A while back I stumbled across a website. This teacher had wonderful ideas and was so generous to share them on her website. One idea in particular got me so excited. Her name is Cindy and her website is the virtual vine. You must check it out and bookmark it. It's an excellent site with wonderful resources for teachers new and old. So the idea that got me so excited was that she was using a mailbox in her classroom. A real mailbox that her husband built a stand for. She uses it to introduce new things in her classroom (ie treats, new books, introduce new themes). I just thought this was genius and I knew I had to have a mailbox for my classroom. I told my husband before I get my first classroom, I must have a mailbox (he's a mailman so it's very fitting)
Well on craigslist last week someone was giving one for free. It was already on a stand. It couldn't be more perfect for my classroom. I picked it up and decided to paint it. Of course it had to go with my safari theme. I went to Walmart and found paint that had been mixed but not purchased so it was discounted 50% (I've heard that Home Depot will sometimes give teachers paint like this for free - you just have to ask) I took a tan/yellowish paint and painted the entire mailbox and stand. I knew I wanted to use a stencil of some sort so the spots were very clean on the edges. I went in search of a think plastic that could be cut into a stencil. The creative hardware lady suggested using a garage sale sign. (what a great idea!) I drew the spots freehand. I then used an exacto knife to cut them out. It made the perfect stencil. I then used a chocolate brown for the spots. I'm very excited how it turned out. I'm not sure what I will use the mailbox for. I love the idea of introducing new themes or even as an agenda box for class meetings. Another thought, in one of the yahoo groups I belong to they have been buzzing about having a mail system within the school. I think that's such a great idea too! I'll keep you posted what I end up using it for.