It is a sad time for me at KAF :-(
Only one more week of classes with my precious students.....
I will sorely miss the children and the classroom. I have so many more things I want to share with them!
This week KAF received an order of supplies from Blick and in that order was a fabulous assortment of buttons! One of the things that I have found with all of my students in the two years of teaching fiber arts is the lack of their ability to tie knots. With the invention of velcro and it's convenience, many children do not need to learn to tie their shoes. It is seriously affecting some of their fine motor skill development! I have struggled with any project that requires the tieing of knots which is a basic skill for many applications of fiber and traditional arts.
The 5 & 7 yr old groups this week stitched buttons onto burlap to create picture frame decorations. They used pearl cotton and colorful buttons which I asked them to select keeping the color wheel in mind. Young children will often choose an item for a project based solely on the one item and how much it attracts them. They have not yet learned how to consider how each choice affects the whole. In this lesson, we not only learned to stitch on buttons and tie knots to fasten them but we practiced what I call informed choice.
These groups did a terrific job! I actually had the youngest ones stitch and knot each button on individually. I felt that this way they would have less to think about; no worries of stringing along several buttons in a row and getting tension right , not to mention the possibility of tangling the thread up in the work. And there would always be a good stopping point at the end of class. This seemed to work very well. It also meant that they got to experience using scissors for something other than cutting paper. I asked them to stitch on a button and knot it on the back side but one inovative student chose to knot on the front, being very careful to cut the threads all the same length so that the threads were part of her design concept. I'm not sure she realised this, but she knew instinctively that this is what looked best. That child has a good eye! I am always happy when a student shows such insight. Good Job Amy!
The only disappointment for these children is that I didn't let them take their projects home this week. I held them to complete a special farewell gift for them that you can see in next week's posting :-)
So, the 5 yr olds did remarkably well with this project! I never can predict what things they will have trouble with. They all have varying degrees of ability and concentration. Some stitched more buttons on than others and some made knots that looked like they were tied by an adult! They basically all got it.... In fact the littlest one was one of the best performers! Well done Sam! And one other child in this group finished early enough to move on and finish a bookmark. So Sam, Amy and Aishling got the gold stars this week! Having said that, they are all stars and I try to tell each of them what a good job they do each time we meet. I'm sure I don't do it often enough! We all know that praise is always welcome and just the fact that they come to class and make any effort at all to accomplish their task is a big deal for young children. Life is too busy to early these days!
Only one student finished her piece since she chose a simple design embellishment that didn't require alot of stitching, but the others are very close and will complete theirs in our last class of the term. There's that sad ending again :-(
So until next time.......