Wednesday, April 22, 2015

What We've Been Up To and Cute Clothes Pins, Two Ways

I knew it had been a while since my last post, but almost 3 months have gone by without a single post! Let me tell you what has happened since my last post!
I've mentioned before that my husband is a school principal at a K4-12th grade Christian school. We actually met at that school about 15 years ago. Jim had been teaching there for a few years, and I joined the faculty as the first grade teacher right after my college graduation. We taught together for 5 years (2 of them as a married couple) before Jim left the school to start his years of golf course management (a job change which allowed us to afford for me to be a stay-at-home mom). I stayed on at the school for almost 2 more years before Drew was born. Last fall, after several years away from the school for both of us and another baby later, our pastor contacted Jim to let him know that the principal position at the school had suddenly opened up mid-semester (long story) and to ask if Jim would be willing to consider the job. Jim was hired in November of last year, and he has been enjoying his role as principal since then.
I have loved being home with my children for the past 8 years, but it has always been my desire to return to teaching some day. I've done quite a bit of subbing since Jim became the principal, and I have enjoyed that very much. Jim's mom has very graciously watched Maddie when I subbed.  Our school expended its preschool program this year to allow a 5 full-day option, and our plan for next year was to enroll Maddie in preschool a few mornings a week and have her go for full days when I subbed.
In January, we found out that the current first grade teacher was pregnant and that she wasn't planning to return next school year. First grade was where I taught for most of my teaching career, and it is a grade that I know and love well. When we found out about the opening, we decided that this might be a good time for me to return to teaching. Maddie could go to preschool each day while I teach, and she would be right across the hall from me. We know it will be a big transition for our family, but we feel that God is leading in this change, and we are excited to see how it will all work out.
I have spent the past several months researching, planning, and preparing for first grade. Because the current first grade teacher wasn't officially announcing her pregnancy until late February, I had several weeks of knowing about my return to first grade without being able to talk about it! During those weeks, I found the Internet - between teaching blogs and Pinterest - to be such a fabulous resource (much more now than it was 8 years ago when I was teaching before!) as I look for ideas to incorporate in my classroom.  Some of what I plan to do is that same as what I've done in the past, but I have found so many fun, new ideas to try.
I have been going through my old teaching materials and gathering new things. I am excited to start putting my classroom together in another month or two, and I will post pictures when I have it all done.
I have some pictures of a few school projects to share today. I am planning to use clothes pins to display student work in a couple spots in my classroom. I didn't want to just use boring, plain clothes pins though, so I made two sets of fun clothes pins. The first set is some crayon clothes pins.  I used a razor blade to slice down the length of the crayon wrappers, and then I cut them the width of the clothes pins. Using Mod Podge, I attached the crayon wrapper strips to the clothes pins, covering the entire front of each clothes pin. I thought these turned out so cute!
 For the other set of clothes pins, I used scrapbook paper, which I trimmed fit the top and bottom sections of each clothes pin. I ran the edges of each paper strip across a brown ink pad, to make the edges stand out a little more, and then I used Mod Podge to attach the paper strips.
I bought my clothes pins from Dollar Tree, and I used paper and crayons I already had, so this was a very inexpensive project. I think these clothes pins would also be cute with a magnet on the back, stuck to a fridge or magnetic board.
I will try to share a family update soon with some pictures of what Drew and Maddie have been doing in the past few months, and I have some more projects to show you too.

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