Friday, 28 June 2013

An Insight Into French Knitting plus a tutorial

Hello everyone. Today I would like to share with you a new insight into French Knitting. From 8.30am to 8.45am, we have quiet games in our learning space. They are meant to help establish relationships and also to enable a calm start to the day. I am always on the look out for games and activities that the children enjoy as well as provide some experiences that allow for conversation.

I recently made some French Knitting Looms out of toilet rolls and bought some bright colourful wool. I asked some children to join me and immediately I had a group of children eager to join in. What was amazing was the reaction - I ran out of stock. I have now approx 20-25 looms created.

Both boys and girls join in when the French knitting comes out. They chat and share their experiences with me about who knits etc in their family. Some even bring their own knitting to school to join in. Others ask their siblings to show them what to do as they want to join in or have their own knitting loom. It has also empowered students. Those who are experienced, very graciously assist those new to French knitting or help out when I am busy with other knitters.
Another positive is the feedback from parents. I often hear parents share how their children love to French knit at home. They also share how much their children enjoy the experience.

I had a request from some of the students to create a tutorial. I have accepted the challenge and you can find it below. In my video tutorial I will show you how to create a knitting loom, French knit and cast off.


  • toilet roll
  • strong adhesive
  • pop sticks
  • wool

Thanks for stopping  by!

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Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Flip Books - A Creative way to Encourage Writing

Hello everyone. Today I am going to share a resource/idea that a colleague shared with me many years ago. One of the rotations I have in my Reading Groups is a flip book activity. This is a writing task. This format has been one of my successes over the years. The children like the variety of topics, flipping the pages and also the option of creating their own.

What is a flip book?
A flip book begins as a basic A4 page. It is divided into four sections. The majority of my flip books are narratives, but they are so versatile that they can be used for any text type. Each flip book is scaffolded in order to assist the children to create a story quite quickly. I also incorporate pictures onto the page to provide extra support to the children who may need some extra inspiration.

Once the children become familiar with the format of the flip book, they become more independent and really enjoy writing. As each section looks small, it deceives the children and takes the pressure of having to write to fill a page. This works particularly well with children who are reluctant writers.

I have taught Kindergarten through to year 5 and have used flip books in each grade. They are easy to differentiate to meet the needs of students in any grade. The following example is one completed by a student in my class. We had been focused on writing expositions at the time.

How to make a flip book
For my example, I will share a blank flip book.
Step One: Cut across the middle section. Place the top section to one side.
Step Two: Cut the pages marked 1, 2 and 3.
Step Three: Staple pages 1, 2 and 3 to page 4.

Again, once the children use this scaffold/template they will enjoy writing. I have some students who cut their flip book before they write as they fill up the front and back of their pages.

How I Use Them

I have five activities for reading groups. At the start of the new rotations (when all of the activities are new),  I go through and explain all of the activities. I spend some time in sharing and introducing the flip book. I have a grid which shows what activities the children will be doing that day. I don't go in any particular order. At the conclusion of the reading group activities for that session, the children who wrote a flip book read it to the class.

The children love sharing and also enjoy hearing the flip books.  I usually let the more competent and confident writers complete the flip book task first. This assists the less confident students and it gives them  more time to come up with ideas as well as provide them with models to assist them when it is their turn to write.

Some samples to share

I am going to share a blank template as well as a themed flip book. If you do decide to use them, share your experience with me via this blog. I would love to hear how your students reacted to them.

Thanks for stopping by!

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