Fibers is a common studio choice in TAB (Teaching for Artistic Behavior). I didn't have a ton of fibers options last year, but I did make lots of yarn available. Weaving was the most obvious choice for using yarn, but students made use of it in other ways, too.
|An old shoe organizer worked pretty well for holding skeins of yarn.|
I started 4th graders off weaving in the fall and introduced it to one grade at a time since it was so popular that every loom was used. I introduced it to my 3rd graders in the spring and ran out of time to introduce it to 2nd grade.
I made almost all of my looms, most out of mat board or cardboard scraps. I started off measuring but eventually started eyeballing and just going for the same number of slits cut on each side. The mat board looms worked pretty well, but the easiest for the students to use were looms made of foam trays. I saved (and thoroughly washed) foam meat trays from home and used them at school. The students have an easier time going under the yarn when there's some space below to move. The trays hold up really well, unless the students pull to hard when warping and break a tab.
A 3rd grader asked if she could glue yarn down to make a picture. I let her use scraps and I think she would have kept working on this even longer if it hadn't been so close to the end of the year!
Speaking of scraps.... Sometimes ^THIS happens. My intermediate kids were pretty careless when it came to the scrap yarn, often just throwing it on top, and cutting way too much yarn to begin with. Many ignored the "wingspan at a time" rule. I will have to work on a better monitoring system for that this year.
One of my 6th graders used a longer loom and ended up turning her weaving project into a hat. I thought it was pretty clever.
My 3rd graders used a larger loom and scrap yarn to make this group project which was donated to the PTO auction. I hoped to have each student weave one scrap of yarn but had to let some go back and add multiple strips to fill it in. I think we'll try it again next year on the even bigger classroom loom I ordered with Artsonia money.
I ordered a box of yarn at one school where we started to run out of some colors, but I think we're already set for the coming school year. I've scored some good deals at garage sales- like a trash bag full of assorted yarns for a dollar- and had another trash bag full donated by my husband's aunt, a retired school teacher. I'm glad that yarn is one supply that can be found so cheap!