A Common Thread

Making connections is the outcome I strive for in everything I do. Even as a textile artist and teacher. Yarn can connect us to a concept. Yarn can connect us to one another. Yarn can connect us to the wider world. This “common thread” can be powerful. Here is where I will share all the ways in which I use yarn to connect. Even if you don’t knit or crochet, I hope you will find you can connect with yarn as well.

Recently I ran my third annual Stringing it Together workshop for educators in which we use yarn as a part of a multi-sensory approach to reading and math. Sometimes you need to return to the concrete nature of learning before you can help students reach the more abstract level. Our soon-to-be teachers enjoyed the connections they made to yarn and to one another. 

Multi-sensory lessons help connect kids to concepts. Here’s a brief rundown on the process:

Our senses have two primary jobs

  1. To take in information from the outside world “ the external sensory system”
  2. To organize external sensory information within our own bodies “internal sensory system”

Effective multi-sensory instruction:

  • Engages children in learning through their senses externally and internally.
  • Presents strategies that help children use one or a combination of their senses.
  • Addresses the internal needs of children, thus preparing them to learn.
  • Respects and embraces the needs for children to feel safe in taking risks and to feel successful in the classroom.

When planning a multi-sensory lesson, we should consider 3 important elements:

  1. Body focus
  2. Sense Engagement
  3. Mind Connection

It means that students are paying attention and actively using their external senses of seeing , hearing , touching and moving. So think about your senses as you plan. How can you keep the children involved?? You can add movements to a song or get a story acted out. Keeping students physically involved will help keep them focused for longer periods of time.

We used string and yarn in our workshop in the following ways:

  1. Spaghetti Spelling
  2. Sticky Sight Words
  3. Bead Slides (phonemic awareness)
  4. Reading Response Art
  5. String Art (math operations & geometry)
  6. Sequencing Cards
  7. Food Chains

You can find a sample of a string art activity for math here or on our Freebies & Downloads page.

Please follow and like us:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *