Well, it’s that time of year again. It’s time for us to show our appreciation for those teachers who teacher our children everyday. Yes they get paid for it, but let’s face it, those teachers spend as much time with my child as I do, and in some cases, I’m sure it’s more. There’s all kinds of fun things to do for them. Give them gifts cards to their favorite coffee shop or other eatery. You can give them a plant that says: Thanks for helping me grow. Or some other keep sake. Or something they can devour and then get rid of it.
I don’t know to what extent your child’s teacher has touched their lives, but I’m sure grateful for the teachers that have had my oldest son’s lives. My oldest son is 7 1/2 and in the 2nd grade. Before entering kindergarten he was a crazy kid. We would go to church and he would run around the room. The teachers couldn’t get him to sit down and so we spent a lot of our time in his primary class make sure he sat down and “trying” to pay attention. We tried pre-school and that was a disaster. After several months of him doing the same thing, running around the classroom, and me having to come and sit with him daily (which was hard because I had a 6 month old) they finally decided he needed help, and told me to have him tested, then kicked him out. And at the age of 3 1/2, he knew he got kicked out of pre-school (which he loved to go to) and it was because, according to him, they didn’t like him. Broke a mom’s heart.
Well, I did have him tested. And he was diagnosed with ADHD and had a 138 IQ. Hmmm…. no wonder he didn’t sit. He was too smart for everyone in his classroom and at hyperactivity on top of it. Now I want you to understand, he didn’t act like this because of lack of discipline. He was very loving, bright, brilliant child, and him being my oldest, I didn’t know what 3 year old behavior was and what it was not. But we also disciplined him at home for things he was not supposed to be doing. And he listened to us. But at pre-school and church he did not.
Then we enter kindergarten. The other problem with him, he is a July 31st baby, but extremely smart (I mean, he was reading at 3!!!). And when we were in Texas, they only had all-day kindergarten and with much consideration and lots of worries and lots of prayers, we decided to go ahead and enroll him.
A gift from God happened the summer before he entered kindergarten, my husband got a new job, and we moved to Reno, where there was half-day kindergarten. Only 2 1/2 hours. And I enrolled him and he thrived. With 26 other kids in the classroom, his teacher knew that she needed rules, structure, and well thought out plan of how to handle all of them at the same time. She had techniques to use with him that helped him develop the skills he needed. The principle and counselor met with us to help us determine a course of action, and even though his social skills still lacked, he learned how to sit in his seat and follow directions from someone other than his parents and walk in a line and play (somewhat) with the other kids.
And now two more years have passed with two more magnificent teachers. As for academics… he’s still too smart for his classmates and I’m not sure he’s learned much. But as for how to act among peers and how to behave in a classroom, he has soared! He is a new child. And though his IQ had gone up, I’m not sure that the Attention Deficient really applies to my child. He does get out of control. He does have a hard time winding down. But he can sit in a classroom and learn and he can watch a movie… but that diagnosis I will not worry about.
And I don’t know if there’s enough I can do, to let his teachers know how much I appreciate their patience, love, desire to help him, and willingness to help. And so each year, I make something for them that they can keep and not have to throw away. And this is it.
So now you know my story, and I’ve cried as I wrote this, I will now tell you how you can make them yourselves.
- 12″x12″ scrapbook shadowbox frame
- 2 pieces of 12″x12″ cardstock paper (one needs to be white for the background)
- Hot Glue
- Cutting board
First you need to decide on what you want the letter to look like. I, of course, used the first initial of their last name and made them 10″ tall. Take one of the cardstock papers and start drawing your letter. Keep in mind, this cardstock is not going to be seen. You are going to completely cover this letter with the crayons. You have a couple of options. When I did the “B” last year, the right side of the B was full length crayons and the left, half crayons.
When I did them this year, I used half the crayon on one side and half on the other, like the “D”. (see below) So when you draw it out, plan accordingly.
Here’s another thing to think about when you are drawing your letters: What direction do you want your crayons to face? These particular ones I used the point to the right. If you want words to show, then put them the other way.
Now, let’s start to draw. When I drew them out, I used my quilting ruler and used a 2″ line for the left side of the letter, and for this years, a 1.25″ line on the second side. The reason being, is the points won’t cover the letter completely if you did it 2″ also. So the crayons will hit the edge of the card stock right where it begins to go to a point. Does that make sense?
(I use pink because I have no girls in my house and will never use them during scrapbooking.)
If you have a letter that is the same top and bottom, you can make one like this:
(fold it in half, then cut it out that way)
Then, or course, you cut them out.
Now, heat up your hot glue and get your crayons out. You need to decide which colors you want to use. You can go in a rainbow patter, or do random colors, or the whole box of 8. You decide. I’m a very OCD person, so they have to be in a repeating pattern. Some of them have just the 6 colors and some I added black and peach. So you decide which ones you want to do. Lay them out in the order you want and line them up. I used my quilting ruler to line them up nicely.
Now we’re going to start cutting. With a cutting board and knife, you are going to cut the crayons so they stay within the outlines of your letter.
And then you’ll hot glue them onto the letter.
Here’s a few tips:
Sometimes I find that if you start with the ones that will go all the way across the letter, it’s easier to line up the rest. So on the “A” you would start with the line that goes across. if you need two crayons to this, start with the left side, cut the point off, then decide how much of the additional crayon you need by line up the points on the right side.
Next, when lining up the point side, line up the edge of the crayon, before going into the point, along the edge of the paper letter. You do not want to see the paper underneath.
Last, to make it more uniform, decide if you want to show the words on the crayons or not, then make sure you put the crayons down accordingly and cut them accordingly.
Now, after you get done with hot gluing the colors onto the letters, you’re going to write the teacher’s name on the right side of the letter. You can put Ms., Mrs., or Miss at the top if you want and the year at the bottom. And then I hot glue the letter onto the white background to the right of the words. Occasionally a crayon will fall off in this process and you have to glue it back on. You will then put it into your shadow box frame. I found the closer to the glass, to hold it all together, is best, if you can do it that way.
Now that you know how to make them, here are a few pictures of finished products, so you can get an idea of how they will look.
And here is a picture of one, that isn’t quite finished, but that I used smaller crayons, I showed the words, had them facing the opposite direction, and only used 6 colors.
Now go make one for your favorite teacher, I bet they will love it!!