Monday, July 9, 2012

Monday Made It!

First of all, thank you so much to all of you who have commented and given me advice on my new friend with blindness. I have gotten some good ideas to start with, so if you ever find yourself in a similar position, check out the advice I've already gotten. And please do chime in if you have anything else to add :)

Now, onto the best part of the week -- Monday! Monday Made It, that is. I love this linky so much. My favorite part is seeing all the wonderful creations everyone else is making!
What I made this week was directly inspired by Nikki at Uncommon to the Core's Flotsam and Jetsam bags. Here are hers:
Aren't they adorable? You can buy those "I Spy" pouches in stores for $20 or more! This version uses Dollar Tree bags, rice (I buy in bulk, anyway, because I love rice, so it's already in my pantry and cheap, at that!) and odds and ends you probably already have around the house (Happy Meal toys, anyone??).

Here are mine - I used pencil pouches with windows from The Dollar Tree. I didn't color my rice like Nikki did - I love the look of the colored rice, but I thought it might be too visually stimulating for some of my kids. I hot glued the zipper, and for some extra reinforcement I added patterned duct tape I got at Target. Don't want a rice leak!
I took these "I Spy" bags one step further to work on beginning letter sounds: each bag contains two objects that begin with 4 letters of the alphabet (so each bag contains 8 objects). I created a search/recording page for each bag that the students can mark off with a dry erase marker, and a second sheet that is sorting by beginning letter with velcroed photos of each item. I attached the pages with good ol' book rings.

I've only completed two bags (ABCD and EFGH) and I'm working on the rest. I can't wait to bring them to my kiddos - I think they'll really enjoy them.

I also spent a lot of time this week printing and laminating...mostly stuff I'm remaking. Things I'd made back when I didn't have a laminator of my own - the thin school laminating gets pretty worn out pretty quickly! One of the things I remade and updated is my ABC environmental print book.
(not sure why I can't get this photo to rotate - I usually can) I love environmental print - even my non-readers can feel successful when they recognize familiar logos, and it gives great exposure to different fonts/ways letters look. One mom told me excitedly her son pointed out the Meijer (a local supermarket) sign on a billboard...since it was not attached to or even near the store, she was - and I am - sure he recognized the word and was not just labeling the familiar place. I love that!
I'd share the file, but I'm not sure if that's the greatest idea at least on TPT or my blog, since all the images are logos and copyrighted. Also, it's pretty specific to our state and even city, with local sports teams and stores and restaurants...but if anyone wants it, leave me your email address and I'd be glad to send you the PDF. (Michigan people, I think the only city-specific ones are for the West Michigan Whitecaps - our local baseball team - and the sign for John Ball Zoo, which is on the "Z" page and the word "zoo" is definitely emphasized, so that wouldn't be too big of a deal.) Edit: I could also send you the powerpoint file, which I think should be edit-able??

Also, can you tell CK Handprint is my current favorite font?? I love it so much!

Go link up with Tara on Monday Made It - I'd love to see what you have created this week!


  1. I love your I spy bags, I know what I will be doing over the next few days. Love your Environmental print book too.

  2. Kara, I think that your book is awesome. I make a bulletin board in my library area with environmental print for the kiddo's at the beginning of the year. I would love to have a copy of your book even though I am in Florida.

  3. Your I Spy bags are an awesome idea!! Thanks for telling me about the font! I've seen that font a lot & love it, but didn't know what it was called. I just downloaded it now! :)
    Learning Is Something to Treasure

  4. I love all of this! I did something similar, but with a bottle. I really like the pencil pouch idea and definitely white rice.

    And when I saw your book I got so excited! I was going to ask you for a copy before you even offered :) Thanks for sharing! This will be awesome. Could you send me the powerpoint version - I make it Chicago-ized :)

    Brie @ Breezy Pink Daisies

  5. I love your environmental print book! I was going to do an environmental print word wall with my students, but I wasn't having parents send in the types of examples that I had in mind. I love this idea to make the book! Adding to my summer to-do list!

    Creating & Teaching

  6. I love your I Spy Bags and environmental print book! I made something similar to the I Spy bags by using small plastic bottles and making color bottles. I like the pencil pouch idea though and may have to make some of those too!

  7. Hi Kara! Thanks for linking up! Love your bags! And I love how you took it a step further! So cute, your kids will flip! I am going to go check out your post about your friend with blindness. I am getting a little one this year who only has one eye and her vision there isn't too good. Thanks for sharing and for linking up;0)

    4th Grade Frolics

  8. Hi Kara,
    I am so happy I found your blog. I will be an ESE co-teacher next year. This will be my first time as an ESE teacher. I am excited (and a little nervous - LOL). I have become a follower because I am going to need all of the ideas I can get. I would love for you to visit back.
    Have a great day!

  9. Fun ideas! I've given you the One Lovely Blog award over in my latest post, feel free to come check it out! :)

  10. I really like the eye spy bags. The environmental print book is great. Thanks for sharing.


  11. I just stumbled on your blog and it is RIGHT up my alley!! I'd love to take a peek at your PPT of the environmental alphabet words to edit for my state (GA)!! Keep up the great blogging---you're an inspiration!

  12. Yay! I love the Ispy bags! I've seen them all over pintrest and keep telling myself to get on if! I always hope teachers are using the DOllar Tree versions, glad you're thrifty like me! This will be a great use of the extra rice I have left over from making some child sized weighted blankets. (I still need to blog about making those). Love your letter connection pages too! Thanks for the idea!

  13. I LOVE your blog! I've been looking for a good special Ed blog :-) Would you mind sending me the PDF of your environmental print book? Thank you so much!

  14. I would love to have the PDF of your environmental print book. I am teaching kindergartners this summer in Grand Rapids and this will be perfect for those little kiddos! Nice job!

  15. My Email Address is

  16. Hi,

    I would love to have the PDF of your environmental book. I am going to try the spy bags also!

  17. Hello! If this is still available, I would love the pdf. Thanks!

  18. Can you send the environmental book to me please? My email is: Thanks!

  19. This comment has been removed by the author.


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