Easy Ikea Bench Tutorial

I’ve had many requests since last summer to do an easy Ikea bench tutorial since I shared about our new benches in our flexible seating classroom.  It was fairly simple and a favorite spot in our classroom all year.  Oftentimes, I’d even find myself sitting there while my students were giving presentations or during the time my student teacher took over.

I've had many requests since last summer to do an easy Ikea bench tutorial since I shared about our new benches in our flexible seating classroom.  It was fairly simple and a favorite spot in our classroom all year.  

Materials

There are plenty of things you need to make your own benches.  Some things you’ll have lying around your house and somethings you’ll need to run to the store for.

Ikea

You’ll need to get the Kallax shelf unit from Ikea.  I purchased two last summer in white, however they come in many different colors.  The dimensions are 16 1/2×57 7/8″

I've had many requests since last summer to do an easy Ikea bench tutorial since I shared about our new benches in our flexible seating classroom.  It was fairly simple and a favorite spot in our classroom all year.  

Fabric Store

I was nervous about picking out fabric for our Ikea benches because I didn’t want it to get dirty.  But then I thought to myself, “This is for 7 year olds, of course it will get dirty.”  I gave the nice lady at Hobby Lobby my dimensions (The dimensions are 16 1/2×57 7/8″) of the shelf and she suggested 2 1/2 yards of fabric per bench.

I've had many requests since last summer to do an easy Ikea bench tutorial since I shared about our new benches in our flexible seating classroom.  It was fairly simple and a favorite spot in our classroom all year.  

I've had many requests since last summer to do an easy Ikea bench tutorial since I shared about our new benches in our flexible seating classroom.  It was fairly simple and a favorite spot in our classroom all year.  

Remember when I was freaking out about the fabric getting dirty? Well, then you just get this plastic fabric stuff.  It was inexpensive and well worth it because on the first day of school, one of my sweet friends thought it would be fun to poke a hole in the bench cushion to see what would happen!  The dimensions for the plastic will be the same as your fabric above!

I've had many requests since last summer to do an easy Ikea bench tutorial since I shared about our new benches in our flexible seating classroom.  It was fairly simple and a favorite spot in our classroom all year.  

I got the thickest poly foam and wasn’t thrilled on the price.  It was 37.00 for this package…but if you have a 40% off coupon online, it’s cheaper.    I am paid a small fee from Amazon for sharing these awesome resources with you! Or, you can get it here and not have to leave your house!  One package was enough for 2 benches and we had some left over as well.

I've had many requests since last summer to do an easy Ikea bench tutorial since I shared about our new benches in our flexible seating classroom.  It was fairly simple and a favorite spot in our classroom all year.  

Hardwood store

I went to Lowe’s to pick out the wood that I needed.  They call it MDF board and all I did was told the nice man what I was making, and he showed me the wood and even cut it to my exact dimensions!  Remember, the dimensions are 16 1/2×57 7/8″.  You only need once piece per bench.

I've had many requests since last summer to do an easy Ikea bench tutorial since I shared about our new benches in our flexible seating classroom.  It was fairly simple and a favorite spot in our classroom all year.  

Materials from around the house

Easy Ikea Bench Tutorial

I've had many requests since last summer to do an easy Ikea bench tutorial since I shared about our new benches in our flexible seating classroom.  It was fairly simple and a favorite spot in our classroom all year.  

  1. Cut the foam to fit the wood and bench.  I was lucky enough to have my mother and sister-in-law for this project so they cut the foam.  We didn’t have an electric knife so we struggled with a regular knife. It worked but wasn’t pretty!

  2. Next, wrap your fabric around the foam and staple to the wood.  My mother-in-law suggested using quilt batting but it looked fine without it.

  3. Do the same thing with the plastic “fabric.”

  4. Put the cushion on top of the bench and try it out.  I found that it wiggled a bit so I had a ton of leftover velcro that I put under the wood cushion and attached to the bench to keep it in one place.

I hope you found this tutorial helpful!  If you have any questions and wan’t an immediate answer, join me i my Facebook group.

I've had many requests since last summer to do an easy Ikea bench tutorial since I shared about our new benches in our flexible seating classroom.  It was fairly simple and a favorite spot in our classroom all year.  

 

Easy Parent Volunteer Gifts

As we get closer to the end of the school year, I like to thank my parent volunteers who come in on a weekly basis. Now, you may be rolling your eyes as you read this thinking, “What parent volunteers?” Trust me, I get and have been there. I spent the majority of my time in schools where I had no help. These gifts also work well for your coworkers, custodians, and office staff, too.

As we get closer to the end of the school year, I like to thank my parent volunteers who come in on a weekly basis. These gifts also work well for your coworkers, custodians, and office staff, too and won't break the bank.

