Monday, August 17, 2015

Monday Made It!

Classroom Money

Life as a teacher abroad certainly comes with its fair share of challenges.  The one I've been facing for three years is teaching counting the local money without any sort of decent manipulatives.  These lessons always have me longing for my US plastic coins.  I have so many of those the kiddos can each have a small handful during practice time.  Needless to say (but I'll say it anyway) I am tired of using copied coins on paper and laminated for the students to use.  My plastic coin stash is out (and long lost in my US storage unit) since we can only teach local currency.

So what's a teacher to do?   I thought about photocopies and then modge-podging onto those glass gems.  I'm still tempted.  Maybe.  Here's what I did instead brought to you by 4th Grade Frolics.

Play Clay Money

I visited my local Hobby Lobby (well only local since I'm visiting my family in the US).  I used a small travel bottle of lotion for a clay roller.  You could actually use a clay roller (which I have but cannot find since my life is packed up still) or you could just find something smooth and round that you have on hand.  Same some $ for your money making.  ;)

I used Sculpey clay in silver.  Next you just need to take your clay and roll it out to your desired thickness. I made the coins pretty thin but I'm still testing it.  Too thick and you can't make very many coins.  Too thin and the coins may break.

 I would suggest cutting out around your coin "stamp" before stamping the opposite side so you have a double-sided coin.  You might also want to rub the coins with baby powder to help prevent it from sticking.  I didn't try that and it still worked out okay.

Unfortunately, the coin design is not very raised on these coins so it is a bit hard to see.  Especially the front of the dirham.  I'm cheating a bit here for my #Mondaymadeit since I didn't bake my coins and complete them but I'm in the middle of packing up 3 suitcases to head back to the Middle East day after tomorrow.  I will work on them some more when I'm back and settled.  

I plan on trying to add some black stamping ink (or rubbing a marker) to see if that defines the design more.  I will keep you posted!  It's also a good idea to practice with a different clay color (to avoid wasting the silver) if you are going to bake the test coins.  

Desk Name Tags

This is a product I made a few weeks ago but it is perfect for back to school.  If you have ELL students, this is great for them as well.  My favorite feature besides the super large printing area for the names is the red and green dots for encouraging proper reading direction and reinforcing concepts of print.  Best of all the alphabet pictures match my ABC posters to add less confusion when learning those letter sounds (I picked up that nifty tip from The Next Step to Guided Reading by Jan Richardson).

Arabic and English Bilingual Number Posters

I've been working on this one forever and it's about to go live (okay, okay I'm cheating a bit here since I'm still making them and it's not made technically).  I'm pretty excited about them and plan on making a less girly version for the male teachers out there.  Tone it down a bit from the pretty colors and glitter.  I'm also working hard on some bilingual number lines.  Both of these things *should* be finished by tomorrow evening because I'm flying out after that and won't be working for 2 days while I travel.

Freebie for TpT-ers and Bloggers Like Me

Since you hung in there with my cheating made its, I have a freebie for you. I wanted to make it a Facebook freebie but fangate just wouldn't cooperate and I don't have time to mess with it right now. Just click on the picture to download it directly from Google docs.  If you use it, send me some love!


Special thanks to A Little Peace of Africa for the beautiful background and KG fonts to help make this little freebie.  Watermark as shown is not on the actual product.  :)
 photo signature_zps316a3c30.png


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Susan, I can definitely relate when it comes to the money issue! I can only teach local currency too, but I usually bring in real coins each year for my kids to use because I have small classes. I love your clay money idea! I may have to try that one out, so please post an update on how it turns out!

    Teaching in the Tropics

  3. I like your bilingual number cards. I am an ESL teacher and this made me think about having my kids create their own cards to share some language.

    My Bright Blue House


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