Saturday, February 29, 2020

Handwork Teacher Training - Spring 2020

Applied Arts Program Cycle 11 at the Fiber Craft Studio, located on the Sunbridge campus (Orchard House), next to Green Meadow Waldorf School

Week One included

    eurythmy with Melissa Lyons
    lecture series and clay modeling with Michael Howard
    handwork with Nicole Rodriguez and Miho Suzuki

notes from handwork projects

    Monday - plant dyeing pieces of wool felt for embroidery projects (rectangle felt with madder, rectangle felt with indigo, square felt with onion skin), plant dyeing silk floss for embroidery projects, how to tie a skein for dyeing, lesson on mordanting silk and wool fibers, begin white lamb due Tuesday, begin gnome and gnomette due Thursday, invent a unique animal pattern of our own design to share on Friday

    plant dyed embroidery floss (18)

      12 colors using glass canning jars:
      dyer's chamomile flowers
      onion skins
      logwood powder
      madder root
      indigo powder
      marigold flowers
      cosmos flowers
      avocado pits
      madder root + cochineal
      osage orange + logwood powder
      cochineal + logwood powder

      6 colors using the indigo vat:
      indigo light (one dip)
      indigo medium (three dips)
      indigo dark (five dips)
      osage orange overdyed with indigo
      tea overdyed with indigo
      cochineal overdyed with indigo

    1st grade lamb

      garter stitch, cast on 36 stitches, knit 10 rows, cast off 8 at the beginning of the next two rows, knit 10 rows, cast on 8 at the beginning of the next two rows, knit 10 rows, cast off 12 stitches at the beginning of the next two rows, knit 20 rows

    1st grade extra project - star gnome

      can be in garter or stockinette stitch, clothes can be in garter and face in st st, use this project as a chance to teach purling

      gnome body - begin with pants color, cast on 10 stitches, knit 10 rows, keep this leg on the needle and cast on 10 again, knit 10 rows, join the two legs, knit 10 rows, switch to face color, knit 10 rows, do a gathering stitch (cinch, not cast off)

      gnome cap - cast on 24, knit 4 rows, k2tog at start of each row until it reaches a point

      gnome arms - cast on 10 stitches in shirt color, knit 10 rows

    Tuesday - how to stuff the lamb properly, strain dyestuffs and place mordanted silk floss into dyebaths and allow to cook overnight, second round of indigo dyeing, lesson on mordanting cellulose fibers, make butterfly stitch strings for string games, begin king penguin

    Wednesday - place plant dyed silk floss into retayne bath for 20 minutes and then hang to dry, continue penguin, knitted doll pattern, washcloth pattern, lecture on child development and anthroposophy

    2nd or 3rd grade knitted doll

      cast on 12 stitches, knit until the leg is as long as you would like, then cast on for a second, knit second leg, join them, knit torso as long as you want it to be, knit the head smaller than the torso, k2tog across last row to decrease and gather

      cast on 10 stitches for arms in shirt color, knit until the arm is as long as you would like, switch to hand color at end of arm where the gather is

      "I can't give you a pattern for this because people are different sizes"

      you could also cast on 10 stitches for the legs in which case you would use 8 stitches for the arms

      "we come in all different colors and so do our dolls"
      "we come in all different sizes and so do our dolls"

      options: garter stitch for feet and hands then stockinette stitch, shoe colors, clothing colors, legs in skin color or tights color, then shorts or undies color, then shirt color

      do not make the doll all in skin color such that he/she is naked

      the doll can be made so that he/she is completely clothed already (for slower knitters) or made with only undergarments like tights/undies and then separate clothing and accessory patterns are invented & knitted for the doll (for faster knitters)

    2nd or 3rd grade diamond washcloth

      use white or off-white worsted weight cotton yarn

      this pattern is specifically to practice increasing by knitting into the front and back, creating a nice design on the border (it is easy to crochet into if you'd like to introduce crochet)

      knit in front and back (making two stitches out of one)
      for the first stitch in every row knit in front and back
      continue until it is is wide as you would like it to be, then k2tog at the start of each row until you get back to one stitch

      optional: crochet a border around your washcloth

    Thursday - finish penguin (square felt piece), look at our 18 beautiful silk floss colors, embroidery bookmark projects (rectangle felt pieces), continuation of lecture series with a focus on the 12 senses

