July 16, 2012

Monday Made It

Linking up with Tara again for this week's Monday Made it! I so look forawrd to these, but today I am feeling a little bummed. I made LOTS of stuff this week, but in my typical fashion, it is all about 7/8 finished. That is how I roll people... I almost finish lots of stuff, then 8 months later, it will be done! Stresses me out - why do I do it?? Hmmm, I may need to sit on a couch to figure out this one!  

photo of whisper phones

Any who, I did finish my whisper phones. The first time I went to Lowe's and asked a guy to cut the PVC pipe, he told me no! I went back a week later with a plan. It went like this. 
Me:"can you please cut this for me? I'm a teacher and I need it for my classroom!" 
Employee" I can make one cut. Why, how many did you need?"
Me: (big smile) "Um, about 25... you would be helping kindergartners learn to read. Please!"
Employee: "I can sell you some cheap cutters... "
Me: " Did I mention I am a teacher and I am really trying not to spend more money, I already spend so much for my classroom. Seriously, I am using these as whisper phones, it really helps the kids with reading... want to try one out?"
Employee" (laughing and shaking his head) "okay, just this once!"

Moral of the story. Be very nice, explain why and lay it on thick!!!

They were super easy to make and I think the whole project cost around $19 and that is with the $7 I spent on the colored duct tape. If you want to make them, you will need (1) 10 foot piece of 3/4 inch PVC pipe cut into 3 1/2 inch pieces and (2) 3/4 inch elbow pieces per phone.

I cleaned my pieces with nail polish remover (although you can buy actual cleaner at the store) and then put an elbow on each side. Wrapped a piece of colored duct tape around the middle and that's it! The whole project took me 15 minutes once I started! Click here to see the video I watched before making them.

Next up was my alphabet line. I LOVE all the ones I have seen while blog hopping and in TpT stores, but I plan to use Zoo Phonics next year and I really wanted the alphabet line to match. If you have never heard about Zoo Phonics, I highly recommend you visit their site now. I plan to post more about it later this week. Stay tuned!

I bought their font CD and I love it. The only problem is the fonts only came in black line. I really wanted color for this, so I found some graphics online. I am not sure which ones I'll use. I love the colored graphics, but I wonder if I should be consistent and use the actual Zoo Phonics picture even though it wouldn't be colored. Any thoughts?

                                 With random graphics                      With Zoo Phonic graphics

I also made some flash cards to use with my class while teaching the letter sounds. The front has the animal cue and the back has the description of the movement. I love the way they turned out. I printed one last night (just to be sure) I just folded down the middle, added some double sided tape in the middle and laminated. Perfect, thick and sturdy! 

Front                                Back

 Lastly, I created some number labels so that I could make number magnets. I number all my students and thought this would be an easy way to see where everyone is during Daily 5. I already use a clip chart for behavior so I didn't think I wanted another clip chart with more clothespins for my daily 5 board.  I am tossing around the idea of using my smart board for this, but then the kids can't use it as part of their rotation and that seems silly. If you like these number circles, you can get a free copy by clicking on the picture below. The numbers came from Print Candee. So fun!

Here is the unfinished board. I will post another picture of the final product when I decide what I am going to use it for! 

 As always, thanks for coming over here and checking out my stuff and sticking around through my super long posts!


  1. I love your Whisper phones!! I need to make some of these! Super Cute:) Everything looks fantastic, great job:)

    Surfin' Through Second

  2. I love the Lowe's story. I totally agree with you, a big smile and saying I'm a kindergarten teacher sure has gotten me far.
    ✰ Stacy

    Simpson Superstars

  3. Scoot over.... I need to join you on that couch! I am the exact same way. I think it is that I get bored with the project if it takes too much time and want to move onto something more interesting.

    Think, Wonder, & Teach

  4. Oh yes, telling people you are a teacher helps tremendously. Lowes & Home Depot always seem especially helpful with helping teachers. I have a zillion projects that are about 7/8 finished too. So much to do, so little time...I can completely relate!
    Learning Is Something to Treasure

    1. I sometimes feel like all of us teacher bloggers are the same person :) I am pretty sure we could all be friends in "real" life at the very least!

  5. Everything looks great! I am very interested in Zoo Phonics. Is it a curriculum your school uses or did you decide to use it on your own? What components do you have?
    Sprinkles to Kindergarten

  6. You have been so busy-I like all your projects!

  7. I love your numbers and would love to use them for stuff in my classroom...but we can have up to 24 kids! Is there any chance you can add up to the number 24? Thanks!

    1. I will add them later tonight! I had 24 kids last year too. Not sure what I was thinking. Maybe wishful thinking.....

    2. Okay, I added numbers through 25. Just click on the picture to get it in Google Docs. Enjoy!

  8. I have used Zoo Phonics for quite a few years and love it! I have all the cards large and small, the magnets, stamps, teacher manual etc. Back when our school had money, insert heavy sigh, they let us buy beanie babies for each animal. Those are a hit! The kids love to sit in a circle and I throw animals to them and they have to say the animal's name, sound/signal. We have a blast!
    As for your cards I love them both and want them for above my white board. We finally switched from D'Nealian (yahoo!) and I have to change my alphabet. I really like the looks of the colored ones and don't think it would be a problem as long as it is the same animal. If you put these up for sale please let me know! Thank you!!!!! Have fun with zoo phonics. If you have any questions about it email me and I would be happy to help if I can!

