Monthly Archives: August 2015

August Card of the Month: Change of Address Card

Summer is peak moving season.  After moving last winter in 8 inches of snow and again this summer, I can definitely see why most people in their right minds choose summer over winter to move!  So just under the wire before summer wraps up, this month’s card of the month is a change of address card.  (It’s also this month’s card because I finally got around to finishing and mailing my change of address cards!)

We chose a light blue background because we liked the color – it’s actually about the same color as our new art room.  So I started with an 8.5″ X 5.5″ piece of light blue card stock folded in half.  I stamped little houses with a Stampin’ Up stamp and colored them brown to match our new house.  I punched them out with a coordinating Stampin’ Up arrow punch.  Then I cut squares out of brown card stock and stamped them with another Stampin’ Up stamp that says “handle with care” to make them look like moving boxes.  I glued the punched out houses peeking out the tops.  I taped a bit of leftover tissue paper from our move to the back of each box.  I attached the whole thing to the front of the card with pop up dots and added a “We’ve moved” printed label.  I then included our new address on the inside.  And the best part is I managed to finish them and get them in the mail before the end of summer!

Late Summer Decorations

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about my new found love of August.  Yet another reason I have learned to love this time of year is getting to decorate our kitchen for the season I have named “late summer.”  Somehow the red and blue berries and white daisies I have out earlier in the summer just seem a little tired by the end of July, but it’s also still too early to put out apples and pumpkins for fall.  Even though late summer is a season I kind of made up on my own, the decorations I use for this time of year have become some of my favorites.  When I think of late summer, I think of bright colors like hot pink, purple, orange, yellow, and red.

Late Summer Decorations

Late Summer Decorations

So I gathered up artificial flowers in these fun colors, placed bright yellow artificial lemons in jars, and put them around the kitchen starting at the end of July.

Late Summer Kitchen

Late Summer Kitchen

I will leave them out until mid September when I switch to fall decorations.  My late summer theme is so bright and cheerful, and I just love it!  My husband even told me the other day that it’s also one of his favorite times of the year because he loves having the bright late summer colors out in the house too.

Late Summer Table

Late Summer Table

It’s a nice way to wrap up summer and look forward to fall!

Monthly Themes for the Classroom

Doing seasonal activities in schools is frowned upon these days.  However it was always my experience that whenever I would change my bulletin boards at the beginning of each month, the kids would rush in the next morning and crowd around the new decorations in the room.  I never once pointed them out – the kids always found the monthly decorations on their own and got excited about them.  Even if it wasn’t purely academic, it made the students excited to come in the classroom, and in my unscientific, not researched based opinion, enthusiasm definitely boosts learning.

To make it easy on myself, I collected 2 complete sets of monthly decorations. (Since we looped and I had the same kids for 2 years, 1 set wasn’t enough.)  I got 1 big bulletin board set, packs of small accents, and 1 medium sized wall hanging for each month – mostly Carson Dellosa, but I supplemented with homemade stuff when I couldn’t find what I needed from the store.  I would put the various decorations up on a wall by themselves or add them in with the calendar or other year round bulletin boards.

August Suns

August Suns

November Turkeys

November Turkeys

I found that the following monthly themes worked well – although as I look at current teacher catalogs it’s harder and harder to find seasonal decorations anymore.  It’s worth it if you can find them though!

Year A:

August – Suns

September – Apples

October – Pumpkins

November – Turkeys

December – Snowmen

January – Snowflakes

February – Hearts

March – Shamrocks

April – Butterflies

May – Racecars (we are in Indiana, after all!)

December Snowmen

December Snowmen

Year B:

August – Sunflowers

September – School Supplies

October – Scarecrows

November – Fall Leaves

December – Mittens

January – Penguins

February – American Flags

March – Rainbows

April – Flowers

May – Bees

April Butterflies

April Butterflies

August: The Month of Nothing

First of all, this is an ode to the month of August, not an episode of Seinfeld.

Today my friends in the school district where I used to attend as a student and later teach elementary kids went back to school.  I wish them all the luck in the world while simultaneously offering them my deepest condolences that they are missing out on the wonderful new discovery that has come with my current job: I have discovered… THE MONTH OF AUGUST!

When I was a kid I absolutely hated the month of August.  Back then we started school usually around August 20th or so.  As a result, I just saw August as this long, hot, sticky, miserable period of time in limbo waiting for school to start.  There was nothing to do except organize and reorganize my brand new stash of back to school clothes and school supplies. There was also the pastime of calling the drugstore every few hours to see if the much anticipated back to school issue of Seventeen had hit the newsstand yet and then the adventure of walking to the drugstore to get one (being allowed to walk to the drugstore was the ultimate rite of passage in my neighborhood – in some ways it was a bigger deal than getting a driver’s license).  And then when I finally did get my hands on a copy, I would look through it a million times, dog ear the pages, and have my mom help me scour the city for more back to school must haves that Seventeen told me I needed.  And then back to the organizing and reorganizing of the new clothes and supplies with the ones I already had.  In other words, August was always a time for being antsy and spinning my wheels.

More recently as a teacher, I saw August as a time of frantic stress filled with trying to get my room at school ready before the two so called “teacher work days” at the start of the school year which were full of meetings but completely devoid of time for any actual “teacher work.”  Unless you are a teacher, you have no idea how you can actually feel your blood pressure rise as you watch the clock hands race forward in time as you think about all the name tags you need to put on desks while you are required to do some sort of “fun” activity to build camaraderie with people you already like in the first place and who are every bit as cranky and stressed as you are while you all painfully endure the forced fun together.  Phew.  I feel like I need to catch my breath just remembering all this….

These days though, my job at a preschool that starts the day after Labor Day has enabled me to embrace August for what I’ve recently discovered it should have been all along: The Month of Nothing.  As a remnant of my past life, I am still in the habit of rushing to get my doctors’ appointments and everything else that HAS to get done before school starts out of the way at the end of July and early August leaving the rest of August totally open for… NOTHING!!!  I have actual empty spaces on my calendar – something that doesn’t happen during any other month of the year.  It’s glorious – like gaining a whole month I never knew existed.  I’ve heard that many places in Europe totally shut down during the month of August, and I’m thinking they are on to something!  August – where have you been all my life?!?