June 16, 2010

Monkey Business


Today was the last day of VBS at our church.  I was on the snack detail.  We had almost 800 children each day.

Needless to say we were thrilled to have that many kids, but today all of the adults were weary!  The theme for the week was the rainforest.  The new Monkey Designer Cut-Outs were perfect decorations. 
 With the JUMBO monkeys it was easy to turn any room into a rainforest.  We  just added a few colorful tissue paper flowers and twisted paper vines with big green leaves
to make it a junge.

Monkeys and jungle are popular classroom themes.  When we were taking the decorations down today a lady was following me around  gathering up all the vines, leaves, and flowers.  I could tell she was a teacher!!  She looked at me and said,
"I just decided what my classroom theme is going to be next fall?" 
  I gave her all the monkeys.  She is all set for next year!

Get creative and bring the theme to all corners of the classroom.  Bulletin boards, borders, name tags, name plates, storage boxes, stickers....monkeys are everywhere.  And that is not even counting the ones in your class!!
You can find all our monkey products at http://www.creativeteaching.com/

Sure, the new JUMBO Monkey Designer Cut-Outs add to the jungle theme, but think outside the box!  You can do lots more with the monkey JUMBO cut-outs.

To make a themed step stool simply use  Modge Podge to adhere
the  Monkey Cut-Out to the stool.  This one is perfect for preschoolers to use to reach the sink to wash their hands.
A few construction paper leaves and a couple of buttons add to the "jungle" look. This same technique can be applied to a chair or
file cabinet or anything else in the room that needs
"something" to add a little fun.

Need more fun?  Add a monkey to a lap desk.  Again, use Modge Podge to adhere the monkey and a few construction paper leaves to the top of the desk.  You can personalize the desk with our 1" letter stickers.  This lap desk would make a great birthday gift or for someone special at your house.
You can never have too much monkey business!!

June 10, 2010


A couple of weeks ago I went to California to work on some display boards that are being sent to stores to show CTP's new product for back to school.  Here is one of the boards that we did.  Notice the new calendar and calendar days that form a pattern as you add the days to the month. 
If you look on the right side you see a little black board that features our new designer cut outs.  They now come in three different sizes.  The 10" ones are called JUMBO designer cut outs.  We added to our existing line of 6" exciting designer cut outs.  In addition, we added new mini  designer cut outs that are 1".  Of all the new product, I had the most fun playing with the jumbo cut outs.  There are 11 different styles of jumbos to choose from.  Here are some things you can do with JUMBOS!
Go to http://www.creativeteaching.com/ and search for jumbo designer cut outs to see all the different styles.

The Jumbo 10" cut outs are perfect for math and word mats.

A math mat is simply a place to hold manipulatives while the student is working the problem.  This is the Chart Card cut out set.  I divided one of the cards into two parts using a marker.  Large buttons are the used as manipulatives.  We are working on the fact family for 6.
           2 + 4 = 6

The Dots on Black Apples cut outs make great word mats.  Write your sentence on a sentence strip  then cut each word apart and scramble the words. 

Arrange the words in the correct order on the word mat.
Use the pointer to read the sentence.

After Kate arranges her sentence on her word mat, she writes it on a sentence strip.  She practices reading the sentence one more time!

Next time, more stuff to do with designer JUMBOS!

June 4, 2010

Step on a Spot

For the last four years I have been working for an educational publishing company called Creative Teaching Press.  Being a part of CTP is a joy for me.  I get to do what I love to do with really great people.  CTP is located in Huntington Beach, CA, the surfing capital of the world...not that I ever surf when I am there.  But, when you are the oldest employee in the company you do get special treatment.   Most of the time I work from my home in Texas in my pajamas.  Sometimes, I go to shows like IRA or NAEYC.  My main job there is to talk.  I can do that! 

Recently I decided that I needed some business cards.  They told me I could have some made as soon as I decided what my title was.  It is hard to describe what I really do besides play with product and talk to people.  After much thought and deliberation I finally came up with a title. 
My card says Tommie Netzer....Creative Consultant.  I think that is pretty good.  Creative means I get to take cute stuff and make it cuter.  Consultant means I get to tell everyone what I think and to give my opinion on everything!  That is pretty much what I do. 

Here is an example of my "work".  Marketing sent me a package of 4" black numbers and a package of  Poppin' Pattern designer cutout dots.  They said can you think of something cute that could be made from these?  "Of course!" I said.  "My job is to take cute things and make them cuter!"

A walk- on number line 
 I started with a 12 foot piece of bulletin board paper that was 20" wide. (Here is a tip that I learned from making this the first time....Fold the paper the way you plan to store it before you put anything on it.  Don't put anything on a fold.  Then you will be able to fold it when you finish.  It is impossible to fold in the middle of a dot or number!)  I spaced the dots and numbers along the paper.  When they looked evenly spaced I glued them down.  I added Poppin' Pattern 4" letters to spell Step on a Spot!  That pretty much explains what a kid is supposed to do. A border along the edge finishes off the number line. 

This is my kindergarten friend, Eva, using the number line at her school. 

Here are some things a kid can do on a number line:
  • Walk forward counting as she steps on a spot
  • Start at 20 and count backwards as she steps on a spot
  • On what number is Eva standing?  16
  • What is the number before 16? 15
  • What is the number after 16?  17
  • If Eva stands on the number 1 and steps forward on 5 spots what is the new number?  6  What is the number sentence? 
      1 + 5 = 6

Anything that can be done on a desk-top number line can be done on the walk-on style.  It is just more fun to move your whole self when you do your thinking.

Have some fun!  Take a walk on a number line. 


June 2, 2010

Tommie Becomes a Blogger

This is my confession….
I am technologically challenged!
I was quite proud of the power point that I designed recently until I saw the one that my nine year old grandson, Trevor, did on Guatemala. His had 31 slides with pictures and graphs and all sorts of fancy things. Now, he is my technical support on all power points.                             

Since I am so technologically challenged Kelly Murphy, the online marketing guru from Creative Teaching Press, set up my blog and has posted for me in the past. Thanks, Kelly! However, today I shall become a blogger.

Kelly offered me some advice…

• Keep it short and sweet.

• Use pictures. A picture is worth a thousand words!

• Don’t get too commercial.  However, my projects feature wonderful products from Creative Teaching Press. Check them out.   All products can be found at http://www.creativeteaching.com/

• Post often and be personable. Try to create some followers.

Seems like good advice. I will try to follow it.

My husband once told me, “If you could just find something to do with all the ‘dumb stuff’ that you know how to do….” Actually, some folks love my “dumb stuff”.  Perhaps you will, too.

Check in tomorrow for the beginning of “The dumb stuff that Tommie knows how to do!”