Thursday, October 8, 2009

Practical Life II

In our classroom, we have “Classroom Jobs” where students names are posted next to a job, and we rotate the names weekly.  Each student is responsible for one section or one task each day.  For example, the student responsible for geometry, must make sure the materials are properly put away, the shelves are clean, and everything in that area is overall orderly. 
Classroom.Oct.2009 132
The names are all laminated and I used velcro adhesives from some random craft store (I do not recall the store), so that they can be easily rotated.  I made this poster last year and I am hoping it will hold up for another couple years. 
An activity we had out on our practical life shelf at the beginning of the year was wire-working.  We found very cheap needle-nose pliers and anodized aluminum wire at Daiso (a cheap Japanese store).
We put it out on a tray with pictures of wire creations. The first day they worked with it, many of the boys made glasses, and one tried to make the bicycle in the picture.  Some of the girls made creative designs – mostly jewelry such as rings and bracelets.
Sept.23.2009.Classroom.etc 075
One of our students made a crown:
We also have sewing and embroidery (cross-stitch) available on the shelf.  It is interesting how the children will break down the gender stereotypes one might have – for example, I didn’t expect any of the boys would be interested in the embroidery or in crochet.  However, they all were eager to do the embroidery the day it was on the shelf.  And while I did have a couple boys reject crochet during their first lesson this year (although I had an idea it was because they were frustrated and could not do it correctly right away, and wanted to give up rather than keep working at it), once I began to bring my own crochet project into class and began to crochet in front of them, even the most obstinate said he wanted to crochet.  And today he mastered making a chain, and crocheted for half an hour. 


  1. That's awesome. A good way of teaching is by example. I'm currently learing to knit (w/ one hand paralized). It's difficult, but I keep trying. So tell them that when they want to give up.

  2. :) The boys did a complete turn-around. Even the oldest boy in the class this year, who hated it last year because he just couldn't get it wanted to crochet today. In fact, he was new to our school last year and seemed quite disinterested and unmotivated. This year he has done a complete 180, and is working hard and sincerely interested in learning. I am so proud of him. This is what teaching is all about.