Monday, April 18, 2016

Memory Monday 4 ~ Quilting Unit

       Last week I was trying to find something in the sewing room which turned out to be a brief clean out of the sewing closet.  Has that ever happened to you?  I found this!  It takes me back to around 1978-80 when I was teaching math and social studies to the 7th and 8th grade!  The history book mentioned how quilts were used by the Underground Railroad the same time my class was going into the geometry unit according the to math book.  I was always the rebel that didn't like to follow the book exactly, but rather liked to use "teachable moments."  I was so excited I came up with this idea.
       The problem was the idea didn't come from someone that was over 100 miles away, & to make matters worse, I was a brand new teacher, so my idea was not acceptable. 

         I had created the portable bulletin board you see here, and was well involved in the unit with a lot of interest from the students.
          As a choice, the students could create their own blocks with measurements.  Some of the boys said no, so they submitted one on paper that had to be drawn with accurate measurements & angles.  It wasn't as easy as they thought.  After students really got involved, the principal came and told me to take down my display and student work of quilt blocks I had posted.  He and the superintendent didn't see the educational benefit.  I had backed myself up with written objectives, but it did no good because I wasn't "following the book."
             About a decade later, the state of Kentucky legislation voted on education reform.  During that reform, guess what kind of units they encouraged?
              Yes.  The kind that would integrate more than one subject area.  The textbook became a resource, or was supposed to be one.
                 I was still working with that principal then, and he actually told me one time he then understood what I was trying to do. He was doing as the superintendent encouraged at that time.
                It always did my heart good to see kids actively engaged, and not really know they were learning.
              Its not easy to come up with a project that requires children to apply multiple skills, and use their brain more than one way to come up with a result.
           I love it when students can be creative and not have to worry about, "IS this the answer the teacher or the test wants."
        Pleasing the teacher or the test is not the way our learners are going to find the cure for cancer, or solve other world problems.

 The block above was made mostly from feed sack material.

All of these were blocks I had made.
You can see, even back then I was more into making A block instead of a full quilt.
                    I even had to pat myself on the back, when I saw these questions I wrote way back in the late 70s.  I had learned in college there were different levels of questions, but it seemed no one really paid attention to their levels until Kentucky had it's Education Reform Act (KERA).

Don't you feel good when you find out you were doing something right for once?  It was good for me to find this memory moment when I did.

Thanks to the FREE program

 Photoscape for downsizing & watermarking photo & other alterations to pictures.

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