would work well in middle school and high school general music classes.


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My Bloomin' Pencil Problem and a Crafty Solution

Pencil problems in your classroom? This clever teacher craft may be just the pencil solution that you are looking for. Provide pencils for your students and brighten up your teaching space. Elementary, high school or even in the main office, this handy DIY idea will be popular.

In twenty years of teaching I think that I must have tried twenty thousand different ways to protect my pencil stash.  Once I even bought pencils that said "Stolen from Mrs. King".  My high school kids took it as a challenge.  I've never lost pencils faster than I did that year!

I supply my own pencils because as a music specialist, it can sometimes be a hassle to have students bring a pencil to class.  They forget or I forget to remind them.  Sometimes when they remember they bring an entire pencil box full of everything but the kitchen sink.  It is just easier for me to have my own stash.  That being said, the pencils come out of my grocery budget so I always want to keep them as long as possible.

One of the solutions I loved the most was to turn the pencils into classroom decorations.  It isn't the perfect solution, but it might be the prettiest!  When turning the pencils into flowers you give up the ability to use the eraser.  This actually works really well because the erasers usually only last about two weeks anyway.  (If I am lucky!)  I always have a small tub of erasers that students can use if they need them.

With the flower pot pencils, Once they are sharpened to the green, I retire them from the flower pot and put in a pencil can.  About mid-year (or whenever all my flowers have been used up) I'll whip out the can of used pencils that magically have FULL erasers!  With this can of pencils and a hope and a prayer I can coast right into summer!

So, let me introduce you to an old project to introduce you to my newest project.
Pencil problems in your classroom? This clever teacher craft may be just the pencil solution that you are looking for. Provide pencils for your students and brighten up your teaching space. Elementary, high school or even in the main office, this handy DIY idea will be popular.

A few years ago  I painted several flower pots with a keyboard theme.  I stuffed them with flowers and put them on a shelf in the teacher corner of my classroom.  They made me smile each time I saw them!  After a couple of years, I decided to retire them.  Now, they hold my bloomin' pencils.

Pencil problems in your classroom? This clever teacher craft may be just the pencil solution that you are looking for. Provide pencils for your students and brighten up your teaching space. Elementary, high school or even in the main office, this handy DIY idea will be popular.
For this project, you'll need a flower pot (painted or not), some fake flowers a pack of dried beans, green masking tape or floral tape and pencils.

Pencil problems in your classroom? This clever teacher craft may be just the pencil solution that you are looking for. Provide pencils for your students and brighten up your teaching space. Elementary, high school or even in the main office, this handy DIY idea will be popular.

The green floral tape works really well, but for this batch I only had green masking tape, so that is what I used.  I snipped the individual flowers from the bundle and using the masking tape adhered them to the pencils.

Pencil problems in your classroom? This clever teacher craft may be just the pencil solution that you are looking for. Provide pencils for your students and brighten up your teaching space. Elementary, high school or even in the main office, this handy DIY idea will be popular.
Put a couple of pieces of tape over the hole in the bottom of the flower pot and fill with dried beans.

Pencil problems in your classroom? This clever teacher craft may be just the pencil solution that you are looking for. Provide pencils for your students and brighten up your teaching space. Elementary, high school or even in the main office, this handy DIY idea will be popular.
The beans hold the pencils up so that they look like a bouquet of flowers and they are gentle on the lead so that it doesn't break each time a pencil is replaced.

Pencil problems in your classroom? This clever teacher craft may be just the pencil solution that you are looking for. Provide pencils for your students and brighten up your teaching space. Elementary, high school or even in the main office, this handy DIY idea will be popular.

If you look closely in the picture above, you'll notice that a few pieces of the masking tape are starting to curl up a bit.  This happens with the floral tape too.  I secure them with a piece of clear, Scotch tape and they stay put.

Pencil problems in your classroom? This clever teacher craft may be just the pencil solution that you are looking for. Provide pencils for your students and brighten up your teaching space. Elementary, high school or even in the main office, this handy DIY idea will be popular.

This finished product is a bright and cheery addition to your classroom and a solution for your pencil problem!  Eventually I moved the flower pots to several places around my classroom.  This made it easier for students working at workstations to have supplies close to them.  It also looked pretty!

