Monday, February 2, 2009

Friday's Sewing Circle and This and That.

Last year, we did a lot of sewing in the morning and afternoon class. One child, Zoe, even brought in a pair of pants from home that had a torn seam and mended them in class. When I put out the large pillows and brought the sewing box to the center of the comfortable circle, it wasn't too hard to set the older children up to do a little needlework. They were so happy to pull thread and I was amazed how much they remembered from last year's lessons.

I used plastic sewing circles, hearts and assorted shapes for the children to make magnets. They stitch the front and stick the magnet on the back. They can easily complete 1 or 2 during a three hour work period. One of the older boys, Dylan, felt so comfortable sewing that he simply laid down on his side and continued.

While the sewing was going on, Jack, on the other side of the room (with a few "assistants" ), was finishing his "excavation" project. After studying plate tonics, equators, fault lines and such, I brought in a kit that had artifacts buried in a clay type mold. He and others have been taking turns digging away to uncover the objects hidden within. It was a great way to reinforce that the earth hold's artifacts of previous times. I thought about bringing in one that had dinosaurs in it but felt that the focus would be less on discovery and more on dinosaurs.

We have also been playing the memory game a lot. The children have really enjoyed the game.

Zoe finished her portraits of the other students, teachers and head of school. She told Patti that when she begins a portrait she thinks of a potato and draws that for the head. It was an amazing, self-initiated work which is presently being made into a book by her mother. She is making one for Zoe and one for the classroom. I can't wait to see it.

Another student enjoyed viewing a series of slides taken in Mexico around 1985. I bought the slides and the viewer from the thrift for a total sum of $1.50. The slides were in a little bag with a sticker on it that read, "Good slides. Great for a teacher." The label was right. The children love to look through the viewer and see the pictures.

Last, but certainly not least, one of the children's grandmother's made ten aprons for our class. I am so grateful. What a lovely gift. Here is a photo of one of them.

All and all, Friday was a good day.


Tanz said...

Hi Susan,
Thanks for that great post. I love seeing what your children are doing in class.
Where did you get the plastic sewing shapes that the children used, did you make holes in them?
Thanks again :-)

Susan Y. Dyer said...

I purchased them at a craft store...they are inexpensive and have the holes in them. I will photograph one up close for you to see Tanz.

Take care.

Susan Dyer
The Moveable Alphabet

Susanne said...

Hello Susan,

Wonderful post. I love the pictures of the memory game of numbers. The pictures of the children at work are great. When we get a particularly good batch of pictures of the children at work we make a book with them, and caption the pictures so that the children can read them themselves. It's a great way to reinforce an image of really good work.

Your classroom is gorgeous and your materials too. When I see them I wish so badly that we had thrift stores in Aruba... No such luck. Instead we have lots of small Chinese shops with many many cheap plastic goods... oh well.

Thank you again for your inspiration!


Susan Y. Dyer said...

I love the idea of making a book with pictures of the children doing work for the children....I am going to get my photos together and do that this weekend.

Thanks for the great idea.

Susan Dyer
The Moveable Alphabet

P.S. Montessori said...

I am loving those aprons!! Quick question about sewing. My children are still having trouble threading needles. I think it's more my fault than theirs. What size needle/type of thread to do you use for sewing cloth (buttons, etc..)I'm not much of a sewer and my experiments have not turned out so well.

Susan Y. Dyer said...

I use tapestry needles which have a more blunt tip which means you need buttons with larger holes. A good beginners sewing lesson is simply to stitch a running stitch across a piece of burlap. The burlap separates easy for the embroidery floss or yarn. Too, it can be pulled out easily so the next child can use the same piece of burlap.

Take care
Susan Dyer
The Moveable Alphabet

MoziEsmé said...

That looks like a fun circle! I am going to try sewing with my 22-mo-old today and see how it goes - I'm not sure what age you typically start that with...