I just returned from doing a workshop session at FRA. Yes, it went well and the attendees were great, but as always, I failed to get in everything I wanted to in the hour allotted. There are so many ideas to share! My worst "no-no" was failing to send around an 'email gathering list' so I could alert the attendees to when, Happy Birthday, Florida! Celebrating Poetry that Fits in Your Pocket,
my new book of poetry, comes out next month. I had a list made up and attached the proposed cover, but somehow it stayed near my podium until someone-after the workshop-asked me to email her when the book came out. I think an hour workshop just doesn't work for me. I need more time to "get it all in."
Still, all in all, my session went well. Meeting the new young teachers and "soon-to-be" teachers is always one of the most rewarding experiences of these FRA events. Stephanie, Tara, Jessica, Jennifer, Hangie, and so many others made me smile and know that the education of the next generation is in good hands. Thank you teachers!
|The general craft.|
I try to do "open-ended" crafts at the workshops. I present an idea and a craft adaptable to many uses. This way, no matter if a teacher has K, middle-school/HS or any grade in between, there will be a way to use the craft for their specific need. One craft we did represented a kind of "Webbing" where students
|Book of 80+ animals, 40+ activities |
and teacher "help section
are able to visualize connections. This craft is accomplished by having one paper plate in the center and four (or more or less) connected to the center plate with yarn. The center plate becomes the "main idea" or the "topic" and the outer plates break the main idea or topic down into smaller pieces. In the example I give, I have the workshop participants cut out a critter from my Snipper Critters
book (Maupin House Publishing). Then, we place the critter on the center plate. The outer plates hold the content the students discover about the critter. In this case, I chose kinds of, traits, habitat,
but a teacher might want to add more plates or connect even smaller plates to one, or more, of the secondary plates.
A teacher may wish to not use a critter and instead put, KINDS OF SENTENCES on the middle plate and then declarative, interrogative, imperative
on the secondary plates. Or, ANGLES on the middle plate and examples of angles on the secondary plates. HS and middle-school students, just like younger students, benefit from unusual visuals that stay up in a classroom and reinforce what is being taught.
Open-ended is just that. YOU use it how you want to use it.