Pencil problems in your classroom? This clever teacher craft may be just the pencil solution that you are looking for. Provide pencils for your students and brighten up your teaching space. Elementary, high school or even in the main office, this handy DIY idea will be popular.


Pencil problems in your classroom? This clever teacher craft may be just the pencil solution that you are looking for. Provide pencils for your students and brighten up your teaching space. Elementary, high school or even in the main office, this handy DIY idea will be popular.

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Princesses Don't Do Math - Number Mats for a Reluctant Learner

Princesses Don’t Do Math – Number Mat Ideas for a Reluctant Learner.  You’ll love these number mat ideas for getting your reluctant preschooler playing, counting and adding their way to success.  Number mats are great for developing number sense and these mats work with bottle caps!  They can work with playdough, rocks, and more but I think you’ll like how perfectly the bottle caps can work with any theme.  Great for preschool and kindergarten aged students in workstations or at home.

Welcome to a new segment on my blog.  As a busy wife and mom, I've decided to share some stories from my crazy and wonderful home life.  Crafting, recipes (that I don't ruin!), parenting and loving the one you are with will all be features of MrsKing@Home.  I'll also be sharing activities that I've created for my kids to further their education and some that are just for fun!  Eventually, you'll be able to see all of these posts by clicking on Mrs. King @ Home right under the page header.

My daughter, a bright and sassy 4 year old, lives in a world of princess, mermaids, rainbows and unicorns.  With her rich imagination she is always playing pretend or performing for us in some dramatic fashion.  Last week, I thought that we should spend a little time working on recognizing numbers.  Unfortunately, she disagreed.
"Noooo!" she whined.  "Princesses don't do math!"

When I stopped laughing, it occurred to me that I needed to make this time just a little more fun for both of us.  Thus, the bottle cap number mats were born!  If you are a regular reader of my blog, you know that I love recycling bottle caps to use in the classroom.  I use them for a bottle cap staff and have used them in a dip tray workstation too.  Since I just happened to have a big stash of these, they made the perfect muse for my hands-on number mats.

Princesses Don’t Do Math – Number Mat Ideas for a Reluctant Learner.  You’ll love these number mat ideas for getting your reluctant preschooler playing, counting and adding their way to success.  Number mats are great for developing number sense and these mats work with bottle caps!  They can work with playdough, rocks, and more but I think you’ll like how perfectly the bottle caps can work with any theme.  Great for preschool and kindergarten aged students in workstations or at home.

I collected many of the caps myself, but I also enlisted parents to help me as well.  It didn't take long before I had more than enough caps for all the projects I would ever need!  I put them all in the sink with hot, sudsy water and sloshed them around.  (Yes, "sloshed" is the technical term.)  I laid them out on a towel to dry and they were ready to go.

Princesses Don’t Do Math – Number Mat Ideas for a Reluctant Learner.  You’ll love these number mat ideas for getting your reluctant preschooler playing, counting and adding their way to success.  Number mats are great for developing number sense and these mats work with bottle caps!  They can work with playdough, rocks, and more but I think you’ll like how perfectly the bottle caps can work with any theme.  Great for preschool and kindergarten aged students in workstations or at home.
Here's what they look like in action.   These are cleaned bottle caps in a variety of colors.  I had a few parents turn in lids from larger bottles and from milk jugs.  I've got them stashed somewhere for another project, but for the number mats I really wanted to use just bottle caps.  This Ferris wheel set is one of my daughter's favorites.  It is second only to the the mermaid set.
Princesses Don’t Do Math – Number Mat Ideas for a Reluctant Learner.  You’ll love these number mat ideas for getting your reluctant preschooler playing, counting and adding their way to success.  Number mats are great for developing number sense and these mats work with bottle caps!  They can work with playdough, rocks, and more but I think you’ll like how perfectly the bottle caps can work with any theme.  Great for preschool and kindergarten aged students in workstations or at home.

Each of the sets contains mats for 1-10.  I printed off the full color versions, but in the sets that I've posted in my store there are four versions.  In addition to the full color version with the little circles to show placement of the bottle caps, there's one with an ink saving background.  There are also versions without the circles in full color and with the ink saving version.

