Friday, May 16, 2008

Craft Teaching Event #4

Here is a pic from the 4th of 4 craft events that I did with children at my school. The second grade has been studying gems and minerals, and since I have loads of beads and wire, I suggested that they make gemstone flower pins as a craft activity for Mother's Day. I'm not sure if I would rate this as a successful lesson plan or not . . . It was a bit difficult for 2nd graders; there were lots of cries of, "Help me, Help me . . . Can you help me Mrs. P?" and it took a bit longer than planned. However, I had several indications that Moms and children both enjoyed the project. One young man liked his pin so much that he couldn't wait till Mother's Day to give it Mom. Another Mom told me she would like me to teach how to make the pins so that she could make more with her two boys. A third mom approached me in the cafeteria on the day after Mother's Day to show me that she was proudly wearing her pin, and to thank me for the cherished gift.

As long as I have happy customers, I guess that is all that matters.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Once in a Lifetime

My birthday celebrations were extended over several days. The day after my birthday, DH and I enjoyed a lovely italian dinner at our favorite neighborhood restuarant, followed by a concert. We saw Glenn Hansard & Marketa Irglova, billing themselves as "The Swell Season" in what was perhaps the most incredible concert of my life. Hansard projects unstoppable energy and enthusiasm. He is a songwriter's songwriter, passionate about his work and about music. I am reminded of Sting and Paul Simon.

The concert opened with Hansard singing acapella in the front of the stage, practically in the middle of the audience. Boy can he belt it out! As the concert progressed, he brought in Irglova and his back up band, former members of the Frames, to sing nearly all of their hits from the movie "Once."

The highlight of the concert had to be when Hansard brought out the Whitefish Bay 8th grade choir to help him sing the chorus of "Falling Slowly." Apparently the teens, or their teacher, had contacted him a few weeks prior for permission to sing the song. Not only did he say "Yes," he said, "Why not sing it live in front of a sold out audience?" He also had them help with a cover of the Pixies' "Gigantic" with its inappropriate lyrics. You have to love that Irish sense of humor.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Not b-a-a-a-a-a-d for an old lady

So here I am at my birthday soiree. My friends are camera shy, and are giggling off screen. It was a perfect party. There was a little drinking, a little knitting and a lot of teasing. My sister tried to give me one of those red hats that indicate you are a youthful old lady, but I refuse to wear it, since I am simply youthful and not an old lady at all.

My knitting buddies also showered me with hats. I challenged them to knit 1 hat for every year of my life for my school's mitten tree. They managed to produce a dozen on short notice; they have until December to knit the other 38. You can see the hats on the little Christmas tree here. We also taped one cotton ball for each hat on the sheep poster. I'll track their progress here as time progresses.

I had a birthday sale of Knitter's Journey Jewelry and kits, and contributed profits from the sale to Heifer Project. We raised enough to purchase a sheep and a pair of rabbits! Not b-a-a-a-a-d!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Craft teaching event #3 Camp Minikani

Well, I'm behind on my blogging again. I have so much to report of the knitting/beading/crafting nature that I think I shall have to break it down into separate posts. Here is the first --

On May 1, I joined my second grade friends and their parents and teachers at Camp Minikani. I was just there to teach a craft activity, while the students and their parents stayed overnight. I was worried about the weather because we held our class outdoors, but it turned out to be a lovely day.

I taught the children how to make beaded keychains. With a bit of help from their parents, all my young friends succeeded in creating a finished product in just 1/2 hour, and they were all quite good! Now, if they just had keys to put on the keychain, they could unlock the door to the wigwam that they built with the art teacher!

Seriously, the camping retreat is a wonderful tradition that my school has been doing with 2nd graders for many, many years. It's a treat for me to see the children with their parents, and to know that many of them are experiencing nature in depth for the very first time. I'm honored to take part in this special event.