Here comes SUMMER!………… What an array of COLOUR!
The little sycamore helicopters have landed!
In honour of Vanya’s visit I read the children an Oxford Reading Tree book called “DUTCH ADVENTURE”. It was a great story and included “typical” Dutch things such as windmills, cyclists, Edam cheese, dykes leaking, low landscapes and diamonds. We were ready to DAZZLE Vanya with our knowledge!
Vanya had sent the schedule for the last session, and it included using yarn made from old tee shirts. She sent a link which described the process of making the yarn. I knew Tuesday was going to be action packed, so on Monday night I decided to follow said instructions and have the material ready to use the next day.
WELL………………..three hours later I finished the task, and although I felt totally exhausted, I was also pretty pleased with myself for being so organised.
Impressive, isn’t it?
Tuesday arrived, and so did Vanya, bright and breezy.
SESSION 10/11. LAATSTE SESSIE.
Vanya came to the classroom and I was super excited to show her the yarn which I was rather proud of. (Secretly I thought the strips were very short , but hey, Vanya is an expert on such matters and I had followed the instructions she’d sent to the letter of the law.)
WELL………..…..one minute later she dropped the bombshell! The strips were in fact too short and then she proceeded to show me how they should have been cut. I’m not joking; she cut up and zig-zaged a tee shirt in about two minutes flat, producing a ball of yarn at the end of it all! Then she turned the situation around by telling me that not all was lost………..we could use my feeble strips to decorate the final piece which the boys and girls were going to make in the afternoon!
The morning bell rang and in poured the children, delighted to see Vanya once more. She spent some time chatting, and then the boys and girls wanted to give her Thank You cards that they had made.
Ronan and Joshua show their cards.
Then Vanya reminded the children about how we had looked at things which were woven and things that had been knitted. She told them that they were going to use their old tee shirts to make yarn which would be woven later.
I showed Vanya some images of beautiful woven scarves from AVOCA – the shop.
Vanya showed us some arm knitting. It looked a little like a fishing net. I don’t know what Mrs. May thought of it….I think she was afraid that Vanya would ask her to lend her one of her arms!
Then she showed us something that she had started knitting earlier. It looked like the beginnings of a grey scarf……………but the yarn had been produced from one of Vanya’s old dresses. Her very large knitting needles were made from dowling rods.
Vanya showed the knitting to the children and asked them to feel the texture.
They said it was soft and smooth.
She stretched the knitting to reveal little triangle shapes hidden within. This led to a connection with Theo Jansen‘s strandbeests, Jose Vial Armstrong‘s beach contraption, and the fact that triangles are very strong shapes.
This is the roof of the Victoria Centre Shopping Mall in Belfast. Do the shapes look familiar?
This was taken from a very interesting article about HARRY KROTO in June 2016’s RSC’s monthly CHEMISTRY WORLD magazine. He discovered C60, the spherical molecular allotrope of carbon. In addition to his scientific interests in spectroscopy, astro-chemistry and unusual carbon compounds, he had a keen interest in art and design.
OK, back to the session………….. Then Vanya revealed the PLAN. We were going to make an installation inspired by Jose Vial Armstrong
OUR FIRST TASK: Make triangles using newspaper.
Vanya showed everyone how to make a triangle using newspaper. She tightly rolled a centre page into a cylinder shape, repeated this two more times and then she stapled the three tubes/cylinders together to form a triangle. It was very robust.
The classroom was not really big enough for us to make a large amount of triangles, so we packed everything up and sejourned to the Lunch Hall.
Vanya demonstrated how to make the triangles once more and everyone made a start. The key was to roll the paper up tightly so that the tube/cylinder would be strong. Even Patsy the caretaker joined in!
1. Fold the paper like this.
2. Roll the paper like this. 3. Secure it with tape.
Rolling the paper was easy, but getting it tight was a wee bit tricky.
Just look at the concentration on Patsy‘s face.
He is an expert on everything! ( At least that’s what he tells us……………..)
Vanya, Mrs. May and Mrs. Harriott got stapling to put the sets of 3 tubes together.
Look …………… You can make the Mathematical signs for “greater than” and “less than” with the newspaper tubes!
Vanya is wearing a triangle, similar to a necklace from one of Mrs. Harriott’s favourite shops, COS.
Just look at how many tubes the children made. Special thanks to Aine and Eirinn who went into overdrive! They can give a Masterclass on how to make them quickly!
We collected all our triangles and brought them back to the classroom as it was almost breaktime. Someone suggested that we could make rectangles with the paper tubes, so Vanya tried this idea. What did we notice about this structure? It was wobbly and weaker than the triangle shapes.
AFTER BREAK Vanya spoke about the weaving which we had tried the previous week. She said that we were going to try to do some weaving on a larger scale using the tee shirt yarn (restricted amount of yarn, remember how ingenious I was and used up most of the tee shirts on Monday evening?) This activity necessitated going outside.
This is when a LOT of ORGANISATION took place. Vanya told the boys and girls that they were going to be a HUMAN loom. Some children were going to be in charge of the WEFT……….They had to be very strong and hold the (remember how we had a large amount of short pieces of tee shirt yarn and a couple of balls of yarn produced in two minutes by Vanya) wool (yes we had to use wool instead!)
Vanya said that everyone’s job was really important, like a colony of bees. Vanya is a bee expert because she used to keep them. She described the: nurse bees who look after the babies (larvae), bees that produce wax, bees that guard the hive entrance, bees which pollinate plants, bees which collect pollen, nectar and water, bees that store the pollen, bees that build the honeycomb and bees that clean the hive. They have a system according to the age of the bees! (I wonder what jobs Miss Callaghan, Mrs May and especially I would do if we were in a nest?)
