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Teaching Young "Old Souls"




Crocheting is life, am I right?  Well, it was for me before I became a teacher a few years ago.  In between spending time with my family, taking care of my house, and trying to still be social with others, I crocheted.  Crocheting for me though, wasn't JUST crocheting.  Crocheting included perusing Pinterest for new ideas, creating patterns, taking pictures, doing edits, writing a blog, taking care of all my social media sites and more!  It kept me BUSY.  And I loved it.  

Now I'm teaching, and I love that too.  I mean, I really love it.  I love my school, I love my students, and overall I just love my job.  As a beginner teacher though, it took up a lot of my time. So much time, that crocheting fell to the wayside.  Hence me not blogging for 2 years!  Things are finally starting to slow down. I'm finally able to start thinking about my crochet a little bit more.  Yay!




Although crocheting wasn't a strong factor in my life for these two years, I still tried to keep it around as much as I could.  For example, each year at Christmas, I crochet my students a Christmas Stocking to put candy, pencils and other goodies in them.  They aren't huge, but the love is there, and the students appreciate them.  My students always know that I love to crochet, and that I love MATH!  Whenever a math problem that comes up about so and so knitting and creating this many squares, or whatever the problem may state, I always cross "knitting" out and write crocheting above it.  They all giggle and think it's funny.  Or maybe their rolling their eyes and just humoring me!  Also, when we have our donation Gala's and such, I always donate a crochet basket to be auctioned off for the school.  But the point is, they know I crochet.  And I think they really enjoy that I'm taking my time outside of school to make them something and that I care about them enough to give them something handmade.  

I wanted to do more though.  So this past year, the other 4th grade teacher and I put our heads together.  Our school is big into donating to our community and doing service projects.  Many of the projects include, buying items, or bringing in gently used items for those in need in our community.  Those are fantastic endeavors and are needed for sure, but we wanted to have our students do more.  We wanted them to learn a skill to be able to make things they could donate.  She knows how to knit, and I know how to crochet.





So on Fridays, we decided we would get our classes together, and those who wanted to learn how to knit could, and those who wanted to learn how to crochet could.  We taught them how to make scarves!

This was a fantastic year to try this out.  I only had 11 students and the other teacher had 12.  Even though we have smaller numbers this year, I still didn't have nearly enough hooks for them to borrow.  I wanted them all to start with 4 ply yarn, and an h hook.  So I emailed my wonderful parents about our new adventure.  They came through with lots of hooks and yarn!  I had a whole box of yarn at home that was in my "donate" pile anyway, so along with what the parents gave, we were ready to start!

I was a little nervous about teaching a whole group of 9 and 10 year olds how to crochet in one sitting.  So instead, I taught two at a time at recess.  There were 3 days a week that I didn't have recess duty, so I would take two students a day.  I was so surprised that they were willing and even eager to give up their recess to learn!  It made me so excited.  So over the next couple of weeks, I went through all of the 4th graders that wanted to learn how to crochet.  Then on Fridays, when we all came together (for the last 40 minutes) we all listened to music and I was able to hop around to help each student.  

I started them all off with 2-3 rows already done.  Then I started them off with the single crochet stitch.  Once they got used to that, I taught them the half double crochet (my favorite).  At the beginning, I had to turn for them after each row.  Soon, they started to figure that part out as well.  There was lots of frogging.  And I mean lots!  They would get a little sad, but I told them pyramids did not make good scarves!  One of their favorite things to learn was the concept of "yarn vomit"  Anytime the middle would fall out of their skein, they would announce to the class "I have yarn vomit!"
I assumed not everyone would get it right away, and that some would give up.  I encouraged them to keep trying, but they would only try if we were working on them during the Fridays.  Even then, it was just too hard for them to figure out the movements.  I had some though, that really took off.  Out of my 11 students, at least 7 of them were eager to crochet/knit any chance they could get.  In my room, I allowed them to work on it when they finished all their work early.  By the time Spring Break came, I had 3 students finish adult sized scarves, and were already working on their second.  


Unfortunately, the COVID-19 put a strong halt to all of that.  I didn't allow the students to bring their WIPS (work in progress) home to work on, because I wanted it to be a school activity.  So all of their bags are still sitting in our room, on the shelf, waiting for the students to come back.  We only had 3 scarves finished, so not enough to donate anyways.  Next year, I'll invite the students to come into my room during recess if they'd like to continue to work on them.  I'll also start teaching my new group of 4th graders earlier on.  Hopefully by Christmas time, we'll have a good amount to donate to the homeless shelters in town.






Comments

  1. First of all, thank you for your comment on my blog. Now, I find this passion of yours inspiring. I am a teacher too but can't do what you do. That is math and crocheting. I think it's incredible that you have Ed shown your students how to do it. Kids nowadays need to be taught such simply things as it can help them overcome many difficulties later in life. Good on you and keep them coming, your inspiring posts!

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  2. I gorgeous it was relaxing to read your post. I kept on wondering what will be next. I am a teacher though i don't know any of the art form like yours. But surely i have got an idea which i need to customize and practice.

    ♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️

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  3. Wow this is such a a great idea, I hope you do continue this program next year it is a really good idea!

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  4. Knitting in my opinion is not synonymous with doing something "old" rather ... it is an art!

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  5. Wonderful! The best thing to read was you are teaching students as well. So important that new generation learn making clothes with wool. This is like keeping alive an forgotten art :)

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  6. Those finished products looks good and teaching young adults to be able to do something like that is great because i'm sure they will always remember that when they get older.

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  7. This is so adorable!! I love it!! I bet those kids were thrilled! They don't even know that these skills will really come in handy some day. Also some great fine motor skills LOL!

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  8. That's awesome that you taught your students how to crochet! I just learned last year by watching YouTube videos and I'm already "hooked" ;)

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