Archive for the ‘Scrapbooking’ Category

At the end of every school year, I make a classroom scrapbook.  Not only do my students like to look through scrapbooks from previous years, but they are especially helpful at the beginning of each school year for giving parents an idea of the activities that we do.

All year long, I take photos of my students doing math, literature circles, science activities, etc.  At the end of the year, I narrow down the photos to an affordable amount, get them printed, and start scrapbooking.

This year, I printed 150 photos.  I purchased tape runners (I had glue sticks at home for when the tape runners ran out), background paper, coordinating cardstock, extra sheet protectors with expansion posts, and a scrapbook album.  You’ll also need a paper trimmer with a good blade and a Sharpie marker.

After you print your photos, sort them by subject or activity.  Don’t have more than 4 per page.  Then, put the groups in the order you want for your album.  Mine went something like this:  front page (pictures of all of my students), reading pics, writing pics, social studies, science (lots of pages!), parties, etc.

These paper pads were $5 each from Walmart.  They were fantastic.  I used the coordinating cardstock (right) behind each photo.

To keep things simple, match a background design with cardstock.  You’ll want two pieces of the pattern paper (they will go in the album side-by-side).  I fit 3 photos per page of cardstock, so if a side-by-side has 8 photos, you’ll need 3 pieces of cardstock.

In the above photo, you can see the side-by-side papers, selected photos, and cardstock.

Sorry, I can’t show faces (confidentiality).

Put glue on the backs of the photos, stick them to cardstock, trim around, and glue to the paper.  I don’t use fancy layouts or diecuts.  I just put the photos on the page at angles.

After you make all of your pages, add expansion posts and sheet protectors to your album.  You might need to add cardboard spacers, which sometimes come with the sheet protector packs.  Basically, they are strips of cardboard that fit between sets of sheet protectors to give your album more of a flat look, because the photos and scrapbook papers raise the thickness of your album.

The spine (between the covers) was 1-1/2 inches tall, so I expanded the paper covering the spine.  There were directions for how to do this printed on the spine paper (it came with the album).

For journaling, I cut a small rectangle of coordinating cardstock, wrote a word or two to describe what’s going on on the pages (in Sharpie), and then added a doodled border.  Examples:  Literature Circles, Measurement, Sheep in a Jeep!, etc.  Glue on the journaling rectangles, put the pages in the sheet protectors, and you’re done!

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I’ve been working on a major scrapbooking project.  I’m making a scrapbook of our wedding.  I’m in the process of sorting through hundreds of photos that our family and friends gave to us after the wedding.  After I select which photos I’ll use, I’ll start making pages for my scrapbook.

Here’s a great pic I came across:

Carriage B & W

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When I did scrapbooking in the past, it was using construction and printer paper.  It was making do with flourescent colors and pictures printed on printer paper on a color printer.  It was putting the pages in a 3-ring binder for my students to look at.

Recently, I decided to do the real deal.  I bought a scrapbook from a discount store.  I bought a pad of scrapbook paper for a fraction of the normal price.  It was normally $20 and I got it for $4, just because some sheets on the pad of paper had been removed.

I selected a few pictures from my iPhoto library and had them printed on a Kodak machine at the grocery store.  I went to Hobby Lobby and purchased alphabet letters, stickers, double-sided tape, and a storage case for the supplies.

I also purchased a paper cutter on clearance from Target, which later broke, so I had to go back and exchange it for a slightly more expensive paper cutter.scrapbook-1

The supplies.


You can see that the papers coordinate.  That was a big help, because I have difficulty matching colors in an attractive way compared to my ultra-talented friends.  One of my friends will tell you that I once tried to color a pig purple, just because that was the nearest colored pencil at hand.


This is the original paper cutter.  It worked great until the blade guard fell off and the blade started shredding the edges of paper instead of cutting it.


I love the way that the papers coordinated.  In the stack of paper I bought, facing pages were meant to go together.  I also loved my double-sided tape!


I loved these alpha letter stickers.  They really made the scrapbook pages even prettier.


This is my new paper cutter.  Notice that it has an arm on the upper left. This allows you to cut full sheets of scrapbook paper.  The arm folds up when not in use.  The previous cutter I had was just a tad too short to cut full sheets.  The pages would fit under the cutter, but the blad would not reach the edge of the page.  You had to go back with scissors to finish the job.

I had a great time making scrapbook pages.  I was quite surprised.  I was also suprised to see that most of my iPhoto pictures were of clothing and food that I made.  I need to get out and do more hiking and trips so that I can take more pictures of people!!

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Teachers love to write notes about student progress, behavior, parent communication, etc.  Keeping track of them so that you can refer to them on a later date can be difficult.  Sure, you can write on a sheet of paper on a clipboard and later put it into a binder, but then you have two locations of paperwork for a student (you use the sheet on the clipboard until it is full).  You can’t just keep everything in the binder, because it’s terribly awkward to walk around your classroom with a binder flapping open.

I looked into a hybrid spiral (spiral notebook that has binder qualities to it), but it just didn’t seem right.

Last year, I used a large spiral.  I divided it into sections for each subject and numbered one page for each student, per section.  That didn’t work well, because one student would have information in several different places.  Plus, if I ran out of room, I had to flip to a new page at the back of the section, thus adding more places to look for info on a child.

This year, I put numbered sticky notes every 5 pages of a spiral (I assign each student a number — it saves me from replacing name stickers on items each year).  To keep the sticky notes from bending, I covered them with packing tape.  Thus, I had created a spiral that had a section of pages for each student, with tabs (numbered on both sides) for easy referencing.