Daniel, Christopher, Joshua, Hayden and Jamie formed part of the WEFT team.
Jessica, Juliette, Aimee, Eirinn and Oisin formed the other half of the WEFT team.
For the WEFT we had a pattern of: red pink red pink red pink wool.
Then the really exciting part happened………..Making the WARP go through the Weft!(This was done with the much thicker tee shirt yarn……what was left of it.)
The weft reds had to lift up their wool allowing the WARP person to go through.
Then the weft pinks had to lift up their wool to let the WARP person go through.
This process continued until the bell rang for lunch/dinner.
LUNCH TIME arrived and Vanya said that the grand assembly would take place in the Hall afterwards.
She told us that she had posted a parcel the previous week, and guess what? It arrived at lunchtime! Conal and Abigail went to the office to get it. Vanya said that there was something inside to help us predict the weather!
I opened the parcel and there was a box inside. I opened the box and a beautiful storm glass and a wooden stand were cushioned inside it.
How Does It Work?
How this storm glass works is not fully understood. It is based on the principle that temperature and pressure affect solubility, sometimes resulting in clear liquid; other times causing precipitants to form.
It is said that the appearance of the liquid indicates the following weather conditions:
Clear Liquid = Fair Weather
Murky Liquid = Rainy Weather
Crystals at the top = Thunderstorms
Large Flaky Crystals = Cloudy skies, snow in winter
Thread of Crystals = Windy weather
- Properties of liquids and precipitates
- Crystal formation
- Weather forecasting
- History of weather forecasting and seafaring
We were really excited to see it because Vanya had told us ages ago that crystals were able to predict the weather….and now we had the very equipment that she had been talking about!
So, it was time to bring everything to the Lunch Hall. The boys and girls got into a big circle and Vanya put them into groups. Each group had to get five triangles because they had to be stapled together. (the triangles, not the children!)
When the 5 triangles were attached, my exquisite short pieces of tee shirt yarn were used to adorn them.
Look, Hayden, Joshua, Ronan, Abigail, Jessica have finished decorating their piece!
The next step was to put all the 5 triangled pieces together!
Time was running out……………The final piece was quite a sight to behold. It was a great finale to our “Virtually There” experience.
Vanya asked the children to make a name for it and this is what they said:
- A Sleeping Dog.
- Art Attic
- An Igloo
- The Arctic House
- A Snail
- The Hot Dog
- The Art Globe
- The Hob
- A Turtle
- The Globe
- The Fat Mouse
- The Play House
- Art World
- A Bird Flying Upside Down
- The Rain
- The Snow Globe
- The Crystal House
- The Rainbow Globe
- The North Web
- The Hairy Ladybird
- A House with a Conservatory
- The Sniffer Dog
- The Friendship 3D model
- A Dinosaur
We carefully carried our piece of fabulousness to a safe place and then proceeded to return to our classroom to – in the words of the late Prince, “PARTY like it’s 1999!”
- Vanya had brought her home-baked mini flapjacks and brownies.
- Mrs. May had supplied the crisps.
- Drinks were courtesy of Mrs. Harriott.
- We had a “sharing party” and all the boys and girls brought in a wealth of buns, gums, fruit pastilles, Haribo sweets, Freddos, Refreshers, wafers, chews, biscuits, marshmallows, Jelly Babies and lollipops.
Mrs. Harriott (me) doubled up as Resident DJ. (Conor’s Daddy’s part-time job security is intact.)
I played requests including Bruno Mars’ ” Uptown Funk” and “Count on Me. ”
Queen’s “We will Rock You” was very popular, but VERY noisy.
A song with the word “whip” in it was requested….everyone sprang to their feet and began to dance with great enthusiasm!
Finally it was time to tidy up and get ready for home. Everyone had so generously brought in so much, that there were leftovers to use on Friday!
Everyone was feeling happy, but sad at the same time…..We all said a BIG “THANK YOU” to Vanya for all her fantastic ideas and support. We also could have said:
- Auf wiedersehen
- Tot ziens
- Do widzenia
- Au revoir
- Adios y hasta luego
But we don’t say any of those because we always finish off with, “Doei Vanya.”
Everyone left, but Pearse and Daniel said the last “Goodbye.”
I escorted Vanya out to her cute green van and she packed her things away. I asked her to keep in touch, even though I know she has a hectic year ahead. She said she’d love to know what everyone is up to. Maybe I’ll make the journey to Sligo to investigate that Seaweed Spa…………………….. YOU NEVER KNOW!
Well, this is my FINAL “VIRTUALLY THERE” Journal, and what a journey we’ve been on. It’s been WONDERFUL!
PS…I found out that the song with the word, “whip” in it, is actually called “Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae) by Silento. (I still don’t like it!) Whipping cream- YES.
PPS… I found a few more ways to say “Goodbye” in Dutch:
Tot ziens –> So long
Tot gauw –> See you soon
Dag –> Goodbye
Vaarwel –> Farewell
Hoje –> Bye (Limburg and Nijmegen)
Houdoe –> Bye (Brabandt)
Ik ga je zien –>I’ll be seeing you
Later –> Later, but spoken with a Dutch accent (short “a”)
Tjuus –> Bye (the Dutch spelling of the German Tschüss)
Doe-doei –> Bye-bye
Tot straks –> See you soon
Tot later –> See you later
Ajuu –> Bye
Tabee –> I’m outta here
Toedeledoki –> Toodaloo
Joe –> Bye
De mazzel –> Good luck
Laters –> Laters (baby)
De ballen –> Goodbye
Tot de volgende keer –> Till next time
Tot kijk –> Till I see you
Tot zo –> See you in a bit