Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The BIG Project.

Well, now that life has settled down a bit and become less busy (and Shan has added me to her Blogroll) I can take a second to share with y'all the results of the ginormous project that Shan (a.k.a. The Fairy BlogMother) and I decided to do for our daughters' wonderful kindergarten teacher. Our girls had their teacher for both junior and senior kindergarten and she was just fabulous. She was so good with the kids and they learned *so* much while they were with her that it just amazes me. She is definitely a fantastic teacher and we were very lucky that our girls got to be in her class (and Jamie will be in her J.K. class this fall!! Maya is following closely behind). So, we just didn't want the end to come without doing something special for her. I suggested a scrapbook project which Shan felt would be a great idea.

Shan got the ball rolling by sending a letter into the school for each and every child's parent: explaining what the project was all about (we would ask the students a bunch of questions about their teacher, and what it was like to be in her class, and include their answers along with their pictures in the scrapbook), and sending in the list of questions. We needed the parents to go through the questions with their kids and send in their child's picture. Unfortunately, we didn't get very many responses at all. Several weeks later, I sent in another letter- this time with a deadline (yep, I was forced into another throw-down, folks) and this time we managed to get quite a lot of responses and tons of pics from several great parents (thanks to all those parents for their help with the project!!). Shan and I figured if we could get at least 1/2 the class participating then it would be worthwhile. I think that out of a class of about 20 kids we got 14 responses (including our own two girls). Honestly, I was a little disappointed that not every parent participated because it would have made the gift for their teacher so much more special and a wonderful way for her to remember *all* her students...but, as it was she LOVED it.

Shan, being the great writer of the two of us, did the lovely opening letter for the book to thank their teacher for being...well...for being her! And, me, being the, ummm, the one who knew absolutely nothing about digital scrapbooking...well, I did the layout. Well, I do know how to use my photoshop and I do know how to shop on-line so those parts weren't hard. But, figuring out how to use all the "digital elements" was definitely a bit of a challenge for me. Every single element on those pages was laid down individually. The pages were all put together individually. Everything was done individually! It took for-ever. I would lay down a page and "rip it" then lay down another page to get the two-toned page effects. Then I would lay down the photo frames and then put the photos "into them" so that they have that cool, curvy, kinda' looks like the pictures are raised off the page a bit effect. Then I placed all the individual strips of paper, or whatever I decided to use, to put the kids' answers on. Placed staples, and paper clips, and brads, and drop shadows...and other little "details". Each page took over an hour to do. Then I printed them off onto 8.5' x 11' photo paper and trimmed them down to fit into the 8"x8" scrapbook. But, when you consider the amount of work their teacher did for our kids...on her own time...even above and beyond the in-class work...it was nothing. She even put together scrapbooks for each of our kids so that we could have something to remember their first years of school. And, she provided us all with dvd photoshows, too (although, I still haven't been able to see mine because it won't play on my stupid computer). I heard she spent over 200 hours, at home, doing these things for us. Yeah. Pretty incredible.

So...a BIG THANKS to their teacher. I am SO lucky that she was my girl's teacher and I am SO happy that she was very tickled by the scrapbook we made for her.

Also, thanks to Shan for all her help and support with this project.

Now I've got two more years to come up with an idea for the next one.

Introduction page just explains that this book is from her "Class of 2020" (the year they will all graduate from highschool) and that the questions are all together in the back of the book. I called it "20 Questions for the Class of 2020". I've blocked out the teacher's name and the faces of the kids who aren't my own or who are not already featured in their own blogs. ;-)

This first page includes the "Thank-you" letter written by Shan and this super cute picture of my Jamie James with her new teacher...coming this fall!!

Shan's cute little Abby with her long locks, and her new short 'do as featured on grad. day!

I only asked the parents to include one picture of their child. When I was putting together the book I realized you really need more than one picture to make things a bit more interesting. Plus, all my cool photo frames were for two pictures. Luckily, I took lots of pictures at their little graduation ceremony so I was able to include a lot of photos from that. Plus, since their teacher was running the ceremony...she probably wouldn't have had any pictures from it to remember it by...so I think that worked out pretty well.

I included a pic. of Maddie's "Hippo" on the last page since he became almost like a little mascot for the class since Maddie brought him to school almost every day for two years. Maddie's teacher even mentioned "Hip" in the graduation ceremony. :)


Tracey said...

What a great gift! You don't know how sick I am of costum jewelry, coffee cups and stuffed animals. Thanks this is great!

Shan said...

Yay! I'm so glad you bogged this. I only had a moment to quickly flip through it the day we gave it to her. So nice to be able to see the completed project.

I've said it before and I'll say it again, you did an incredible job!

Anonymous said...

Wow, you and Shan did a great job!

Widney Woman said...

This is amazing. You deserve the parent of the year award. And mug. You rock!!