    Friday - gnome party with Mary Lynn Hetsko, finish sharing of homework from Summer (which we have done throughout the week)

    recommended books:

Reading my quick notes here is in no way a substitute for being in the Applied Arts Program, which is incredibly rich and deep, so please do not think that I am sharing them with that intent. I hope to encourage others to take this valuable training with this glimpse into our amazing work. I also find that having the patterns as a quick resource helps me when I have to remake them for my homework. I hope this is helpful to others as well. If you are finding yourself drawn to taking this training, please do consider it!

This post contains affiliate links to materials I truly use for homeschooling. Qualifying purchases provide me with revenue. Thank you for your support!

Friday, February 21, 2020

Finishing Up Farming & Gardening

Continuing to focus on Soil Science... including some chemistry experiments.

Monday, February 10

  • play State Soil Interactive and look at the state soils of the 50 states
  • look at a sample of the Illinois state soil -- Drummer Silty Clay Loam -- from the IDNR Illinois State Symbols bin
  • play The Big Picture Game

The IDNR bins are all available at the visitors center of Giant City State Park and may be checked out for free.

Tuesday, February 11

Thursday, February 13

  • review and watch What is the Carbon Cycle? from NOAA
  • read about Carbon from "Chapter 4: Carbon" in The Book of Ingeniously Daring Chemistry: 24 Experiments for Young Scientists by Sean Connolly
  • walk around shaking everyone's hand like a really chatty person at a party -- "Hi, I'm Carbon!" -- since Carbon likes to form bonds
  • do Experiment 4: "The Good Conduct Award" on pages 38-39
  • read "Why is Carbon Important?" from NASA Climate Kids
  • look at 2018 CO2 emissions per capita infographic from Ville Seppälä
  • watch video clip of Sanna Marin, Prime Minister of Finland (an amazing woman leader and the the youngest PM in the world), at the World Economic Forum Davos 2020 about Finland's goal to go carbon neutral in 15 years, which is twice as fast as the rest of the EU!

Friday, February 14

Monday, February 17

  • work together to make a grid of the yard and assign portions

I had expected us to make the Nitrogen Cycle booklets today, but it turned out that making the grid of the yard took much much more time than I expected! They did a really good job, though. It took an hour and a half.

The goal was nine equal portions of land! Each student will now be able to do in-depth Nature Study and observations of "their" portion, learning about the land and helping to be part of the decision about what to plant there.

There were two teams of 3 students each. We thought this would be easier than a group of 6 walking around as a cohort trying to make all these decisions. One team took the South side of the yard (drawing an invisible line through my house) to measure and portion, and the other the North.

Each team had a Team Leader, a Mapmaker, and a Pacer.

The Team Leaders were the ones who talked together and decided how to cut my yard in half. They also had to keep their teams on track.

The Mapmaker had a clipboard and a piece of graph paper and drew a map to scale of the half of the yard their team was responsible for.

The Pacer walked with measured steps to calculate the size of each piece of land.

Interestingly, one team had a scale of 2 steps = 1 square on the graph paper and the other had a scale of 3 steps = 1 square (in order to make their piece of land fit on an identical piece of graph paper). Were the "halves" not the same size? Were the steps not the same size?

The children decided that one team must have gotten a larger section of the yard. So the team with the larger portion simply divided it into more subsections, so that each of the nine children in our homeschool co-op now has a section which is roughly the size of the others.

It was fascinating to watch them work through this multi-step project!

In our Math block in April, we'll look at Linear Measurement and Coordinate Graphing in more detail and actually plan out our vegetable garden beds, taking into account some Companion Planting research. It was valuable for the class to have this experience with non-standard units of measurement (the pace of two children, one taller and one shorter, not being the same) before we get in-depth into the Metric System and conversions between units. I'm looking forward to doing more planning and, of course, planting!

