Monday, May 13, 2013

Teacher Crafting Volume II

First thing I did was paint.  The most economical use of your time would be to decide what color everything is going to be and paint them in groups by color.  I didn't do that - I jumped right in and started painting.  This meant that sometimes I would have to go back and do colors over again even though I'd washed the brushes, but that's okay.

For one frame, I had a theme to work off of - a frog pond.  For the other one, I just asked the teacher her favorite colors and put together a "color story" that I liked.

Some of the wooden things took paint very well, and only required one coat.  The frames themselves actually got about 3 coats, and other things got 2.

As things dried, I started hot-gluing.  I've been using a hot glue gun since I was 7, I'm kind of surprised I even have fingerprints anymore.  With hot glue, you have to go slowly and deliberately, otherwise you end up with the dreaded strings.

To get the circles in the right place, I put the velcro pairs on the corner, with one side stuck to the frame and one side sticky-side-out, and then pressed the circle down on top of it.  I wanted to make sure that the circle didn't cover up part of the word "Day"

To make the numbers "1" and "100", I simply printed on scrapbook paper and cut them out.  Then I modge-podged the whole circle to give it a uniform sheen.

In the end, I'm so glad I did this.  I think they look great!

Teacher Crafting Vol. I

I've been trying to find a way to thank these two teachers in my life.  They are ladies that I student taught with who have been of huge help me to me.  They asked me to sub for them multiple times in their classes.  From there, I got more jobs, and found that I had room in my heart to love another school and another group of kids.

So, to say thank you, I'm going to make them large frames for their kids to take pictures with.  Inspired by this AH-MAZING frame over at First Grade School Box (thank you, Pinterest), I'm creating a frame that can serve 3 purposes.  See how she has that star that says "First"?  Well, it's on the frame with velcro, so she can change it out for 100th day and the last day of school.  Is that not genius?  After I read her blog post about it, I knew I had found the perfect craft to satisfy my love of paint and glue, and say thanks to two wonderful people.

Here's the first shot of my raw materials:

Lemme break it down, a la Young House Love:

Frame: $10.49 from Hobby Lobby (regularly 17.99 USE A COUPON)
Letters S, C, H, O, and L: $1.99 each from JoAnn's
Letters D, A, and Y (They come 2 to a Pack): $1.47 from HL
Letters o and f: $.79 from HL
Package of all letters: $3.99 from HL
Circles and Apple: $.79 ea. from HL

Now, places like JoAnn's, Hobby Lobby, and Michaels are always having sales, so all these supplies (except the frame) were cheaper than their tag says - I just put the tag price.

Total Cost (for 1 frame):  About $30

"Wendy, why didn't you just get everything in one place?"  Well, our JoAnn's is closing and moving, so I was there looking at all the stuff that's being liquidated when I decided to start buying supplies.  It's why I couldn't get an Os for "School".  I got what I could from JoAnn's, then moved on to Hobby Lobby (where I forgot to get Os for School, but I'll get them later this week).

"Wendy, this seems like kind of an expensive craft."  Well, because several of the letters come in sets of more than 1, it would cut down on total cost per frame after I make 3.  Also, you could save money in different places - I could have just bought the set of small letters that's in the box, but I bought those second and I can't return anything I bought at JoAnn's (liquidation sale and all that).  Also, if you have an old frame around the house that you can simply take the glass out of and spray-paint (or if you have a willing assistant that can MAKE you a simple frame), that cuts $10 off the cost right there.  Finally, this is something that my fellow teachers and I can use 3X in one school year, multiplied by however many years we teach at the elementary level.  It's not just some throw-away craft, it will be used over and over again.

Now, when it comes to painting and embellishments, I can't help you out because I already have a TON of paint, glitter, scrapbook paper, stickers, whoosits and whatsits galore...So if you don't own any of that stuff already, you're gonna have to lay down some more moolah.  I would also include some velcro and a glue gun if you don't own those things.

Next time, I'll post pictures of things painted and assembled!  

Sunday, May 5, 2013

A quick update and a TPT sale!

My apologies, dear readers, for I have neglected you.  Trouble is, it's hard to write when nothing noteworthy seems to be going on.  I've been to 2 job fairs, filled out several applications (2 regional apps that go to lots of districts, plus 4-5 individual district apps).  I've talked to 2 principals here in the district I want about open positions, and heard back from one (the position was filled with a transfer, but they'll keep me in mind if something else opens up).  It feels like things are happening reeeeeeallllllly slooooooooowllyyyy, but when you think about it, in 3 months or less I could be here telling you about my new job at a school, what grade I'll be teaching, what products from Teachers Pay Teachers I've been buying, and taking you on a photographic journey through my very first classroom.

I've been thinking about first day bulletin boards and my students names - I love the idea of posting their name, what the name means, and a word that can be made using all or some of the letters of their name.  There are, of course, problems with this - names with religious meanings could step on toes, names could be made-up and therefore have no established meaning.  Names could be tiny and unable to be made into an anagram, like Ian or Beth.  But somehow, someway, I want to incorporate names into my beginning of the year activities.

Anywho, the real reason for this update is for me to promote the last TpT sale of the school year.  Like their previous sales, you get a ten percent discount off all products.  If a seller reduces their prices to the maximum percent off of 20, then you're getting a total of 28% savings on a product.  For every dollar a product is normally priced, you're only paying $.72!  So head on over and check out some of my items.  The sale is on May 7 and 8th!

-I made Zoo Passports for the Ft. Worth Zoo after being inspired by another blog and a trip to that zoo with all the kindergarten classes I've been subbing for so much this semester.  The passports come in lower and upper grade varieties, to engage kids and get them excited about seeing lots of different animals.

-While thinking about vowel sounds and vowel or consonant digraphs, I made some "Write The Room" worksheets that focus on these.  I think they'd be great in a Daily 5 center.

-I fixed my classroom coupons product - trouble was that if you printed it off as a Power Point, you had the option of making it with multiple slides on a page, but you can't do that with a PDF.  So, I shrunk everything down to 4 coupons on one page, made THAT the PDF, and now they are more "coupon" and less "certificate" sized.

So go, buy those end of the year products, or get a head start on next year, and then come back and tell me what you bought - I'm always looking for suggestions for quality products!