Scrappy Bookmarks

 I made Scrappy Bookmarks at my school's Family Reading Night this week.  If you are looking for a quick, easy, and satisfying project for readers of any age, this one is for you!
 There was quite a buzz at my table all night long.  At some point, I was helping someone and lost track of who had been given project directions. I quickly realized, however, that it didn't matter.  Give kids materials, and they will create!  I loved the patchwork bookmarks that emerged from my very large fabric scrap stash.

You can make them too:
*strips of cardstock about 2 inches wide
*glue stick
*fabric scraps
 First, put glue all over the cardstock strip.
Next, add fabric scraps.  Don't worry if the fabric hangs over the edges.  Press down the fabric so it'll stick well.
When you have the bookmark all covered, flip it over and trim off the excess fabric that hangs over the edge of the cardstock.  Now you have a Scrappy Bookmark!
I love how families worked together to make these little bookmarks.  Hopefully they will enjoy reading together for years to come!

Book Bags

 This week at Sewing Club, our theme was books.  The annual Book Swap is this week, so we thought it might be fun to sew up some book bags to go along with our new reads.
 Besides simple bags, some kids got creative.  I love this book pillow inspired by an original story, "If the World Were a Hamburger."
This book pouch is made from fleece and closes with hook and loop tape.

Books are a perfect sewing inspiration for kids.  Last year we made these cute bookmarks.

We've Got Spirit!!

The challenge at Sewing Club this past week was to take old school uniforms and transform them into something new.  The kids loved cutting, writing on, and remaking the clothing that they wear everyday. 
The school logo on a customized backpack tag.
Go team!  

Stuffed Dolphins

These cute dolphins were swimming all around a kindergarten class at my school.  Using the Stuffie project from Sewing School, each child designed and sewed up a dolphin of their very own!
It was a perfect beginning of the year project for the "Dynamic Dolphins" class.
I can't wait to see what they sew next!

Staple Dress Workshop

Staple Dress Workshop
Sew Memphis
Saturday, September 20, 9am-5pm

The Staple Dress has been my favorite dress pattern this season.  It's fun, versatile, and is open to lots of variations.  Plus, it offers an opportunity to learn new sewing skills.  I'm excited to teach others how to make this super cute dress and hope you can join me at Sew Memphis.
This one-day workshop will meet on Saturday, September 20 from 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Participants may break for lunch and take advantage of nearby eateries in Overton Square!  In addition, I'll also be at Sew Memphis on Wednesday, September 16th from 6:00 - 8:00 p.m. to help with fabric selection and pattern preparation for those who want to make the most of Saturday's workshop time.
Learn new sewing skills:
  • following a pattern
  • installing side-seam pockets
  • elastic waist shirring
  • French hems
  • high-low hem
  • sizing

Check out this Flikr pool to see April Rhodes' celebrated Staple Dress pattern in a variety of fabrics.   You can also see my post about the dress.

Tic-Tac-Toe on the Go

 Our first sewing club project was Tic-Tac-Toe on the Go.  A fun, simple project that the kids got all excited about.  Who doesn't like playing an exciting round of tic-tac-toe?
 To make one, it's pretty simple.  Cut a felt square into fourths and muslin to match.  Draw the tic-tac-toe board onto the muslin with fabric markers.  Next, sew around three sides, leaving a short side open.
Close the top with 3 inches of hook and loop tape and pop in 6 buttons each of 2 different colors of buttons.
 Now, you're ready to play!
 A length of ribbon will turn the game into a on-the-go board!
The kids loved adding their own touches to the boards.
All the kids had success with the project and were playing their games within the hour.

Tic-Tac-Toe three in a row!

First Time Sewers

 Meet some of the newest members of Sewing Club!  Love all these eager, focused little sewers.
When sewing with kids, the right tools are key.  Look in the sidebar under the "In the Child's Sewing Basket" for the needles, thread, and threaders we swear by.
I also like to start out with a simple project that combines skill with creativity.  Being able to complete a project in under an hour allows young sewers to feel successful and satisfied.  In time, they will learn the satisfaction of working on a project over the course of a few weeks.
Looking forward to sharing all the fun with this year's Sewing Club with you!

The Three Little Threads

Grading papers, I came across this awesome version of "The Three Little Pigs" story - "The Three Little Threads and the Big Bad Needle"!   

What Does Second Grade Writing Look Like?

What does writing look like in Second Grade? 
This week, we began Writer's Workshop, a time of the week set aside just for writing.  The writing is completely open ending.  The kids can choose to write about whatever they wish.  
 Many chose to explore comic writing, while others set off into lengthy narratives.  Friends began to collaborate and selected just the right kind of paper on which to tell their tale.  
Can we staple the pages?  Can I write a scary story?  Can I write a story about me?  Can I...?  My reply to all these questions and more was, "Yes, just write what is in your heart."
To track their writing, the kids move sticks with their names on them through the writing process from planning to writing and illustrating to reviewing to editing with the teacher to publishing and finally sharing.

While writing, the kids are encouraged to just write, not worry about spelling and grammar.  After writing a draft, then, it's time to correct mistakes and make the spelling more correct.  First, they will review their own work using the Writing Dictionaries.  Next, I will work with each student individually to fix any mistakes, talk about story structure, and grammar.  Sharing the original work with friends is the highlight of any writing process!

If our first Writer's Workshop is any indication, we are in for an exciting year of writing and story telling!

Vintage Craft Book: Nature Walks

I came across this gem at an Air B&B apartment that my family stayed in while visiting Atlanta.  The illustrations are so sweet and it's filled with information that kids want to know.  Makes you want to go out and explore.

In the inside cover, there was a sweet inscription to a friend with hopes that the two would go on "lots of fun walks together."  I hope they did.

The Golden Picture Book of Nature Walks, 1961