Stray Rescue Update #1–Sewing Class!

You already know we’re working on a project to benefit Stray Rescue.    I told you I’d update you as we got into it, but it took lots of time and we were so busy that I haven’t even had a second to tell you about it until now.  And boy is there alot to tell….but like I said in an earlier post, I’ll not tell you the whole story at once.

We decided that the best way to help Stray Rescue do what they do best was to do what we do best, and that’s be creative!  We had multiple conversations about how to do that, and we settled upon the fact that we should sew and bake.  Ok, maybe I added a little to that conversation, too, since I enjoy both of those things, but everyone agreed that it would be a good idea.

We did a little bit of research, and decided that we wanted to make chew toys for doggies that were shaped like bones.  We also thought that creating bandannas for our canine friends would be a good idea.  So the fabric, templates, scissors and sewing machines came out for the next several days and we got busy!  I taught everyone who didn’t already know about the basics of the sewing machine, and then each kiddo took a turn having-a-go.

I was SO excited when the first pupils in my sewing class were BOYS!  I know, that’s a little bit sexist to say that only girls would want to sew, but for some reason I was surprised.  Anyhow, they LOVED it, and I started hearing things like “I love this!” and “I have to get a sewing machine so I can do this at home” right after we started.  Here’s a little peek into our first “class”:

Tracing a “bone” onto some fabric to make the outside shape.  The bones were then stuffed with a plastic water bottle.  Somebody had the great idea that it would be a good way to recycle our bottles left over from MAP testing, and would make a great “crinkling” sound that doggies would love!  Double great. 🙂

Love how we got so many out of one shirt! All of our materials were donated by students in the class.

Archie and Harry sewing a straight line.  That was the first lesson. 🙂

Zarion totally rocked his first try at sewing, too!  He was adding a zig-zag stitch to the edge of our bandannas so they didn’t unravel.  These turned out great!

Motivated And Prepared

Did I ever share that acronym with you?  It was created by a really smart cookie in my class a few years ago named Ellie.  We were trying to come up with something that MAP could stand for instead of just Missouri Assessment Program.  She suggested Motivated And Prepared, based on the idea that that’s how we want to feel once we’re ready to sit down and take the yearly test.  And that’s exactly what we were.  I loved it then, and have used it with my classes ever since.

So the MAP test has come and gone again in our classroom, and I realized just the other day that I never posted some pictures I took during it.  They’re not glamorous or anything, but are definitely “real life” in a 5th grade classroom during the month of April.

MAP time is snack time.  Gotta have energy to do our best!

There were lots of goodies over there like granola bars, Cheezits and fruit snacks, but the first rule is you have to have “something orange.”  On this day is was cheese, Cuties and carrots.  Guess the directions could also have been “eat something that starts with C.”  What’s really funny to me is that it was totally a coincidence that all of this orange food showed up.  All the “fresh” stuff that day was just all the same color.  And in case you’re wondering–the next time it was apples and bananas.  So, no, there were no “color” directions. 🙂

Loved having donations of water bottles for testing, too.  Water breaks are good for your brain! (Oh, and look–Goldfish.  More orange food!  That is so weird how that happened!)

So once it was all over, and we had done our best job of showing what we know as learners, we needed a little bit of a break.  Choice time it was!  I love to see what 5th graders choose to do:

What does state testing time look like in your classroom?  What do you do to help your students relax during testing?  What do you do to celebrate when it’s all over? Share with us!

How Does This Happen?

How does it happen that I can be on such a good roll with frequent updates (sometimes more than you’d want to read in one day!) and then I don’t post for 10 days?!  Man….

Ok, I know the answer to that question.  The answer is that it’s April and I’m a teacher.  Seems that no matter how fast (or not) time passes throughout the first 3 quarters of the school year, time seems to move in extra-fast-forward mode once we hit the 4th quarter.  It’s like a switch flips and we’re all of a sudden in a rapid race towards the finish line and everything is a blur.  I have to force myself to slow down and pay attention.  And to blog about it.

So here goes.  And don’t worry–I promise not to tell you about everything that’s happened in the last 10 days in 1 post.  I’ll give it in bite-sized pieces.  Hopefully you’ll enjoy it that way. 🙂