Of course, the outside of the spiral looked quite awful.  I looked at scrapbooking papers, stickers, and decorations online, and came across some blue ginham that looked quite lovely.  I decided to make my own blue ginham page.

I took a piece of blue printer paper, drew thick lines with a blue highlighter (vertically), drew thick lines with a darker blue marker (horizontally), and colored the entire paper with blue colored pencil (That was a lot of shading!).  After that, I trimmed the paper to fit the spiral cover, printed a scrapbooking tag with a title on it, and then covered my new spiral cover with clear packing tape for durability.

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This weekend, I embarked on a journey that I don’t normally take:  scrapbooking.  Last year, I made a portfolio with a few scrapbooked pages.  This year, I decided to get a bit fancier.  

I printed out 100 photos (color printer on regular printer paper) at 6 photos per page.  After cutting out each picture, I sorted them by activity/type of photo.  Then, I cut around each photo with fancy-shaped scissors (each group of photos had a different border cut around them).  That’s when things really got messy! (see photos below)

To be frugal, I only purchased double-sided tape dispensers ($4) from the dollar store, as well as some embellishment stickers from the dollar store and Wal-Mart ($5).  Shopping at home, I used my own fancy scissors, personal supply of colored paper, and some sheet protectors that I already had.  I plan to put the sheet-protected scrapbook pages in a binder (I already have one).  I might also add some student work samples, but I’m not sure yet.

I want to add that the pictures below are only of classroom displays and student work.  The majority of my portfolio pages featured my students, but I cannot show their images online for privacy reasons.  I will say that their pages turned out great!


You can see the mess from cutting a pretty border on each picture.  Each pair of scissors on the left side of the table is on top of a group of pictures that have the same border as that pair of scissors.  By keeping the group of photos with the scissors, I was able to make additional trimmings without searching for the same scissor design.


Here’s a close up of one group of photos.  These are of bulletin boards, posters, photos of my classroom bookshelves, and photos of student work.


On the left are some scrapbook pages that are in progress.  I’ve already matted the photos and made space for journaling.  On the right, you can see the scrapbooking book that I picked up at Half Price Books (Teach Yourself Visually:  Scrapbooking by Rebecca Ludens and Jennifer Schmidt).  You can also see the mess of paper that I was using for matting and background pages.

Why are my sewing machine and pins still on the table?  I had enough room to work on my scrapbook, so I just left them there.  Actually, I started scrapbooking on top of a sewing project (a blouse) that was in progress.


Here is a close-up of four pages.  I put a yellow strip of paper vertically on the inside edges, so that there will be a continuation across pages when they are put together in a binder.


This is my sometimes friend, the double-sided tape dispenser.  I got 4 of them for $1 each at the dollar store.  Hobby Lobby had them in a package of 3 for $8.  In the picture above, you can see that the dispenser can put out one piece of tape at a time or several pieces in a row.  It definitely beats using a traditional double-sided tape dispenser.  After I ran out of my pink tape dispensers (after 2 trips to the dollar store that sold the dispensers, not counting the other 2 stores that I went to, which did not sell them), I used glue for the rest of my work.


What a mess!  The blue curly tape is the innards of a double-sided tape dispenser.  After one ran out, I went back along the tape and pulled off any pieces of tape that were left.  In this photo, you can also see the variety of embellishment stickers that I purchased at the dollar store and Wal-Mart for $5.


This photo and the one below are finished pages.  Above left are photos of how I organize books in my classroom.  I have labeled baskets (yes, I have a sticker to label the basket category on each book), such as chapter book series, favorite authors, poetry, etc.  I got the ideas from Beth Newingham’s website.  On the right, I have pictures of how we do vocabulary on the walls.  For each word, we include a definition and a picture/example.


On the left are photos of some of my hallway bulletin boards from this year.  The upper-left photo is of my students’ opinions about a question related to a Time For Kids magazine article.  The middle photo was from December and January, when my students wrote descriptive paragraphs (excerpts from essays) on mittens and winter hats.  The bottom picture is of my students compositions.  They always write their final (published) copies on fancy computer paper (from the dollar store).  It makes them look extra snazzy.

On the right-hand page, I have photos of my gallon guy and fraction friend posters, class jobs display (Each student is assigned a number for the year.  Each job has a tongue depressor with a number on it.  Every week, I rotate the tongue depressors to another spot on the job board.  I use library book envelopes to hold the tongue depressors.  

At the bottom of the right-hand page is a picture of how we store our math, science, social studies, and reading folders/spirals.  Each student has a box with their number on it.  This way, there is some space cleared up in their desks.  Plus, if I need to look at their work after school, I don’t have to dig through their desks.  Before we had individual boxes, we tried putting all of the math folders in a box together, and so forth for the other subjects.  That got too crazy when people all went at once to get their folder.  To further help organize, each subject’s folder is a specific color.  Math is red, reading is blue, social studies is yellow, and science is green.  

Writing binders are stored in a separate box, with each student’s number written on the binding, so the binders can be stood up next to each other in order.  To make the binder box at the beginning of the year, I asked an employee at a large retail store for 2 empty binder boxes.  I glued the 2 boxes side by side and covered the outside with butcher paper.  I keep all of the boxes (folder and binder storage) under the chalkboard rail at the front of my classroom.


Well, that’s it for scrapbooking and classroom organization!  I had a great time getting crafty all weekend.  Now, I have to go purchase my groceries for the week.  At least the lines at the grocery store shouldn’t be so bad, now that it’s later in the day (on a weekend).  

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