As we get closer to the end of the school year, I like to thank my parent volunteers who come in on a weekly basis. These gifts also work well for your coworkers, custodians, and office staff, too and won't break the bank.

End of the Year Drink Container:

1. Get tumblers, water bottles, or plastic coffee mugs at the 99 cent store.

2. Buy packets of iced tea and lemonade from the 99 cent store.

3. Drop those in with some raffia or ribbon.

4. Print out the tag and attach with washi tape or you can hole punch it and slip it over the straw.

As we get closer to the end of the school year, I like to thank my parent volunteers who come in on a weekly basis. These gifts also work well for your coworkers, custodians, and office staff, too and won't break the bank.

End of the Year Succulent:

1. Get an inexpensive succulent

2. See the tutorial and get the freebie gift tag here.

As we get closer to the end of the school year, I like to thank my parent volunteers who come in on a weekly basis. These gifts also work well for your coworkers, custodians, and office staff, too and won't break the bank.

Easy photo:

1. Take a group photo of your class holding up “Thank You” signs.

2. Laminate it or frame it and have the student add their signature.

As we get closer to the end of the school year, I like to thank my parent volunteers who come in on a weekly basis. These gifts also work well for your coworkers, custodians, and office staff, too and won't break the bank.

As we get closer to the end of the school year, I like to thank my parent volunteers who come in on a weekly basis. These gifts also work well for your coworkers, custodians, and office staff, too and won't break the bank.

Improve student printing in your class

Is messy printing common in your classroom?  Are students apathetic to trying to write neatly? Improve student printing in your class in a fun and engaging way with a printing contest.  I’ve been doing this friendly competition for a long time and it’s always a hit with my students.  Grab the freebie at the end of this post.

Is messy printing common in your classroom?  Are students apathetic to trying to write neatly? Let's get our students printing neatly in a fun and engaging way with a printing contest.  I've been doing this friendly competition for a long time and it's always a hit with my students.

How does a printing contest work?

  • We do this once a month-typically at the end of every month
  • Sometimes we’ll do this as morning work and other times we’ll do it during literacy workshop.
  • I’ll put my sample under the document camera if we’re doing it whole group, and students copy it.
  • If students are improving student printing during ELA centers, I’ll make 6 copies, one for each student in the table group

Is messy printing common in your classroom?  Are students apathetic to trying to write neatly? Let's get our students printing neatly in a fun and engaging way with a printing contest.  I've been doing this friendly competition for a long time and it's always a hit with my students.

Voting

Students write their name on the back of the their paper and turn it in.  I write a letter on each paper with a marker starting with letter A, then B, and so on.  I cut up a bunch of paper and students walk quietly around the room to make their vote.  This is a good time to talk about keeping votes private and to vote for the best printing rather than your own!

Is messy printing common in your classroom?  Are students apathetic to trying to write neatly? Let's get our students printing neatly in a fun and engaging way with a printing contest.  I've been doing this friendly competition for a long time and it's always a hit with my students.

Once all the students have voted, we gather on the carpet and tally up the votes.  Throughout our voting, we’ll stop and talk about how many more does ___ have than _____ or how many more does ____ need to be equal to ___?

Is messy printing common in your classroom?  Are students apathetic to trying to write neatly? Let's get our students printing neatly in a fun and engaging way with a printing contest.  I've been doing this friendly competition for a long time and it's always a hit with my students.

The winner of the printing contest

Once we’ve determined the winning paper, a student goes to find it without looking at the name.  We do a drum roll and announce the winner.  I write the student’s name on a generic award, add the picture to our class Instagram account and the student grabs a prize.

Possible prizes:

  • prize from our treasure box
  • classroom money from our economy system,
  • line leader
  • free tech time
  • listen to music while working
  • free choice for 15 minutes

Is messy printing common in your classroom?  Are students apathetic to trying to write neatly? Let's get our students printing neatly in a fun and engaging way with a printing contest.  I've been doing this friendly competition for a long time and it's always a hit with my students.

Grab your printing contest freebie

Are you already a member?  If so, head to the Member’s Area!  Not a member yet, join for free here.

How to use a clip chart for classroom management

There’s a lot of strong feelings about clip charts!  Some people love them while others think they’re horrible.  Let’s chat about how to use a clip chart, what it looks like in our classroom, how to communicate with parents, and how to manage it all.  I’ve also get several alternatives so you can choose what works best for you!

Let's chat about how to use a clip chart, what it looks like in our classroom, how to communicate with parents, and how to manage it all.  I've also get several alternatives so you can choose what works best for you!

How the heck do I use one?

I’ve used a clip chart for years after attending a Rick Morris PD. He’s THE classroom management guru and has a great e book freebie on clip charts, how to use it, the rationale why, and more. He can explain it way better than I can!

Like anything, if used the right way, I think they’re helpful for me for a few reasons.

