Monday, June 18, 2012

Biggest Surprise Evvvvvvver & Monday Made-It!

Ohmagoodness, I am so excited to share with you the email I received yesterday!

Really Good Stuff (aka the company that gets most of my paycheck besides TpT during the school year!) sent me an email letting me know that my blog is a finalist in the 2012 Really Good Education Blog Awards in the Elementary 1-3 Category.

Whaaaat? I was stunned!! {peeling myself up off the floor}

Then, I looked to see who else is nominated in that category and the other categories and I became even more floored! My blogging heroes (and heroines)! Those who inspire me daily in and out of the classroom!


I am just so happy and humbled and truly, truly, truly blown away.....

Voting started this morning and ends on Friday, June 22nd, so head over to cast your vote HERE.

There are SO MANY familiar (blog) faces on there and each name links to its blog, so this is a great way to check out some other amazing and wonderful resources! The winner will be announced next Wednesday, June 27th.

Now, onto Monday Made-It and my new favorite shelf in my room:

I have always had this awkward space below my white board in my meeting area. The problems are the outlet boxes- they are bulky, ugly, and make it difficult for kids to sit up against the wall. I have covered them with outlet covers to keep the kids safe, but they continue to be annoying :(

In the past, I have also struggled with adequate storage- there are shelves in the room, but I have been wanting to keep white boards and clipboards close to the space where we use them most- the main carpet. When they were in the back of the class, the transition time to grab either would take a while.

When I saw this WONDERFUL idea on Pinterest I knew it would be the perfect solution!

I will admit, Jennifer's, from Grade 2 Happenings, is way cuter than mine :)

This project is awesome because it took about 5 minutes and involved shopping at Target!

Because I wanted a shelf, and not a bench, I purchased my shelf from Lowe's and made sure one side was beveled (curved), so if a student were to sit up against it, or a teacher bump her leg against it (all the time!), it would not be too painful ;)

I spray painted it with several coats and also had the employee at Lowe's cut it down to size- for 4 crates and the space I need to cover, I had them cut it to 2 yards, which is a nice length and about 3" overhang on the right and left.

I already had the milk crates- you can get some HERE if you'd like- and they were looking for a nice home, so this was a perfect (and cheap) solution!

I went to Target and got the Closetmaid fabric drawers for about $7 a piece- I chose navy, but there are TONS of colors, and you can also mix-and-match.

Last, I grabbed some zip ties from our garage and some strong scissors (zip ties are impossible to cut!).

Easiest assembly ever:
  • Place the 4 crates together, long ways (the bins fit short ways, too!) and secure with zip ties- I used three per connection
  • Place the shelf on top- I did not secure it with anything more than a few drops of hot glue- it is against a wall and too heavy to move or cause any danger
  • Unfold the bins, fill with all sorts of goodies, and place them in the crates
  • That's it! Be sure to see Grade 2 Happenings for how she made a bench

Enjoy the simplicity and immediate gratification of this project- these bins have been a lifesaver at home in our one year-old's room since they look great and hide all of the messes. Why I never thought of them doing the same job at school is beyond me, but this project is the perfect use for them!

I am currently storing some building supplies for Choice Time (Legos, K'nex, and Zoobs) as well as some noise blockers for kids who prefer more quiet work time inside of them (you can see them peeking out from the tops from this angle, but not from the front, which is nice).

Enjoy and let me know if you make one- I would love to see all of the possibilities!

PS- My set of Brain Breaks are also on Summer Sale :) It was #25 last week on TpT's Best Sellers- another huge surprise!

Thank you again and have a very happy Monday!


  1. I voted for your blog. I hope you win! I'm probably on here every day. Thanks for giving us so many good ideas.

    Carolyn from Third Grade Adventures

  2. congratulations!
    Thank you for all your great ideas!
    Amy K.
    Where Seconds Count 2nd grade blog

  3. Very Cute! Love the Black/White/Red colors!

    Lifelong Learning

  4. Wooooo so much to comment on with this one post. First of all, congrats on being nominated! I'm about to go vote for you :) Your blog is awesome. I think your storage shelf thingy (does it have a name? lol) turned out great! It's so practical and looks nice too. I've had your brain breaks on my wish list for a few weeks now, but now you're tempting me to go shopping. HaHa. I've been trying to avoid it (poor teacher with no summer pay checks lol), but my wish list is growing too much. Hmmm..... you just might get a purchase from me later today ;) If not.... it's coming in August. haha.

    Dirty Hands and Lesson Plans

    1. haha you definitely got the purchase from me ;) I love them! I'll make sure to leave feedback this week for you. Thanks!

    2. Thanks so much, Katie! I hope you & your kiddos love using them :)

      3rd Grade Thoughts

  5. That turned out awesome:))) Love it! Congrats on your nomination:))) You must be so excited;))) Thanks for linking up:))

    4th Grade Frolics

  6. Congrats on the award nomination! What an exciting honor!

    I, too, have been in love with that little DIY ever since I saw it on Pinterest. It's absolutely on my list of things to make/do before going back to school. I'm also glad to see some variations on it because I *know* mine will never be as cute as the black, white, and red one in the original pin. :) Thanks for sharing!


  7. Yours turned out very cute! Thanks for sharing and all the good ideas! Good luck!!

    Following Optimism in 2nd Grade

  8. I think was a great way to accomplish the same thing but very inexpensively. I have an awkward space as well that might be able to accommodate one. Thanks for sharing the process - I totally wouldn't have thought of the rounded front.

  9. Thank you all so so much for your support!!



  10. love it! I have something very similar in my class now for the past two years! I actually have 8 of them zip tied together! 4 on the bottom and 4 on the top. My kids use them to have their reading and writing binders in them!

    Tonya’s Treats for Teachers

  11. Congrats!! Great job on your shelf! It looks great!


  12. I want to make this sooooo bad! I too pinned the original and have plans to make it this summer! Do you think that it could really be used for a bench and be sturdy to hold at least 2-3 3rd graders? That was my only concern! Thank you for sharing!!
    The Sweet Life of Third Grade ~ We're having a SWEET giveaway!

    1. Hi Audrey,

      I think it would, if the board was thick enough and your crates were more heavy-duty than mine. The ones I used were for hanging files, and they are pretty wimpy. I imagine if you got the actual milk crates that are more plastic than holes, you could easily fit & hold third graders on them :)

      Thanks for stopping by- I'd love to see your finished product!!


  13. 1. I am cheering for your nomination (and heading over to vote - YAY!)
    2. That milk crate idea is awesome - I think I'm going to need to take that project this summer!

    (THANKS for your awesome blog - I'm a complete stalker of your pinterest boards too!)

    1. I mean TACKLE that project. Or I can just swing by your classroom and take yours :)

    2. lol!

      Thanks so much, Tanis :) :)


  14. Congratulations on the nomination, I voted for you! Your site is an amazing reference. Thank you!


  15. So glad I found your awesome 3rd grade blog since I am moving to teach thirdsters this coming year. Love your brain break ideas! Stop by if you get a chance of my new 3rd grade little ol blog!
    Treadwell's Teaching Adventures

  16. I am a new follower, I found your blog through the linky party and so want to make the crate bench.
    Barrow's Hodgepodge

  17. Lovely! I love my crate seats. They provide extra seating and storage space!

    Fun is Found in Fourth

  18. This is a great idea! It makes so much sense. Thanks for sharing!

    Marvelous Multiagers!


Thank you so much for your comments! :)