Before I get started I have to say for the record, I LOVE my new Cricut Explore Air 2. I am a new user and in being completely transparent….have made nine trips to the crafts store in five days. I have been playing with my machine and making things for hours and hours every day. I really love how it brings my ideas out of my head and practically to life. It is fun to create successful learning environment at school with Cricut. The director of the Wake County Bridges (Elementary School) Program and I worked together to create a wall of inspiration at the end of their main hallway. It was a challenging first Cricut project but I feel like we nailed it! After that I started making things for her office and staff. I made things for my son’s friend Anne-Catherine, a first year teacher starting in her classroom TODAY! I am certain that making #allthethings is awesome but it is even more awesome when they are received by overjoyed teachers. I usually share HOW TO posts but this one is really a WHY kind of read. I will be sharing how to use the machine and projects moving forward but the purpose of this one is to inspire YOU to be a difference maker using the Cricut. I hope you will want to create a successful learning environment at school or your workplace using some of these ideas. This post is sponsored by Cricut but the ideas and opinions are my own.
The Inspirational Wall at The Bridges Program
The Bridges program is very special. It is a part of Wake Country Public Schools. With 159,549 students enrolled in 187 schools as of the 2018-19 School year, it is the largest public school district in North Carolina and the 15th largest district in the United States. The Bridges Program Bridges Program provides a caring, safe, structured, and creative environment that inspires, supports, and empowers students to believe in themselves, achieve personal goals, and succeed socially, emotionally, and academically. It is a program designed for students in grades 1-5 experiencing academic, emotional and behavioral difficulties that are interfering with school success. The goal is to determine an appropriate educational setting for each student. BRIDGES supports a student’s transition by working directly with students and by supporting the student once he is placed in a less restrictive educational setting. Students come from ALL OVER the district with a large variety of needs. One thing all students need is a positive and inspiring place to learn. Our goal was to create a piece of that in the wall using my new Cricut Explore Air 2.
To create the wall, we used the Cricut Explore Air 2 to cut out a variety of words meant to empower students and staff alike.
As we were arranging and constructing the wall, staff jumped in to support. They were all so genuinely excited about this project!
There was a worry about getting the vinyl to adhere to a cinder block wall. With a little creative thinking, we decided heat would probably be helpful so we used a hairdryer on it when it was all up. It worked!
We plan to fill in some of the spaces with smaller words in the days to come. I am so grateful to have such an awesome place to volunteer.
We also added positive messages to windows, other walls and water fountains.
I created some things for teachers too. Creating an uplifting and successful environment for school learning goes beyond the hallways and into the classrooms.
Drawers and Containers of Inspiration
While words that label what things are is good, labeling with words that can change a mood or lift a spirit could be even better. Think about the difference of these two statements.
- “Please go get 20 sheets of white paper from the Happy Drawer.”
- “Go get 20 sheets of paper from the paper drawer.”
Gratitude is a powerful tool for shifting a mood, a tone and an entire environment. This gratitude board is a place to add things for which we are thankful. Whether it is a drawing of the sunshine, a photo of our kids or a note from a friend; collected together they create a powerful tool. Kids can bring in things that remind them of what makes them grateful. If they don’t have anything to bring in, provide paper and crayons so they can create something. What a perfect classroom it would be if there were boards filled with grateful messages from students. Did you know that practicing gratitude has been proven to reduce bullying?
Power Thoughts Notebook
Turn a regular notebook into a book of power thoughts with two words. This can be cut out of any color vinyl and added to almost all notebook surfaces. All of sudden the plain old writing for day is magically turned into a powerful messaging center. It just feels good to open a book that says POWER THOUGHTS. It suggests that the writer is powerful in their thinking before they ever turn those thoughts into words.
Back to School Teacher Goody Box
Teachers tend to spend their extra (and sometimes not even so much extra) money on classroom supplies for the students and not themselves. By creating a personalized tub filled with goodies, you might just kick the year off for a teacher in a brighter light. This box is for Anne-Catherine on her first day as a first year teacher. It includes candy, note paper, stickies, stickers, patches, Excederin, snack bars, facial peels, and more…
MY Cricut Explore Air 2
I personalized my machine with my logo and I LOVE IT SO SO MUCH!
Cricut Explore Air 2 and Materials Bundle GIVEAWAY
I am excited to partner with Cricut to give away a Cricut Air 2 AND a Materials Bundle to a Lucky Teacher! This teacher can be any educator in grades pre-K through college (including support staff and administration AND Girl Scout leaders). I hope you will enter either for yourself if you are a teacher or a teacher you love! If you are entering on behalf of a teacher or Girl Scout leader, we will just need to verify their school/troop and ship to that address!
I shared about it on WRAL if you want to watch the segment!
YAY! Cheers to Creating a Place for Kids to Grow, Learn and Be Inspired!