Wednesday, January 4, 2012

So I asked for a paper fireplace...

I meant to post this a couple weeks ago, but I realized that the only pictures I took had my students in them. So, I went to school today (even though I'm on break until Jan. 9). I know... what was I thinking? I was trying to control the never ending to do list that spins 100mph in my head at night if I don't feel prepared "enough". I didn't stay long and I do feel better. I also remembered to take the picture.

Last year, I asked my parents if someone would be willing to help me make a fireplace out of bulletin board paper. Actually, I was hoping they would make the whole thing without me. One of the dads in my class responded to my email right away saying he would make it. I asked him if he'd like me to send the paper home or if he would be coming to pick it up. He said, "no thank you". Hmmmm... My plan was to have the paper fireplace ready to tape to the wall on the last day before winter break. We always have pj day right before winter break. I envisioned my little ones sitting in front of the fire in their pj's reading peacefully at their "just right" level.

A week before the winter break, I started to get worried. I had not heard from the volunteer dad. I kept asking his son how the fireplace was going and his response was, "don't worry, Mrs. Gillow". Great - now even the kids were saying that to me! Then... two days before the winter break, the office called my room during writer's workshop. They said I should be expecting a large delivery from "Mr. volunteer dad". There he came down the hall with the coolest "let's read peacefully at our just right level in our pjs fireplace" ever!!!!

I mean really...check this out!

It is made of wood!
It has a real mantel!
It has fancy trim!
It's painted (white with a mantel that matches my tabletops)!
It has flames (a fan with lights to make it look/feel like a fire)!!!
It has a switch on the side to turn the fire on/off!
It is amazing!!!!!

I didn't bring it out this year until the day before the winter break. My students were just as surprised and excited as last year! I decorated the mantel for the holidays. The fireplace will stay in our room throughout the long winter and the mantel will be decorated with snowmen for a while, a heart theme, something lucky looking for March and since we still get snow in April...maybe some bunnies.

And in the spirit of my OLW... I will try to have more faith in my volunteers. They are truly AMAZING and so is my fancy fireplace!


  1. Holy moly - that's incredibly awesome. Who would love that in their classroom? I bet your kids love "toasting their tootsies" by that fire!!!!

    Crisscross Applesauce in First Grade

  2. How cool! I love it! I am your newest follower!


  3. Wow! What awesome parent volunteers! I love when Dads volunteer in the classroom!
    Rambling About Reading

  4. Wow! I hope you gave "Mr. Volunteer Dad" and his son a HUGE hug. That is awesome!!

  5. WOW!!! That's FANTASTIC! Such a neat spot for the kiddos to read near.

    Runde's Room

  6. This is amazing!! What a great parent volunteer! I'm jealous! I want one too!!!!!

    ❤ Mor Zrihen ❤
    A Teacher's Treasure

  7. Wow! That is amazing. He went above and beyond for sure.

    Swimming into Second

  8. How AWESOME was that Dad?!?!?!?! AMAZING!!!!!! Your post made my heart happy...thank you for sharing such fabulousness:)

  9. That is crazy incredible!!
    WOW! We need more dads like that! lol
    First Grade Blue SKies

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  11. This is absolutely amazing! I am so jealous. I attempted (and failed miserably) at making a paper one one year with boxes...baaad idea. This is so great. Now when I put my man on this project he'll have a picture! Thanks for sharing!

    Randi @ Teach It With Class

    My TPT Store

    My Facebook Page

  12. Awesome!! It looks like the 500-600 dollar ones you buy at Menard (maybe even better)!!!

  13. Nothing else to say but. . . . . WOW!!!

  14. That is fantastic! Definitely one of a kind! It makes your classroom the place to be for the kids!
    So so cute!!

  15. Incredible. He's quite talented!!


  16. That is sooooo cool. I love stuff like that!!!! :)
    A Teeny Tiny Teacher

  17. WOW! You really scored on this volunteer job! :)

    Stapler’s Strategies for Sizzlin' Second Graders!

  18. Wow!! Absolutely stunning:)

  19. That is just the nicest thing to do!!! It looks absolutely incredible!!
    (happy new year, by the way, not sure if I had the chance to wish you one!)

  20. Too cool! Parents like those are few and far between these days! How blessed you are! :)

  21. This is AWESOME!! I bet your kids just love you!!

  22. As I was reading the post I never imagined to see that kind of fireplace. That one is truly amazing.

  23. That is amazing!!!!!! Wow!


  24. Wow that's great! Good luck this week!! I went back last Tuesday! We are back in full swing! ;)

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