1. It helps me keep track of behavior in our class

2. It lets parents know how their child was in class

What it looks like in my room

Let's chat about how to use a clip chart for classroom management, what it looks like, how to communicate with parents, and how to manage it all.  

I spray painted clothespins and added number stickers on the end {each student is assigned a #}. Everyone starts out on “Ready to Learn.” Students can move up or down throughout the day depending on the choices they make. What I think is really important that students can always move back up if they move down.

Communicating with parents

At the end of the day, students fill out where they ended up on their behavior chart to take home to their parents. This is part of our clean up routine at the end of the day and takes about 30 seconds.

When I first started teaching, kiddos lined up at the door and received a tiny stamp on their hand if they had an awesome day. Parents were able to see if their child earned a stamp and could have a discussion about the good choices they made that day.

Management

At the end of the day, someone’s job in or class is to put all of the clips back to “Ready to Learn.” One less thing for me to do! {See more about classroom jobs here}  Didn’t download it yet, grab it ​again!

Clip Chart Alternatives

  • Remember the expectations I shared on Day 1. Turn that into a clip chart. Students can clip to showing respect, making good choices, and solving problems.
  • Class Dojo
  • Brag Tags
  • Classroom Economy 
  • Whole Brain Teaching

For the next 2 weeks, I’ll be breaking down classroom management for you in a daily e mail. I’ll make it short and sweet because I know how busy you are.  Click here if you aren’t already signed up.

 

Let's chat about how to use a clip chart, what it looks like in our classroom, how to communicate with parents, and how to manage it all.  I've also get several alternatives so you can choose what works best for you!

Easy Teaching Tools Primary Teachers Facebook Group

Consistency with Classroom Management

Now that you’ve got your classroom expectations set from our classroom management e mail series, let’s get into the tough stuff…following through.  In my not-so-humble opinion, following through and consistency is the hardest part about strong classroom management and what’s missing from many classrooms that are a bit of a hot-mess!  I’ve got a few ways to help you have consistency with classroom management.

I've got a few ways to help you have consistency with classroom management.

Testing Boundaries

Kids test boundaries, it’s just what they do.  They will test you…especially those first few weeks of school.  They want to know if you really mean what you say.  They want to know what they can get away with.  Some of our sweet little guys come from families where parents say one thing, but don’t really mean it.  That gives our kids mixed messages.  So here’s what you can do to ensure that you follow through in your class.

Say what you mean

If you tell your students that you expect them to come into the classroom quietly and they don’t; make them walk back outside and try it again.  Do this until they come into the class the way you expect.  During the first month, you’ll have to do this repeatedly.  And you’re going to want to cry…or scream…because it’s frustrating.  But I promise you that the hard work will pay off.  It will eventually click with your kids that you’re not playing around or putting up with any foolishness.  And pretty soon, you’ll have a few friends who are also tired of doing this repeatedly and they’ll make sure that their chatty friends turn off their sweet little voices.

Consistency

Sometimes it’s easier to let things slide because you’re tired, but don’t.  If you expect your kids to come in from recess quietly, expect it every.single.time.  If you only expect it sometimes, your students won’t know when that time may be so it’s harder for them to get into the routine of doing it.  When your consistent, it will become a routine and your students are more likely to rise to the occasion.

Set an Example

I absolutely hate when this happens, but it’s going to.  There’s always going to be one or two friends who aren’t going to take you seriously.  I’ve got my own theories on why these friends do this, but that’s a whole other blog post!  When your new friend thinks that it’s ok to continue to talk during your number talk, despite your redirection and warnings, it’s time to follow through…which means Chatty Kathy is now going to be used as an example for the rest of the class.

You may think I’m harsh..but here’s the deal.  I’ve got a class of 23 other students who are here to learn and it’s my job to ensure that any other distractions or dealt with quickly.  If Chatty Kathy isn’t dealt with, she’s going to start talking during word study, guided reading, read alouds, and any other chance she can!

The point of this is that there’s a time and a place for everything.  But I’ve set very clear expectations of 1. Showing Respect 2. Making Good Choices and 3. Solving your Problems and she’s not doing #1 or #2.

I’d love to know what part of following through and consistency is a challenge for you.  For the next 2 weeks, I’ll be breaking down classroom management for you in a daily e mail. I’ll make it short and sweet because I know how busy you are.  Click here if you aren’t already signed up.

Classroom Management E mail Series

3 simple rules that every class needs

how to follow-through

whole group || small group || individual management

classroom routines

To clip chart or not?!?!

Students who are consistently making poor choices

Parents

Talkative Students

Management during centers

Systems for entering the classroom, library, going to lunch, and going home

Classroom Tools

Student Responsibility

Morning Routine

I've got a few ways to help you have consistency with classroom management.