Princesses Don’t Do Math – Number Mat Ideas for a Reluctant Learner.  You’ll love these number mat ideas for getting your reluctant preschooler playing, counting and adding their way to success.  Number mats are great for developing number sense and these mats work with bottle caps!  They can work with playdough, rocks, and more but I think you’ll like how perfectly the bottle caps can work with any theme.  Great for preschool and kindergarten aged students in workstations or at home.


For the hammer and nail version I painted the tops of some gray bottle caps and added "ones and X's" as my daughter described them.  When we worked with this set we used a little plastic hammer to smack them as we counted them.
Princesses Don’t Do Math – Number Mat Ideas for a Reluctant Learner.  You’ll love these number mat ideas for getting your reluctant preschooler playing, counting and adding their way to success.  Number mats are great for developing number sense and these mats work with bottle caps!  They can work with playdough, rocks, and more but I think you’ll like how perfectly the bottle caps can work with any theme.  Great for preschool and kindergarten aged students in workstations or at home.

Princesses Don’t Do Math – Number Mat Ideas for a Reluctant Learner.  You’ll love these number mat ideas for getting your reluctant preschooler playing, counting and adding their way to success.  Number mats are great for developing number sense and these mats work with bottle caps!  They can work with playdough, rocks, and more but I think you’ll like how perfectly the bottle caps can work with any theme.  Great for preschool and kindergarten aged students in workstations or at home.
Our favorite bottle caps were spray painted gold.  They work great for the sandcastle set and would be awesome for the treasure chest and piggy bank versions I'm working on.

Princesses Don’t Do Math – Number Mat Ideas for a Reluctant Learner.  You’ll love these number mat ideas for getting your reluctant preschooler playing, counting and adding their way to success.  Number mats are great for developing number sense and these mats work with bottle caps!  They can work with playdough, rocks, and more but I think you’ll like how perfectly the bottle caps can work with any theme.  Great for preschool and kindergarten aged students in workstations or at home.

We painted the yellow bottle caps to look like corn cobs.  These were a little trickier to do!  We added the lines with a permanent marker and they look great with the cornstalk set.

Princesses Don’t Do Math – Number Mat Ideas for a Reluctant Learner.  You’ll love these number mat ideas for getting your reluctant preschooler playing, counting and adding their way to success.  Number mats are great for developing number sense and these mats work with bottle caps!  They can work with playdough, rocks, and more but I think you’ll like how perfectly the bottle caps can work with any theme.  Great for preschool and kindergarten aged students in workstations or at home.

Princesses Don’t Do Math – Number Mat Ideas for a Reluctant Learner.  You’ll love these number mat ideas for getting your reluctant preschooler playing, counting and adding their way to success.  Number mats are great for developing number sense and these mats work with bottle caps!  They can work with playdough, rocks, and more but I think you’ll like how perfectly the bottle caps can work with any theme.  Great for preschool and kindergarten aged students in workstations or at home.
For the beehive set we decorated a few of the yellow bottle caps to look like bees.

Princesses Don’t Do Math – Number Mat Ideas for a Reluctant Learner.  You’ll love these number mat ideas for getting your reluctant preschooler playing, counting and adding their way to success.  Number mats are great for developing number sense and these mats work with bottle caps!  They can work with playdough, rocks, and more but I think you’ll like how perfectly the bottle caps can work with any theme.  Great for preschool and kindergarten aged students in workstations or at home.

As you can see in the picture above, the bottle caps aren't always the same height.  As long as the diameter is the same, they will match up with the circles on the number mats.  The fish bowl set would be fun to use with those shiny aquarium rocks too.

Princesses Don’t Do Math – Number Mat Ideas for a Reluctant Learner.  You’ll love these number mat ideas for getting your reluctant preschooler playing, counting and adding their way to success.  Number mats are great for developing number sense and these mats work with bottle caps!  They can work with playdough, rocks, and more but I think you’ll like how perfectly the bottle caps can work with any theme.  Great for preschool and kindergarten aged students in workstations or at home.

We did use the bottle caps for the pizza set, but we had been using play dough earlier, so we made play dough toppings for our pizza mats too.

