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Thread: WIP-students' end of year gifts... with an explanation

  1. #1
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    For the past 5 years, I've written a "What's special about..." paragraph for each child. I enlarge the font and print each on special paper. Then I read each one aloud to the kids. It's nice when it's over, but boy I dread all that careful writing. So, I wanted to do something different this year. I'm still doing very special awards, so there's a lot of writing involved, but it won't be quite so difficult.

    The gifts are going to be quilt squares! :-D I get too busy sometimes to quilt daily, and I miss it. I knew this would force me to make quilting a priority. :wink:

    Okay--background, so you'll understand. In my class, I always talk about two main themes: make the most of each day (Example I give them: When I get to the end of my life, I'd rather say I made 75 quilts and gave many away, rather than say I watched every eopisode of a TV series.) and the life is cake idea. That's the story about our lives being a recipe for cake--and if everything was sweet--the cake wouldn't turn out right, but when the yucky stuff like eggs, salt, and baking soda are added, the cake it perfect. This symbolizes our lives--bad things happen, but the cake will just be amazing once everything balances out. My students will say they had a salt moment, or they had a taste of raw eggs when hard things happen.

    Black and White Splash quilts, to me, illustrate this idea. The b+w fabrics symbolize everything we have to do: comb our hair, do the dishes, complete homework, go to bed. The splashes of color represent all the little joys in life, for me: kissing a horse's muzzle, planting a garden, reading a great book, the smell of hay... So, each student is getting a black and white splash square. We'll talk awhile about it when I pass them out in late June. I'l be making a small hanging of eight squares to hang in the classrom for next year.

    With all these plans, I knew I needed to get started, so all the blocks have three black on white sides. Next will be adding the fourth with color at each end.

    I took pics for a friend, so thought I'd share the project.

    The square.
    Name:  Attachment-68600.jpe
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    Centers
    Name:  Attachment-68601.jpe
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    Cutting pieces apart--these are all done and on the blocks!
    Name:  Attachment-68602.jpe
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    Lots of colors!
    Name:  Attachment-68603.jpe
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    I'll pick just 5-6 of these for the outside pieces. Need to cut pieces this week!
    Name:  Attachment-68604.jpe
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Size:  254.0 KB

  2. #2
    Google Goddess craftybear's Avatar
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    awesome

  3. #3
    a regular here MegsAnn's Avatar
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    What a great idea! Love it and the block/fabrics you chose.

  4. #4
    Super Member jljack's Avatar
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    What a wonderful idea!!! Those kids have a very gifted teacher. :thumbup: :thumbup:

  5. #5
    Power Poster Blue Bell's Avatar
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    Your are one special teacher. You put your heart and soul into teaching.

  6. #6
    Super Member JudyG's Avatar
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    What a fabulous teacher you must be! Lucky children who are in your class. I think your quilt block idea is wonderful.

  7. #7
    Moderator Jim's Gem's Avatar
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    Karla, you have such wonderful ideas for your classroom and students!! I would have loved to have you for a teacher for my children!!!
    I think those would be wonderful and a great remembrance of the wonderful school year they had with you!!!

  8. #8
    Moderator sharon b's Avatar
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    What a wonderful way to explain life to kids :lol: And then they will have the quilt squares to remind them forever . I wish my sons had , had a teacher like you when they were in school. Sadly Teachers like you are so rare these days. Bless you for talking a job that is usually under appreciated.

  9. #9
    Super Member LindaM's Avatar
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    Karla, what a wonderful lesson you're giving your students! I had not heard the comparison of life to a cake before - that is beautiful.

    Thank you for being an awesome teacher, making a difference! The blocks are beautiful.

  10. #10
    Super Member danmar's Avatar
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    You are so sweet! What a wonderful thing to do for the children! It is something that they will remember for the rest of their lives and they will have a keepsake to remember you by! They are going to love it I'm sure!!!
    We definitely need alot more caring teachers like you!

