How To: Recycle Crayons

Recycled Crayons, Crayon Cookies, or “Magic” Crayons.  
How To: Make Recycled Crayons with Miss. Whimsy

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Remove paper from broken crayons (Have kids help! Soak difficult crayons in water to help remove paper).

3. Fill a silicone baking pan with the broken crayon pieces(this pan will be dedicated to art projects from now on). Fill them with mixed colors for a rainbow look or all the same shade, theme colors for holidays, be creative!

4. Bake until melted. In my oven with the amount of crayons I used, it took about 8 minutes 

Carefully remove the pan and allow the crayons to COMPLETELY cool in order to harden. Warning: Your house will smell of burnt crayons. This is normal, don't invite guests over for a few hours!

How To: Make Recycled Crayons with Miss. Whimsy
How To: Make Recycled Crayons with Miss. Whimsy

Did you change the shapes of your crayons by using a different pan? 

Top 10 Blogging Tips - Intermediate Edition

New? Start with the basics from my first post.
  1. Back up your blog. Start here: Here. Complete all of the steps. Then go to My Computer, Recently Changed, and drag both your Template and Blog into My Documents and then the appropriate folder. This is only one of the ways available but it was free and only took a few minutes so I'm sticking with it for now. Do this at least monthly. 
  2. Google Analytics. Check out The Website and click sign in at the top right hand corner. This feature is vital if you have any interest in advertising because advertisers will wanna know your statistics. Understand that it will take at least 24 hours to process and record data from your site. 
  3. Build a Community. More than just a blog following, I want to build relationships with my readers and listen to what they have to say. Adding a poll to your side bar works, including social media links  works too. Take it a step further by commenting on blogs you are interested in and leaving a link to your blog. If you moved to a new state and wanted to make new friends you would put yourself out there, introduce yourself, and strike up a conversation.. Same goes for blogs. 
  4. Stick to What You are Good at: Good at writing but terrible at design? Hire a blog designer or purchase graphics. Don't feel like you have to do everything on your own.
  5. Schedule Your Pins. Pingraphy is similar to the Pin It Button that you add to your toolbar/bookmarks to pin images except with the former you can schedule your pins by time and day. For example, I know that 8pm is a more popular time to surf Pinterest. If I pin at that time I can get more traffic to my blog however The Housewives of Beverly Hills is on at that time and I will be away from my computer so I will schedule my pins instead. 
  6. Keep the Conversation Going: Disqus is a great tool to replace your current comments section with one that sends emails to the your commenters when a new comment is posted. It also allows commenterers to strike up a conversation and keep it going. I liked how simple it was to add to my blog and it is easy to respond to comments directly from my inbox. 
  7. Get Out of Your Pajamas: If a full time blogging career is what you are after it has been proven that waking up at the same time everyday and getting dressed for a work day is more productive than just rolling out of bed and working in your PJs. Read more Here.
  8. Unsubscribe:  In the interest of productivity, take that extra 2 minutes to click the unsubscribe button at the bottom of that e-mail, call that number on the back of the catalog company, ask to be removed from the calling list. If you don't love it, remove it from your life. 
  9. Be PR Friendly: Include an about me page so that potential advertisers can get to know you. A contact page is also vital if you want to them to reach out to you. Read more here.
  10. Tweet Better: Time of day, length of tweet, and keywords to delivering a more click-worthy tweet. Check out the Infographic.
What have you learned about blogging recently?

WDIW: Inspiration

We Deserve It Wednesday: We deserve a daily dose of inspiration.



Find more inspiration here. Share a favorite quote or inspiring picture in the comments below. 

Blog Follower Giveaway Winner!

And the winner is Cara! Thanks everyone for participating. If this is something you would like to see happen again, leave a comment below! :)

Kids Yoga

I want to share my experience during Kids Yoga Teacher Training. It was such a great time for me to get away from my daily frustrations with subbing, not having my own classroom, financial worries, etc. My focus was solely on learning how to teach kids how to breathe and practice yoga. And in turn, I practiced breathing and yoga which worked miracles on my stressed out mind and body!
After completing level 1 of training, I am so excited to  put my knowledge into practice. I truly see the benefit of deep breathing and yoga poses in the classroom. Though my plan is to teach both an after school class and summer school next year which would be dedicated to yoga I think weaving in a few poses during classroom transitions would be very beneficial to stressed out or high-strung students.

Classroom Yoga Ideas:
  • Glitter jar: Have kids gather round in a circle and one at a time scoop a spoonful of colored glitter in a jar. Each scoop represents the child's worries at the moment. Homework, sibling rivalry, high expectations from parents, shaky friendships, etc. Once everyone has participated, screw on the jar lid and shake the jar. Explain to kids that as the glitter falls, so are their thoughts. Watch as your thoughts slowly dissolve to the bottom of the jar. Take a deep breath in and when you exhale, smile and sigh. 
  • Sun Salute: Have kids stand next to their desks, inhale and raise their arms up to the sky. Then, exhale and touch their toes, look up halfway and say hello to a classmate and then relax their head again. Finally, have them inhale and touch the sky, and exhale their hands by their sides. You can repeat this quick sun salute depending on time availability. 
I can't wait to start using yoga in the classroom. What are your thoughts? How would you incorporate yoga into the classroom?