Princesses Don’t Do Math – Number Mat Ideas for a Reluctant Learner.  You’ll love these number mat ideas for getting your reluctant preschooler playing, counting and adding their way to success.  Number mats are great for developing number sense and these mats work with bottle caps!  They can work with playdough, rocks, and more but I think you’ll like how perfectly the bottle caps can work with any theme.  Great for preschool and kindergarten aged students in workstations or at home.

The bottle caps work regardless of which side they are placed on as scene on the starfish.  Actually, I think they may look better upside down with this set.

Princesses Don’t Do Math – Number Mat Ideas for a Reluctant Learner.  You’ll love these number mat ideas for getting your reluctant preschooler playing, counting and adding their way to success.  Number mats are great for developing number sense and these mats work with bottle caps!  They can work with playdough, rocks, and more but I think you’ll like how perfectly the bottle caps can work with any theme.  Great for preschool and kindergarten aged students in workstations or at home.

Princesses Don’t Do Math – Number Mat Ideas for a Reluctant Learner.  You’ll love these number mat ideas for getting your reluctant preschooler playing, counting and adding their way to success.  Number mats are great for developing number sense and these mats work with bottle caps!  They can work with playdough, rocks, and more but I think you’ll like how perfectly the bottle caps can work with any theme.  Great for preschool and kindergarten aged students in workstations or at home.

The frog set was great fun!  We decorated a few of the caps with little flies.  We also used some of the plastic frogs and insect from the party store to count with this one.  In addition to counting with these number mats, we used #5 for "Five Green and Speckled Frogs".

In addition to counting with the mats and arranging them from high to low and vice versa, we've started using them for simple addition problems.  I'll lay out the mats for 1 and 5 and ask "How many all together?" and she can add them up and give me an answer.

You can download all of these mats (400 pages!) or individual sets here:
Princesses Don’t Do Math – Number Mat Ideas for a Reluctant Learner.  You’ll love these number mat ideas for getting your reluctant preschooler playing, counting and adding their way to success.  Number mats are great for developing number sense and these mats work with bottle caps!  They can work with playdough, rocks, and more but I think you’ll like how perfectly the bottle caps can work with any theme.  Great for preschool and kindergarten aged students in workstations or at home.

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Princesses Don’t Do Math – Number Mat Ideas for a Reluctant Learner.  You’ll love these number mat ideas for getting your reluctant preschooler playing, counting and adding their way to success.  Number mats are great for developing number sense and these mats work with bottle caps!  They can work with playdough, rocks, and more but I think you’ll like how perfectly the bottle caps can work with any theme.  Great for preschool and kindergarten aged students in workstations or at home.


Note Toss Workstation

Music Workstation FREE download – Note Toss.  Learn how to create this DIY music center with a few easy materials.  Your students will love playing this game in your classroom and you’ll love their excitement at reviewing note values.  This workstation can be altered and used for math facts and reading too!  Let’s get crafty!

Sometimes inspiration comes out of nowhere.  Sometimes it comes from the clearance aisle at Walmart.  I was dashing in to pick up a prescription, some cream cheese won tons and the largest bandages I could find (don't ask!). That is when I saw them.  Honestly, I didn't even know what they were, but the clearance tag was calling my name.

Music Workstation FREE download – Note Toss.  Learn how to create this DIY music center with a few easy materials.  Your students will love playing this game in your classroom and you’ll love their excitement at reviewing note values.  This workstation can be altered and used for math facts and reading too!  Let’s get crafty!
These are cardboard clay holder stands.  It turns out that these sturdy little stands hold the clay birds used for shooting practice.  They are normally 6-8 bucks.  Check them out here.  I looked at them and knew exactly what I wanted to do!  I would create a tossing game and use it in a workstation.

Music Workstation FREE download – Note Toss.  Learn how to create this DIY music center with a few easy materials.  Your students will love playing this game in your classroom and you’ll love their excitement at reviewing note values.  This workstation can be altered and used for math facts and reading too!  Let’s get crafty!

Next, I needed something that I could toss into it that met this criteria:
1.  Would fit through the holes with a moderate amount of success even for a bad thrower like me.
2.  Would cause minimal to no damage to the stand, my classroom or another person.  (You never know.)
3. Would be cheap and pretty.  (My two favorite ways to decorate my classroom.)

