Friday, January 7, 2011

Back to School

So, I returned to school this week and it was a wild one. Lots to make up from our Christmas week being cut short by snow, while still having to have 9 weeks grades in today. I find grades a very stressful part of my job. I would love to just be able to report on a child's improvement. When awards are given for all "A's" or "A's" and "B's," then getting a grade for some kids and their parents becomes far more important than what they are learning. I will never understand why learning to spell words for a test on Friday, in order to make a grade that will land you on the honor roll is more valuable than being able to really learn vocabulary and how to spell that word forever. People would probably be shocked at how many students will get a hundred percent on a spelling test in the morning and spell the word wrong in their writing in the afternoon. Whoa, a lot was accomplished there don't ya think. Ahh, don't get me started.

I love to read good books and to read them to my students, children, grandchildren, whoever will listen. I have found some wonderful books through the years at Chinaberry. Samuel Blink and the Forbidden Forrest by Matt Haig was the last one I purchased. It was a huge hit. I never read long enough for my students, they were ever begging for more. The book was so loved I decided that something else must be done, so I let create a mural of the way they visualized the creatures. They did such an awesome job. I can't bear to take it down.

As I've mentioned before, I have two precious friends, retired teachers both, who come in to lend a hand and heart in my classroom. I have another teacher friend who also lends her time and wool dyeing knowledge. My students have no idea how blessed they are. We start weaving very early in the year. First, they use whatever yarn bits are available and that they fancy to make a bookmark. Then they made two bookmarks from yarn first dipped in three different mordants. The two on the left were white when first woven. Then they dipped the far left one in red cabbage juice and the middle one in some sort of weld and watched as the colors changed. What awesome projects.

During our pioneer studies, we made dolls. Each student made their own pattern. It was fun to see all their creativity at work. We ended up with a bride and many bridesmaids in the most interesting attire I've ever experienced at a wedding. That's the lovely bride in the front row in purple.
This week we started knitting. Good times. Children are so peaceful when they work with wool. I'm fascinated by the whole experience.

1 comment:

  1. I've never knitted or helped children knit, but I've noticed a similar phenomenon with other crafts. Working with the hands in a movement that's repetitive is very soothing, even to my slightly hyper 8-year-old grandson.