Each January when the kids come back to school after the break, the first week is devoted to our Winter Week of Wisdom and Wonder: WWOWW!
Special classes and activities are offered, so it’s a time for the students to learn new skills, to try something new, and to have a lot of fun while earning enrichment credits. It also allows the teachers to do something different and interesting with a fresh group of students. Here are some highlights from WWOWW 2017 (video by Kim Kelley-Wagner):
I offered a beginning sewing class last year, co-taught with the wife of one of our teachers. It was so much fun that I–and one of our new teachers–decided to offer it again this year!
Due to the schedule, we only had 4 days instead of 5, so before the class started, I went to Jo-Ann’s to buy some colorful flannel fabrics so the kids could make “burrito” pillowcases. I also bought a variety of “fat quarters” for other projects, and my co-teacher and I got everything washed and ready to go before the first class.
We had seven students enrolled in “Sew Cozy,” so we had to scramble to find extra sewing machines. While we didn’t have a machine for each student, it worked out fine and we’re so appreciative of the faculty/staff who let us borrow their personal machines!
On the first day, I taught two kids at a time the basics of machine sewing using my classroom machine and my own (same model) that I’d brought in. Really can’t say enough good things about this inexpensive Brother sewing machine–super for newbies and experienced sewists, too!
While I was teaching the students how to use the machines (they each did at least one practice session by sewing through lines on paper), my co-teacher showed the rest of the kids how to press, measure, and cut the fabric for their pillowcases. They chose a solid color for the main body of the pillowcase and then a colorful print for the cuff.
Once they had the large pillowcase piece rolled up inside of the cuff fabric (that’s the “burrito” part), they sewed it together into a long tube.
The next step involved pulling the solid fabric out of the tube. At the beginning it seems impossible to do!
Finally, it works! Yay!!
After pressing the fabric again, they sewed together the side and bottom seams.
For their next project, I told them they could use one of the cotton “fat quarters” to make either a small pillow or a drawstring bag. To my complete surprise and delight, these kids had other ideas!
With the addition of paint, one student created a stylized soft sculpture of a cat:
Fiberfill-stuffed mobile of a cloud, lightning bolt, and raindrops, along with a Minion pillow:
What a fun and productive week! These kids (from the U.S., China, Guatemala, and Saudi Arabia) learned so much, so quickly, and were an absolute joy to work with! I’m so proud of them! WWOWW!!