Five for Friday-December 18

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I'm linking up today with Doodle Bugs Teaching for Five for Friday!

I love having window boxes, but I wasn't sure what I could put in them for the holidays.  Thank goodness the in-laws have plenty of evergreens!  I sent Jake over to cut off a bunch of branches and then just tucked some lights in with them, cheap and easy!

I don't know what I was thinking last weekend, but I completely redid my Christmas tree!  I went shopping with a friend and fell in love with ornaments at Restoration Hardware.  They were on sale, and I couldn't resist!  Later, Timm and I went out and got a little tree for the ornaments that the kids made when they were little and put that on top of the entertainment center.

I was so excited to get started on a project last week that I have wanted to do with my kids for a few years. I was inspired by one of my grade mates, who makes beautiful sequined ornaments with her class every year.  Last year I was out and about the day after Christmas and saw styrofoam ornaments for half off at Walmart.  I grabbed a basket full and vowed I would make them with my kids the following year!

I arranged all the sequins, seed beads, and pins in this handy organizer.

You also need some rubber bands to get started.  If you want to make the ornament with the horizontal stripes, then you place a rubber band around the middle (like the Equator) of the ornament. Use the rubber band as a guide to keep your row straight.  Don't put the sequins over top of it.  You can pull the rubber band off when the first row is done.  The next row will just overlap the row that's already finished.  Do at least two rows of each color of sequins.  

If you want to make your ornament with four sections, like the one on the right above, you start with a rubber band vertically around the ornament.  

You place a seed bead on your pin (3/4 inch) first and then the sequins.  After you do the first vertical line around, you wrap the rubber band around the ornament on the opposite side.  This divides the ornament into four equal sections which you can then fill in with different colors.  The trick is to make sure you overlap the sequins so no white is showing.  I drew a diagram on the board to show the kids that they should overlap, almost looking like fish scales.  

I couldn't believe how quickly the students progressed on their project!  We took one 45 minute class period to get everyone started.  Then I told the students that they would have to work on their ornament whenever they finished other work.  We kept the ornaments and materials they were using on plates which they stored on the counter.  When they finished work, they would go get their plate and get back to work!  I kept the organizer with the supplies on a separate counter, and the kids would come and replenish their supplies whenever they needed to. 


By the end of the week, about half of the class was already finishing up!

On Friday I let the kids who were finished take their special gifts home in gift bags I had picked up at JoAnn's the day after Thanksgiving. 

I'm sure they will make beautiful additions to the family Christmas trees at home!

If you want to try this project with your kids, here's a few helpful pieces of information.  Use 10mm sequins; anything smaller will take too long.  Use 3/4 inch sequin pins.  The best deal I found for pins was on Etsy.  Each ornament took about 300 sequins, seed beads, and pins.  I bought a couple packages of seed beads, but haven't had to crack open the second one yet.  Unfortunately, it doesn't tell you how many beads are in a package.  The best deal I found for sequins was at Hobby Lobby. Now that I know this, I'm going to buy them throughout the year using the online coupon each time. 

I don't know if anyone else out there is in the same sorry boat as we are in my school district, but today wasn't our last day of school before break!  We still have to go to school on Monday and Tuesday next week.  Believe the kids are done....actually, the teachers are too!  Today in Social Studies I showed a great National Geographic movie about Jamestown.  Boy, did it have their attention!  The video includes realistic reenactments in addition to footage of archaeologists examining the actual bones of Jamestown colonists.  It's fascinating!

I bought the video at Amazon.  You can find it there by clicking on the picture below.

We ended our day today by opening all the gifts the kids had earned from me.  You can read more about that here.  It's so fun to see how each group reacts when the gifts are opened.  The kids this year quietly clapped after each gift was announced.  They are so good!

Does anyone else have to go to school next week?  I'd love to hear from you!  Misery loves company! Don't forget to check out all the other Five for Fridays at Doodle Bugs Teaching!

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