    1. Thank you so much! I miss having money to spend too :( I will send you an email as I think of questions. Thank you for your kind offer!!

  9. I really like the colored version of the letters more... but understand that being consistent is extremely important too. I haven't heard of Zoo Phonics ever, but definitely am checking it out.

    You are the second person I have read about who went to a home improvement store and was told 'no' to cutting more than one piece of pipe. I am soooo surprised! I feel like the lowe's I go to here in Austin, TX is so nice. They always go above and beyond. Glad you did get them cut because they turned out adorable!

    Reaching for the TOP!

  10. Love your numbers. I am wondering if you could possibly help me with # 26-30??? I could possibly have up to 30 students this year.

    1. I added 26 - 30. If you click on the photo, it will take you to the new document in google docs! Thanks for stopping by!

    2. I don't know if I am not clicking the right picture but ... it didn't work :( I still get the google doc with 1-25?? Sorry

  11. I am your newest follower! Thanks for sharing!
    I am a new blogger and love connecting with other teachers!

    Fancy Free in Fourth

  12. Yay for the Made It Monday linky party! I think your whisper phones guilt-trip story was adorable and definitely something I would have done! I think you should use the cuter random clipart because I think it will still carry the same meaning regardless if it's not an identical match to the other Zoo Phonics materials.
    Your newest follower :),
    Antonia @ forkin4th

  13. Love your cute phones! I am SO bad at laying it on thick but I'm glad it worked out for you! Thanks for stopping by my blog. I'm your newest follower!


    1. Love your blog!! Thanks for coming over!

  14. Hi Heather,

    I just found your cheery blog through Rainbows Within Reach. I LOVE how you got that guy to help out at Lowe's . . . seriously, a little help, please!! It's for the K.I.D.S.!!!

    Where are you in TX? I'm in Friendswood so if you're ever in Houston, come on over!

    The Corner On Character

    1. I am in Tomball! Small bloggy world! Thanks for stopping by and commenting :)

  15. I LOVE the flashcards that you made - would you be willing/are you able to share them or sell them? I know a few teachers in my district that would die to have them!


    1. I would LOVE to sell them, I am just unsure if I am allowed... Give me a few days to look into it and I will let you know. If I can't sell them, I may just share them :) Do you use Zoo Phonics at your school?

    2. Our school doesn't, but I do. The teacher I student taught under used them, and I have been sold on them since! Keep me posted on what you decide to do!! Thanks :)

    3. Giggling at your 7/8 completed projects! I have MANY projects that I've seen on blogs/Pintrest that I would LOVE to complete before we go back to school in 2 weeks. Where did the summer go?!?

      We have wanted to use Zoo Phonics for 5 years. We have a new administration this year...maybe this is THE YEAR!!! I would sure love the flashcards if you're selling/sharing! They're just as cute as can be, which is so important for our kindersweeties (tee...hee!).

      :-) Tracy

  16. I LOVE the numbered magnets for daily 5! I am going to have to make these now! Cute blog! I'm your newest follower!

  17. So super cute! All of it! Your whisper phones are just adorable:) Thanks for linking up:)

    4th Grade Frolics

  18. I am SOOO proud of you for making your B a "Bubba". You might be from OH, but you've got Texas in your blood now! ;)

  19. Those whisper phones are just brilliant - and I am married to a plumber, can't wait till he gets home!!!
    All I now have to do is figure out what the Aussie equivalent to your 'duct tape' is and I will be all set...

    teaching with j

  20. When a student is having trouble with letter sounds, put the whisper phone to his ear and turn the mouthpiece where you can speak into it. Go over the sounds with him. I am betting he will get the sounds faster.

  21. Um, so happy I'm not alone with my unfinished products. I so laughed when I read that ... I have stacks of 3/4 finished projects all over my house! But seriously, I love your whisper phones and NEED to do that (and finish, of course!) I love your blog and am glad I stumbled across it!

  22. I just found your DIY whisper phones on Pinterest! I love them! Thank you for sharing :)

    T.G.I.F. (Thank God it's First Grade!)

  23. Hi what do whisper phones do? I am not a teacher yet, but I am studying elementary education and I came across them and I am really curious. If you could get back to me that would be great. Thank you!

  24. Hi I would love to have a copy of the zoo phonic cards, Im teaching in Qatar and my kids will love this. my email is ankeprinsloo@googlemail.com

  25. I was wondering if I could get a copy of your zoo phonics cards? I did not see them posted on your TPT site. Thank you (heidi0566@sbcglobal.net)

  26. I was interested in making these last year, but the 1st and only site I looked at how to create them made it much more work. So I stumbled off here after trying to buy them online (people even charge so much making them this exact way) so I said NO I'll just make it...and it was sooo simple. The Home Depot worker cut it no problem and I came home to just snap the elbows on. They need duct tape, but that is in my classroom. Thanks!