Tuesday, February 18

  • put down corrogated cardboard and straw to improve the path to our four pallet compost bins, add new ingredients to each of the sections based on our observations from Friday (goal is 4:1 Carbon:Nitrogen)
  • read about Nitrogen from "Chapter 5: Nitrogen" in The Book of Ingeniously Daring Chemistry
  • discuss fertilizer N-P-K (Superthrive Label PDF 0.5-0-0)
  • begin Experiment 5: "Fixin' to Use Some Nitrogen" on pages 48-51

Thursday, February 20

Friday, February 21

We didn't watch this as a class because I thought it was bit too advanced for ages 9-10, but I highly recommend it for adults!

TED talk A simple solution to the coming phosphorus crisis by Mohamed Hijri

In March students will use Roses Love Garlic and Carrots Love Tomatoes by Louise Riotte to research companion plants, and create the wishlist of plants (flowers, herbs, veggies) that they would like to plant in our garden spaces.

This post contains affiliate links to materials I truly use for homeschooling. Qualifying purchases provide me with revenue. Thank you for your support!

Four Seasons and Nature Study - Winter

Naturally this topic can, and should, be a year-long study! We are just enjoying a quick dip.

    Spring - Feb 3, 4, 6

    Summer - Feb 7, 10, 11

    Autumn - Feb 13, 14, 17

    Winter - Feb 18, 20, 21

We continued with Farmer Boy as our read-aloud story this month; the older students used February to do their Farming & Gardening main lesson block.


Tuesday, February 18

Thursday, February 20

  • have Cheese Puffs begin Wet Felted Slippers
    (based on this Instructable I cut up an old yoga mat to be the resist)
  • read Winter Lullaby by Barbara Seuling

Friday, February 21 - Pajama Day

  • have Baby Wolves begin Wet Felted Slippers
  • read My Mama Had a Dancing Heart by Libba Moore Gray
  • make hot chocolate
  • build forts out of sofa cushions and blankets, snuggle up with lovies and pillows, and enjoy the coziness of wool slippers and Pajama Day

This post contains affiliate links to materials I truly use for homeschooling. Qualifying purchases provide me with revenue. Thank you for your support!

Thursday, February 20, 2020

The Kindness Curriculum Theme 3

I am so excited to be using the Kindness Curriculum from the Center for Healthy Minds. You can download this free mindfulness curriculum easily. We'll be doing this for a total of eight weeks in our Early Childhood class.

We are on Week Three, which has "HOW I FEEL ON THE INSIDE SHOWS ON THE OUTSIDE" as its theme.

We continued with our Songs, Verses & Movement for classroom routines.

Circle Time

Monday, February 17
Lesson 7: Emotions on the inside show on the outside

Today we read Halibut Jackson, one of my favorite books about shyness. We also read Rhymoceros and talked about which words were feelings and which words were not ("grumpy" yes, "hat" no). Then we played Charades using words from Rhymoceros, and finished up with the Growing Friendship Wish.

(If you like Rhymoceros I really recommend the other two clever word-loving books by Janik Coat, Hippopposites and LLamaphones).

Tuesday, February 18
Lesson 8: Working with emotions in a kind and friendly way

We didn't have I'm the Best! by Lucy Cousins, and I didn't really like the idea of a book about a thoughtless braggart who makes other people sad. I looked all over my shelves for a substitute and decided on "The Letter" from Frog and Toad are Friends by Arnold Lobel. This has Toad speaking from the heart and Frog being a star listener, so it was perfect. The kids also really enjoyed role playing working through problems using our new Peace Wands!

Thursday, February 20
Lesson 9: Emotions change many times each day

Today's book was Dogger by Shirley Hughes. We used our wooden carved animals from the classroom play stands instead of beanbag animals.

May You Be Happy song (3:25)

And, of course, we made Stone Soup today! Today was our last Stone Soup of the year. When we return from the two weeks of Spring Break, families will send in fruits instead of veggies and we will make juicy fresh Fruit Salads & Smoothies. Today's soup featured mushroom stock, fresh mushrooms, carrots, white potato, beets, fire-roasted tomatoes, and cannellini beans.

Thank you to everyone, as always, for all of your contributions!