WDIW: A Good Night's Sleep!

 We deserve it Wednesday: Weekly posts on taking care of you.

                 Get a Good Night's Sleep!

There is nothing quite like a warm, comfy bed and a deep sleep. Ahhh. We all know to have a routine before bed, take a warm bath, read, turn off the laptop but sometimes you need a little something extra. Check out Ruth's video on How to Hibernate. Watching it made me want to go out and buy the most luxurious bedding. Grab a couple milk chocolate truffles and curl up on the couch with a pad and pencil as you watch her video. Tonight you are getting a good night's sleep!

Sweet dreams,

5 Items Every TeacherspayTeachers Product Should Have

  1. Cover Page: As straightforward yet eye-catching as you can get it.  
  2. Thank You Page: Typically follows your cover page and credits the source of your fonts, graphics, borders, and backgrounds. On that note, be very selective about the images you use. If they aren't yours you have to credit them. If they aren't for commercial use you cannot use them. Be aware of this from the start and save yourself the hassle down the line.
  3. Instructions: How do I use your product? Do you have extra pictures of the product in use?
  4. Copyright: In depth copyright information either included on your thank you page or the last page of your product. Also, include copyright information on every page of your product. (Copyright 2012, Miss. Whimsy)
  5. A Great Price: Scroll to the bottom of the TpT homepage to see who is currently a top seller and compare the size of your product to theirs. How much would you pay for your own product? Also, consider the time you spent creating the product. For more ideas click Here and scroll to her bullet points.
  • BONUS: Table of Contents and/or Closing Page: The first is subjective to the type of products you are selling. A Table of Contents would obviously be more suited to a lengthy product or used to make your buyer's experience better. A closing page is helpful to say thank you again and link to your blog, social media and other places your buyers can find you. I also like to encourage buyers to leave feedback and follow my store.
Further reading: TpT Newsletter Archives. Also, check out Top 12 TpT Tips and Tricks.

Good luck!

Blog Follower Giveaway!

Just because you deserve it I am having a blog follower giveaway. The winner, which will be chosen randomly next Saturday, December 15 will win a TeacherspayTeachers product of their choice from my  store!

Check out some of my best sellers:

Color by Letters 

Letter & Sound Matching Game
Check Out My New Clip Art:
Animal Clip Art Set
Farm Animals Clip Art

To qualify:
  • You must be a follower on my TeacherspayTeachers store.
  • You must follow be a blog follower.
  • Comment below with your e-mail address so that I will be able to reach you if you win.
That's it! Good luck!

WDIW: Laughter

We Deserve it Wednesdays: Because we deserve it.

It was difficult getting over my addiction to the Hokey Pokey but I've turned myself around.

Laughing is much needed and always appropriate medicine to boredom, stress, sickness, and chaos. I found this website really funny. Check it out and submit a funny link, comment, or image in the comments below!

Blogging Tips & Tricks

There is always a way to make your life easier or more streamlined. Those are the tips I love to read about so I wanted to share a few of mine related to blogging that I have picked up along the way.

  • Schedule Your Posts: People love structure and routine. Consistently posting and having a schedule will keep your readers coming back. After typing your blog post, go to Post Settings on the right hand side, click on Schedule, and Set Date and Time. This is also a great feature because you can write quite a few posts in advance and set them up if you plan on being away from the computer for a while. Also, check out the best times to post Here.
  • Have a Theme: Think about what you are good at. Great organizer? Good at giving advice? Whatever it is hone in on your skill set because it is a lot easier to write what you know. And I would much rather read an organizing blog from a dedicated organizer than from Miss. Messy Pants. 
  • Create a Reference: Print out pictures, write lists, or create a pin board that you can reference for ideas, and tutorials. 
  • Refresh: Do not post anything immediately after writing it. Our best work comes from stepping away from the computer, living offline for a day or two and then coming back with "fresh eyes." Just like writing essays in college, when you come back to your work you may just find a spelling error or think of a new idea to add.  
  • Think Critically: Go to your favorite websites and blogs and be critical. Why do you like visiting so much? What is it about their page that makes you subscribe and keep coming back for more? I am assuming they have great content but is it their layout too? 
  • Load Fast: There is nothing more annoying than having to wait an extra 10 seconds for a page to load. Those graphics are beautiful but it is a personal pet peeve of mine. Streamline. Keep only the essentials and don't have more than 6 posts on the front page. Readers will get an idea of what you are about after the first 2-3. 
  • Linky Parties: This is one of the best ways to get the word out about your blog and they are a lot of fun. Check out some Here.
  • Promote, Promote, Promote:  You have great content, now how do you get people to read it? Here's an Infographic explaining how. Another great resource Here.
  • Patience: I have a long way to go and though I work everyday on my blog sometimes I just have to do my work and then step back. I recommend you do the same and grab a chocolate truffle while you are at it for all your hard work! :)

Learned any new tips or tricks recently? Add your 2 cents in the comments below. Or find more tips here.