Wednesday, August 26, 2009

4 needle knitting hat, fingerless gloves

Well, as I work on a few different computers, I find my photos are sprinkled here and there...I ran across these photos of finished 5th grade projects from last year. I believe the hat was entered in the CA state fair and won 1st place in its category !!!

Paper maiche dragon heads


What a smooth first day, only a few kinks, which is par for the coarse.

I learned that making what I thought was a simple felting project with the 7th grade, as a fun little project (inch worm) that we could then give to our little buddies in 3rd, was not such an "easy" project for these guys....amazed at the struggle to work with the wool! I am glad I started with this, they will need much more practice felting before we start their slippers!

I found out our school is finally going to celebrate Michaelmas, although it may be called something else to avoid any kind of religious connotations that may have for some people....the good news is I get to make the huge papermaiche dragon head with the 6th grade!!! I am so excited about this...the challenge is that I just got that news, and have to have it done in a month, which means about 7 class periods of 5o minutes.....we will have a blast building this!

Also, here are some pictures from last year...sock from 5th, and OH, those piggies!!!!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Dyeing wool with food colours

I decided to dye wool with the 5th graders for their first hat on 4 needles. Well, first they will make the needles...I bought walnut dowels, and am very very happy with that choice! Then we will do the food colour dyes...for now, here are some pictures of how the wool turned out that I dyed last night!

Some prep projects for 7th grade

OK so this may seem a little on the young side for a project for 7th grade, but I want them to get used to wet felting and dyeing before we make their they are first going to make little inchworms getting used to manipulating the wool, and then a little pouch for the inchworm to live in...the pouch is wet felted around a smooth rock, which I am hoping they will be able to find by the river (if they go on a walk with the main lesson teacher...). Then, we will dye it with food dyes...we are using raw roving. I think that class will really enjoy it...we shall see!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Almost first day

Well, I have 5 more days until my first day of handwork instruction.
We have had a couple of in-service days with faculty and staff, and we
are so fortunate to have such a wonderful just gets better every year!
We practiced a song that we will sing during our opening rose
is not my regular work day, but I think it is important to show a united front, and
I am anxious to see my students and see how much they have grown, or for my
8th graders, how much taller than me they are this year!!!

My projects keep changing in my mind, all these last minute ideas floating
around, my sanguininity is getting the best of me!! OK, focus, focus....

My wild card is the 8th grade...I have too few sewing machines for too many students!!
Part of this will be worked out after the first week, when I figure out where exactly I
will be teaching them and stowing the machines, etc (I am a roving handwork handwork room for me!!) Soooooo, I have decided to break them up in groups (we will
be working in teams, which works great for this group) and give each group a part of the history of the sewing machine...they read it and present their part to the class...that way at least I know they know that part of the history, otherwise I stand in front going "blah blah blahh" and they think about what they will wear to the dance on the weekend....I look forward to those presentations! THEN, they get to draw the machine, and label each part. Then, we will possibly learn how to steps. They are a rambunctious group!

We also got 8 machines donated to us from Sacramento Waldorf School (thankyou thankyou thankyou) because they are getting all new machines....jealous? a little....BUT we have now a grand total of 16 machines for I think 25 students....HOWEVER I have to spend some time with these machines, as each one is very different, but I think that will be a good challenge for the students...after all, there are many different types of machines, but they all generally follow the same concept...we shall see...

Thursday, August 6, 2009

A new school year begins...almost.

Ha! I had high hopes for my blog, perhaps this school year will be the one! I am completely stressed out about this coming year, as my classes have increased in size, most around 30 plus, and I have no assistant, no handwork room (I go from classroom to classroom), and parents do not seem m to be very interested in helping out with the upper grades anymore. I am teaching handwork to grades 5 thru far. The budget cuts for our schools in Ca have been severe, and so we have increased our numbers of students. I have no idea how this is going to work, but work it will!

Lots of ordering of late, all the usual stuff, needles, fabric, thread, etc... I do love ordering! I want to buy everything and do everything! At the last minute, I looked into Naalbinding, and think this could work wonderfully into 6th grade, maybe 7th curriculum...I just need to learn how to do it! There are good tutorials on line...I had never heard of it, but evidently it predates knitting!

So, this year I ordered plain wool to be dyed for my 5th graders! The first month we will spend sanding and polishing our 4 needles for 4 needle knitting, and dyeing the wool...I am going to use koolaide to dye the yarn, which the kids will love. Yes, it would be nice to use natural dyes, but I decided on koolaide. First project is a hat. I let some students make the hat on two needles then sew it up, especially if they have never knitted before, and often I have many new to knitting students, and new to Waldorf. I do not need to stress them out or make them feel left out by not doing the same project as everyone else.

6th always begins with practicing stitches and making pencil pouches. We will adopt a farm rescue animal, and hopefully visit the farm sanctuary to visit our foster animal! This worked wonderfully last year! We have a new teacher that I have not met yet, so maybe there will be changes. Usually we make juggling balls too (I love this project)

7th and 8th, I have not decided yet...I need to look at the numbers. Smaller classes will get to do more, while 35 plus students might have to work as teams or....we only have 8 sewing machines! Woodwork is put on hold, I cannot be safe and teach woodwork to 35 students, obviously. Plus, there are not enough supplies for that many students at once. I am thinking of having a contest with groups of 5 or fewer to perhaps see what they can make out of old thrift store t-shirts...t-shirt re-con...Later on this.