  11. #11
    Super Member JanetM's Avatar
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    What a great idea :thumbup: I think the lessons you are teaching them will stay with them throughout their lives and you will be that special teacher that is remembered so fondly. :-D

  12. #12
    Moderator littlehud's Avatar
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    What a great idea.

  13. #13
    Super Member sew cornie's Avatar
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    that is so special and will be something those kids will treasure - that you invested so much thought and time into each of them individually. Thank you for being a great teacher!

  14. #14
    Power Poster sewnsewer2's Avatar
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    What a pretty block and I love your analagy! (sp?)

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    Aww-what lovely thoughts to wake up to. Thank you very much.

    I do love my job--although it seems to get more challenging every year in many ways. My students are all usually very happy to be in my room, but once in a while I get a parent who does not appreciate my holding their child accountable. I hate conflict--so those are tough times. I end up with many administrators' and other employees children, so when those two issues collide, it's hard. Luckily I always have the principal's support, which means the world to me; I've told him this many times. I admit, as much as I love my job, I look forward to retiring in about five years. It might work out that I retire to grandma. :-D

    I also suggest giving gifts of writing instead of material items, so lots of sweet words fly about the room. My favorite parent comment ever, which was in an end-or-year note, said "Teaching is like breathing to you." I'll never forget that one.

    Anyway--thanks again for your thoughts and encouragement on this project.

  16. #16
    Super Member ranger's Avatar
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    I like your ideas and you get to combine teaching with quilting. You sound like a great teacher and quilter.

  17. #17
    Super Member Rachelcb80's Avatar
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    Oh Karla, you are one amazing woman! What a wonderful thing to do for your students. If my kids go to school (we're kicking around the idea of homeschooling) I hope they have teachers even half as great as you!

  18. #18
    Super Member clem55's Avatar
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    Karla, you are a wonderful inspiration!! If there were more teachers like you, our children would grow to be better adults.

  19. #19
    Junior Member Ladymurphy's Avatar
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    I wish I had had a teacher like you. Your words have really given me something to think about. As adults we have not all learned those lessons.
    Thank you!

  20. #20
    Member Calif Jane's Avatar
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    Thank you for sharing all of this with us. It sounds like you may be the teacher these kids remember for their lifetime. What grade are your kids (sounds like 3rd-4th or 5th graders)? Teachers are seldom given credit for all they do, but some of us realize what it takes to be an outstanding teacher. BTW, where do you live that schools goes so late in June?

  21. #21
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    Oh gosh--there are many amazing teachers in my building. I'm not special... I work kids hard and have a reputation for being strict and for having high expectations. :wink:

    I'm in NY and the students' last day is June 24; the teachers have to be here all day the 25th, THEN we're done.

  22. #22
    Super Member mimee4's Avatar
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    The students you have taught have been given lessons for life. They will use the "cake recipe" lesson with their children and you will live on in them. You are unique and a blessing to "your" kids. Thank you so much for sharing!

  23. #23
    Super Member wesing's Avatar
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    Karla -

    It sounds like you are one of the truly great teachers. I had a few and I remember them (and their lessons). I know your students will remember you and appreciate your lessons long after they leave your classroom too.

    Darren

  24. #24
    Super Member Ditter43's Avatar
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    Karla,
    I so admire what you are doing....Obviously you are a good teacher, teaching things that will be of real value in thier futures. My DDIL is a grade school teacher as was my DS. He recently started working for the Army. He is in the National Guard and now takes care of the daily business at the armory. He was such a good teacher but had to go with the money and insurance etc.
    I know there are people in every profession just putting in time....but the teachers are the ones we entrust with our precious children . Hooray for teachers who see how important they are even though they seem so undervalued on payday. :-(
    Three cheers for you ........we appreciate what you do for our kids! :thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup:

    Ditter

  25. #25
    Pam
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    What a great teacher and a beautiful teaching opportunity.

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