I tried tennis balls and golf balls.  (Right size.  Too hard.)  I tried some little bouncy balls.  (Too bouncy.)  I tried a rolled up pair of socks.  (That might have been just for fun.)  I also tried a few miscellaneous balls I found in the kids' rooms.  Nothing was just right.  This necessitated a trip to Target, The Dollar Tree, Party City and Hobby Lobby.  Okay...don't tell my husband but I went to a couple of extra places just because. 

What I found were these colorful Wiffle balls at Hobby Lobby.  The tag says "Play Balls" and they are made of a light, durable plastic.  Perfect.
Music Workstation FREE download – Note Toss.  Learn how to create this DIY music center with a few easy materials.  Your students will love playing this game in your classroom and you’ll love their excitement at reviewing note values.  This workstation can be altered and used for math facts and reading too!  Let’s get crafty!

Next, I painted the clay holder stand a lovely shade of purple.  I added the white around the cut-outs because I wanted a little more contrast to help students aim.
Music Workstation FREE download – Note Toss.  Learn how to create this DIY music center with a few easy materials.  Your students will love playing this game in your classroom and you’ll love their excitement at reviewing note values.  This workstation can be altered and used for math facts and reading too!  Let’s get crafty!

I had a game in mind.  Actually, I've had a game sheet made up for a game that I've used that is similar to this.  I tweaked it just a little and you can download that at the end of this post.  For this game, I needed to mark each circle with a note or rest value.  Wanting to use this with the most grade levels possible, I stuck with quarter note, half note, dotted half note, whole note, barred eighths and a quarter rest.

Music Workstation FREE download – Note Toss.  Learn how to create this DIY music center with a few easy materials.  Your students will love playing this game in your classroom and you’ll love their excitement at reviewing note values.  This workstation can be altered and used for math facts and reading too!  Let’s get crafty!

Next, I added little color coding dot stickers with the note and rest values.  I chose these little stickers for a couple of reasons.  They are inexpensive and easy to remove or replace.  Since I could imagine this game working for multiple grade levels and multiple subjects, I wanted to make sure that whatever I used was versatile.   I think that with my next one I may upgrade and buy some chalkboard labels to use.

Music Workstation FREE download – Note Toss.  Learn how to create this DIY music center with a few easy materials.  Your students will love playing this game in your classroom and you’ll love their excitement at reviewing note values.  This workstation can be altered and used for math facts and reading too!  Let’s get crafty!

To play, students use one score sheet per team.  They take turns tossing the balls into the circles that will earn them the most points.  They write down the note that they hit and its value on the score sheet.  At the end of the game, they tally their scores.  The winner is the player that has the most number of points.

When placing this in a center and giving instructions, I think that it may be necessary to let students toss until they make it or give them at least 3 tries before moving on to the next student.

From our experimentation, about three feet away was a good distance.  This provided a good amount of success, but wasn't too easy.  You may find with older groups that you can get away with putting your tossing line a little farther back.

Music Workstation FREE download – Note Toss.  Learn how to create this DIY music center with a few easy materials.  Your students will love playing this game in your classroom and you’ll love their excitement at reviewing note values.  This workstation can be altered and used for math facts and reading too!  Let’s get crafty!

This idea could be used for a variety of subjects and activities.  By simply using numbers, this activity could be used for an addition or subtraction workstation.    Add the consonants b, c, f, h, p and s and have students toss and write the "-at" word family words.  The possibilities are endless.


 You can grab a free download of the score sheets that will work for this specific game.  Included are 4 version.  Two of the versions have a key at the bottom to remind students of how many beats each note or rest gets.  Two of the versions use the rest as a negative number that takes a point away from their total.

Note Toss Blog Exclusive Freebie by Tracy King




Music Workstation FREE download – Note Toss.  Learn how to create this DIY music center with a few easy materials.  Your students will love playing this game in your classroom and you’ll love their excitement at reviewing note values.  This workstation can be altered and used for math facts and reading too!  Let’s get crafty!
I hope you love this project and get much use out of it in your classroom!
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