This post contains affiliate links to materials I truly use for homeschooling. Qualifying purchases provide me with revenue. Thank you for your support!

Monday, February 17, 2020

Four Seasons and Nature Study - Autumn

Naturally this topic can, and should, be a year-long study! We are just enjoying a quick dip.

    Spring - Feb 3, 4, 6

    Summer - Feb 7, 10, 11

    Autumn - Feb 13, 14, 17

    Winter - Feb 18, 20, 21

We continued with Farmer Boy as our read-aloud story this month; the older students used February to do their Farming & Gardening main lesson block.


Thursday, February 13

  • begin individual hand-painted wooden Waldorf Perpetual Calendars, our beautiful seasons art project with Ms. Anna!

Friday, February 14

Autumn themes of migrating birds and the Harvest.

The GBBC, which begins today and runs through Monday, was a perfect fit, as was the field trip! Not everyone went on the hike (it was 18 degrees Fahrenheit) and so those who didn't go did their Positive/Negative Apple Art.

GBBC Instructions (PDF)

GBBC Data Form (PDF)

Monday, February 17

Today our delicious Autumn recipe, Cinnamon Baked Pears. And an Autumn game, Dragon Fire! This game is from Games Children Play: How Games and Sport Help Children Develop by Kim John Payne.

Since we are getting closer to the actual season outside, we can shift more into Nature Study. Today the Baby Wolves worked with the Cheese Puffs to grid the yard, a suggestion made by the SIU students with whom we are working on our landscaping projects. Working together to make a grid of the yard was fun. Each child will now begin to do daily observations and Nature Study on "their" section. Soon we will decide what we want to plant where!

This post contains affiliate links to materials I truly use for homeschooling. Qualifying purchases provide me with revenue. Thank you for your support!

Sunday, February 16, 2020

Photos from the Classroom - December

Getting caught up on Photos....

setting up the Nature table for the first week of Advent
with beautiful stones

our new Roman Arch from Nienhuis

giving a friend a lesson on making knitting needles

assembling a map of the world --  the pentagon pieces 
prevent the continent shapes from being too distorted
(from the National Geographic Global Pursuit board game)

plural vs. collective nouns

working on beautiful batiks
for our Legends of Hawaii class play

yes, the kids unwrapped and melted 
hundreds of crayons for this

the egg in which Hi'iaka was carried to the Hawai'ian
Islands by her sister Pele

hanging orange bird feeders for the birds

working outside on a beautiful Winter day
at Dayempur Farm

planting garlic

building straw paths

time to string cranberries & popcorn!

this is a project for the "littles"

but all ages come to help!

who can resist freshly-popped popcorn

the colors are just so pretty

we take them outside and hang them in the trees

at snack we check and see if what they say in Farmer Boy
is true... that a glass of popcorn fits into a glass of milk

it does, but you have to proceed slowly

Zac makes rope the old-fashioned way
at the Harrison-Bruce Historical Village

crank and crank and crank some more

almost done!

a looong mat for a looong multipication problem

building our beautiful Advent spiral

reviewing the Phases of the Moon 
since they play a big part in one Hawaiian Legend

painting props and set pieces
the creation of the trees

the creation of the food plants

building a paper mache volcano
(which really erupts during the play)

designing and painting masks

adding antlers to the Forest Demon mask

celebrating Santa Lucia Day!

the older girl is always the Lucia

assembling and painting our backdrop panels
a BUSY afternoon!

making numbers with the Golden Bead Material

playing mancala

Roman Numerals
our beautiful wooden numerals are from Hello Wood

indoor "snow" sensory play
just mix shaving cream and baking soda

it even feels cold to the touch... amazing

when needed, students can trade tiles back into the box
to borrow or regroup

practicing indoors for our Advent Spiral Walk

a lesson at the Farm on how to start a fire

the whole group is fascinated

if you build it correctly, it only takes ONE match


working on present-making

one last Sensory Play activity
before we leave for Winter Break

it so so much fun to sqeeze warm water on them
to soften and loose them

This post contains affiliate links to materials I truly use for homeschooling. Qualifying purchases provide me with revenue. Thank you for your support!