Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Why I Create. - Slice of Life

The desire to create is one of the deepest yearnings of the human soul.    
- Elder Uchtdorf

Today I was sewing and reflecting on why I like to create things.  It's something I've always done.  I think it's easy for children to create.  I remember turning my bed into a camper and making up stories with my sister about adventures.  I still have my Lincoln Logs and loved how they rested and alternated a pattern as I created buildings.  I have my first 4H sewing project; a matching pot holder and apron in a purple gingham.  

I grew up with family that created.  My mother was a master seamstress and knitted.  Her mother also sewed and enjoyed doing woodworking projects.  My other grandmother also knitted and made homemade Christmas ornaments each year.  Both grandmothers created with their gardens and yards.  My father could build things.  He created building structures and staircases as an iron worker and did a lot of the work building our second family home.  

Growing up creating was a means to show someone you cared.  
Growing up creating was a means to save money.  
Growing up creating was a way to pass the time and keep busy.  

Creating is one of the ways I learn new things.  It also takes my mind of worries in life.  I've been taking a sewing class once a month since school started this year.  I'm learning new things with each project; shortcuts and techniques.  Today as I was sewing a fabric flower for my swing tote bag, I realized when I create I am applying knowledge from various domains.   I was reading directions, a piece of information writing in a how to format with diagrams. I had to reread it several times for clarity.  I had to measure my fabric and use two measuring tools to help.  I adjusted my stitch width, applying my mathematical knowledge for a second time and then a third as a measure my gathered strip of fabric and a fourth time, as I created a circle shape.  I used a simple machine today, a seam ripper when I removed a few stitches.  I used quite a bit of background knowledge as a I created.  Sewing is just one way I create and make things.

I've come to realize in my classroom I am most happy and my students are most happy when they are creating.  Creating is often an easier way for students to show what they understand.  Creating fosters engagement.  I believe creating fosters a purpose.  I am so excited to use my new bag and when I was done I ran around showing it off to my girls.  Creating naturally fosters sharing.  I have been struggling with creating in my classroom to be honest with time and the long list of things to learn or try and figure out.  However, today reminds me creating allows a student to learn new things, make mistakes, apply what they know, and explain what they did through sharing.  Essential components for learning.

Thank you to Betsy from Two Writing Teachers for hosting Slice of Life today.


  1. Your bag looks great. I like how you connect the past, your present and your classroom. I caught myself instantly thinking how much I allow my students to create. At first I thought that we haven't done anything recently, but then I realized that we have been creating. Dances. Even though this creating won't have an object as a result, it still a creation process, with fun and learning combined and a presentation in the end.

  2. Mandy -- creating or constructing knowledge is so important for our young students. Go with your gut and find these opportunites for them to problem solve, learn, and demonstrate understanding through creating. Love this post!
    Clare and Tammy

  3. Thank you for reminding me that creating is the key- whether it is writing or the picture in their head from the book they are reading... let 'em go. I gotta shake things up a bit!

  4. That is one awesome looking bag! And, I love this:
    "today reminds me creating allows a student to learn new things, make mistakes, apply what they know, and explain what they did through sharing. Essential components for learning." Beautifully said, and so true, Mandy.

  5. What a wonderful heritage of creating you come from! This connection from your learning to your students learning was well stated.

  6. Creating allows us to surprise ourselves. It's a great feeling of accomplishment when we create. Good reminder for all! Totally impressed with your sewing skill, that was never a skill I wished to acquire.