I think it’s a great practice for teachers to experience how it feels not to know how to do something. To remember how it feels to be unsure and vulnerable. For me, it helps to remind me what my students are feeling and experiencing on a daily basis. Today, I stepped into the role of student… And it was wonderful. It was, as I expected, difficult and frustrating, but the pride that came with the challenge was worth the work. I (drumroll, please…) wrote in Hebrew for the very first time!
I am astonished by my students, they’re so good at it and I’m so… well, not. My first graders are practicing Hebrew names for clothing and I wanted to provide them reinforcement during library centers (yes, I finally started doing centers. I love them! But, more on that in a later post). I created some felt “paper” dolls (again, check back for another post on my felt fashion creations), and the Hebrew clothing labels, the center gives them time to match the two together. Instead of asking a Hebrew teacher to create the labels for me, I did it myself! One of the Hebrew teachers quickly jotted the correct letters down on a scrap of paper and then I did the rest. Check it out, I’m pretty proud of myself!
Okay, I promise this is the last Tu B’Shevat-insipred post, but I just couldn’t resist sharing the piece de resistance! And I won’t say much, because I think it speaks for itself…
The tree is made of recycled brown paper bags, the leaves are pages from an old book (cut into heart shapes and painted with green tempera paint), the wording is made from twigs picked up off of the school playground, and the moss is from Hobby Lobby (it would have taken waaaaay too long to dry moss from outside–this is Seattle, after all).
It’s interesting that a month ago I had never heard of Tu B’Shevat and now, it is quickly becoming one of my favorite Jewish holidays. It certainly provides ample opportunities to decorate the library. And I will take any excuse I can get in order to decorate. Needless to say, when I saw Dena’s beautiful line-drawn trees over at Chai & Home, I knew I had to try to create some garland of my own.
First and foremost, I will never claim to be an artist. I can trace like a madman, but anything beyond that usually turns out to be a disappointment. So, when Dena said that the trees were “dead easy to draw even if you never, ever, ever draw,” I thought I was good to go. Well, you be the judge. I think some are adorable and others are, well… a little lopsided-rainbow-ish looking.
Regardless, once they were hung in the library (from a distance) they added a nice, rustic touch and I loved the look of the recycled brown paper bag and cotton string. I just adore the little clothespins (granted, I have to adore them, I think I drove 30+ miles to get them). And the best part, because the school is settled in a beautiful forest-y area, I think the garland might stay up in the window for the foreseeable future.