Part of the crazy in the school days leading up to Winter Break, is the attempt to finish up projects before vacation. I had started felting stones with the third grade classes a couple of weeks ago. Each week pulling aside five students to go through the process with.
Today we decided to focus on getting one of the three classes done. Eighteen students. All at once.
We circled a long table, elbow to elbow, with tubs of hot and cold water down the center, and towels, lots and lots of towels. "Ok, people, here we go! Here are drops of dish soap that will help the magic happen... Sprinkle with the hot water... Pass it back and forth between your hands gently, like a cloud, like a bubble... Don't pop the bubble!... Sprinkle the hot... Repeat! (To help keep things/them/me calm I started singing the "Hum Dum Diddly Dum" song (a mindless wordless tune, to which they very sweetly joined in) Time to shock the rocks! Into the hot, press the water out... OVER the tubs!... Into the hot, press... Roll it lightly, like an egg... Shock it again!... Now rub it with all of your might!..."
This is a condensed version of the non-stop monologue I called out to them, all the while, circling the table, round and round demonstrating and checking on each one's progress... Keeping one out of the water, where he was determined to play... Convincing a girl that she did too have enough muscles to get the job done... And reminding a couple of them that, NO, they were not for juggling!
Fifteen minutes later there were eighteen beautiful stones in the hands of happy children, and one very tired me. Two more classes to go... After vacation!