Patricia Holdrege
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Welcome to 3rd Grade Handwork!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

As a part of our practical arts programming, handwork instruction begins in first grade and continues through high school. Handwork includes studying artisanal skills in felting, crocheting, knitting, sewing, basketry, weaving, dyeing and bookbinding. These skills are taught to aid students' dexterity, focus, motor-coordination and integrative capacities. Many studies have shown that such kinesthetic learning amplifies cognitive skills: so the patterning and complex systems engaged in crocheting, weaving and knitting also aids in the conception of mathematical patterns and systems operations in higher order mathematics. Similarily handwork experimentation with materials and transformative processes like dyeing and saturating solutions, the burnishing and enamelling of copper, and similar chemical processes connect the students to scientific exploration and enhance their undersanding of the physical properties and chemical underpinnings of our world.

Faculty:                        Claude Driscoll
Class Dates:              September 5, 2013 – June 13, 2014
Curriculum Area:       Grade School Handwork


Dear 3rd grade parents.

Hand Movements Sculpt Intelligence

Through the fact that man is an upright being and his hands are thus freed from resting on the earth, they have become, down through the ages, the most marvelous instruments. The shape of the hand with its five delicate, mobile fingers surrounding the quiet center of the palm, intimates its connection with the rays and impulses of the five-pointed star, the pentagram—that special creative form found, for instance, in the rose family and also basic to man himself! An organ of the sense of touch, it can be used to feel, to grasp, to move, mold, intertwine, or to relate other objects to one another, but also to make free gestures expressive of the inner dictates of the soul.
Through infinite variations of all these, it has become one of man's most creative and, at the same time, selfless organs. Rudolf Steiner has spoken of the hands as the eyes of the rhythmic system.
And one who works much with his hands may well feel how an essential part of his being would be blind without them. The rhythmical use of the hands, works in a mobile living way upon the development of brain cells, so that the child’s physical brain will become a far more pliant and sensitive instrument for ‘living thought’.

From master handwork Waldorf teacher, Arvia Mackaye Ege,

For more please read: Learning About the World Through Modeling-Sculptural Ideas for School and Home, published by the Association of Waldorf Schools of North America. by Arthur Auer

This year, 3rd grade will focus on crocheting.  After learning how to hold the crochet hook by making a belt, they will start the big project of the year—making a hand puppet—which will stretch their imagination and strengthen their will through learning how to “sculpt” an animal via manipulation of their crochet stitches.
We will also make a squared pot holder, which will give them the opportunity to have a practical experience in geometry.
Crocheting will strengthen their dominant hand, their fine motor skills and their ability to work within a group (and as with all groups, with individuals having various levels of skill and interest).
I am looking forward to work with your dear children and teach them a whole new array of skills.

Sincerely, Madame Driscoll