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teaching and learning

summer dreams

So last night I had my first teacher anxiety dream of the summer. It may have been inspired by all the reading I’ve been doing about setting up a compassionate and carefully-structured classroom. (See: Responsive Classroom) In my dream I was teaching in a city classroom in a public school somewhere. It was the first week of school (maybe high school?) and I had forgotten to do all the great set-up routines, teach the signals, etc. The kids were crazy and I was scared of them. Me? Scared of children? In all my years of teaching, this has never happened in real life. I’m not even scared of middle-schoolers. Despite this, it’s a recurring nightmare that’s been haunting me in various incarnations for decades.

In the daylight hours I’ve been supercharged with enthusiasm, making new posters and themed color-coded materials for my classroom, developing routines and even buying potting soil to re-pot my classroom plants. I’m ON TOP OF IT. ¬†People are wondering why I don’t “take some time off” or “relax”. (Like staying home and doing laundry is relaxing for someone?) I don’t want to take a single day away from thinking, planning, creating. ¬†I’m staying up late at night getting (p)inspiration from the clever strategies other teachers have shared on the internets. If I stop rolling around in these ideas, will I lose my train of thought and forget something essential? I’m immersing myself in creative possibilities and it’s thrilling and possibly somewhat manic.

So is my subconscious dream-self telling me to keep up the exciting work, or warning me to take it down a notch?

Yes, I did make tiny little targets and arrows with the students' names on them, to match our "Hitting the Target" classroom theme.

New Year Ho!

Let’s get to it, then, shall we?

This year is going to be busy if the vacation preceeding the year is any indication. We had a fantastic time in Portland, I finished an unprecedented number of knitted items and I sold a knitting pattern to Shibui Knits.

Today I spent about nine hours in my classroom getting back up to speed. And tonight I completed the Shibui sample and cast on a swatch for my Rectangular Ulmus. Or Ulmus Rectangle whatever you want to call it. It’s another Kirstin Kapur pattern. She says to block your swatch, and let me tell you, I am following her directions on that one. No more twelve foot long scarves, thanks.

And now for an early bedtime so I can wake up in the morning! Haven’t been out of bed at 6am in a looooong time. It’s not going to be easy.

cast-on toolbox tutorials

I taught a cast-on class on Sunday. Here are the three handouts to go along with the lessons. Anyone who wants a copy, go for it.

Crocheted provisional cast-on, Estonian cast on:

This one is rather old and embarrassingly poor quality, Channel Island Cast on:

Check the link up top for more freebies. Enjoy!

thank you serial knitters!

A big thank you to my lovely class at Serial Knitters tonight! We pushed through five tricky cast-ons and¬† every knitter got the job done.¬†Big fun! At your request, I’m planning to put a bind-off class on the SK calendar for some time this winter. I’ll keep you posted – subscribe to the blog!

I’ll put the tutorial documents up here on my blog this week as soon as I have a chance. Until then, remember: Even if your bottom’s not big enough, DO IT AGAIN until you’ve got it down!¬†

Happy Knitting!