Knitting Kindness

Today I'm grateful because I got to bake Pumpkin LOaVEs
and share them with my teaching team during a PD yesterday.
Here's a link to my presentation if you'd like to see the slides;
it culminated in writing a thank-you note to ourselves,
which is always an interesting reflective exercise.


I'm thinking about asking my 8th graders to do it, too,
to write a thank-you to themselves that I'll hold on to
until they leave us in May for the high school.

I'm also grateful when students use a skill to bless someone else;


in this case, Alexis in my second period class used
her talent as an amazing artist to draw ... me.

Isn't that just the most beautiful thankful thing?

Did you know that one of the best ways to practice gratitude 
is by doing simple acts of kindness that knit us together?

As you may know, I was able to lead a knitting club during my tenure at Westwood Elementary; here's a peek into how that looked, sounded, and felt. It was a simple act of kindness that made a life-changing impact on babies all around the world. Lis at Ripple Kindness shared our story {here} and Warm Up America wrote about us {here}. 

Photo courtesy of Save The Children

It was so incredibly satisfying to see one of our hand-made hats
warming the tiny head of a preemie in a developing country.

Which leads me into today's book review with a knitting theme:


Knitting For Dogs by Laurel Molk is a precious gem that will warm your heart to its core. Due out at the end of the month, this adorable newcomer is one of the cutest books I've seen released in quite some time. It starts with innovative Izzy, a young artist like Alexis, who not only loves to make things but thrives at all of them. Nothing's off the table when she's working with her heart and her hands to craft and create, so when she starts knitting, she's pretty sure it'll be a breeze. And it would have been, easy that is, had she stuck to scarves and hats. But that's not Izzy's style; she's got bigger ideas than that. She sets her sights on a sweater. And when the first and second sweaters don't quite turn out like she'd hoped?

"Max," explained Izzy, "failure is part of the creative process. 
We just aren't used to it."

YET.

Wouldn't this be the perfect place to stop the story and ask for a time that the reader has tried something new, perhaps that they thought would be easy, and failed? What happened? What was that experience like for them? How did they feel? What do they wish they could have changed? What would they do differently if they had it to do over again?


Sometimes the big dreamer has to get the ball rolling again before she knows just what it's going to take to realize the dream, but will Izzy get discouraged and give up after a few more failed attempts? 

Or will her growth mindset kick in and help her find an even better way for "turning a sweater full of mistakes into something fabulous" even as she's intentionally knitting kindness for some furry friends along the way?

Check out this beautiful growth-mindset blockbuster; it has my enthusiastic endorsement! Pre-order it {here} today. 

NOTE: This tale takes me back to our third-grade knitting days because some of their initial tries were just awful. Until they weren't anymore because we always looked for ways to praise the process rather than the product. That was a beautiful season in my journey and I'll be forever grateful to our volunteers for their commitment to teaching our students how to knit kindness, one stitch of love at a time.

Photo courtesy of Save The Children




Photo courtesy of the Houston Chronicle.


Happy Thanks and Giving, dear reader.










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