I just wanted to give a huge thank you to those who have shared my blog over the past few days! Special shout out to those of you who have subscribed! :) I know I have received a lot of website traffic from my post in the wonderful "Off the Mat" Cricut group on Facebook, so I decided to make my next post a "Cricut in my Classroom" project!
If you do not already know... I have a Cricut obsession and have the newest Cricut Explore Air machine. After researching and researching, I chose the Cricut over the Silhouette for several reasons, which I will address in a later post. :)
In the kindergarten classroom that I student taught in my last semester of college (this past spring!) we have a dramatic play area, which is becoming a rarity these days in kindergarten! So sad.
At one point, our dramatic play theme was a flower shop!
At the flower shop, the students could play the roles of cashier, customer, delivery person, and more. They were supplied with materials to make cards to be delivered with their flowers, plastic bottles to use as vases, and ribbons to tie around the vases and attach their cards. They were also given fake flowers, but they had to be returned at the end of each center rotation for the next group! This made the students upset because they really wanted to take their cards and flowers home.
So, this got me thinking... I know that my amazing Cricut machine can cut out templates for rolled flowers, but I also knew that they were a little difficult... even for me! [I have only had my Cricut for a few months now and have only rolled flowers once.]
I brought my Cricut to my student-teaching every day [because, as mentioned, I have an obsession] and decided to cut one 3D flower template out and give it a try with one student.
This is one of the many 3D rose templates offered on the Cricut Design Space online programming. This is my favorite to use because it looks most like a rose! [When it is rolled... right now you might be a little confused... keep reading!]
So I let a student place a piece of purple standard card stock [8.5"x11"] onto the green standard Cricut mat, let them push the arrow button to load the mat into the machine, and let them press go! They love just getting to help me push the buttons on this thing... it's fun to see how excited they get when they hear the machine running!
"Ms. Jones, are you making another hot air balloon? Or a dinosaur? Can I help pick?!" :)
As you can see, we used a green pipe cleaner as the stem! This is an actual flower rolled by my kindergarten helper. I walked her through how to roll the flower as I rolled one at the same time. When I roll flowers for personal projects I secure them with a dot of hot glue, but we used tape since it is a MUCH safer choice. ;)
To roll these flowers, you begin by holding the cut template from the outside end, NOT the end in the middle of the "spiral." That will be the bottom of the flower and will hold the rest of it together. You simply hold the end of the spiral strip and begin rolling it around your finger and watch as it begins to take its shape as a flower. Since these students were only in kindergarten, I sat at this center with them and helped them secure their flower with tape as they were rolling it. We had to use about three pieces of tape during the rolling process, and two pieces of tape to secure it at the end. It was a great task to practice fine motor... and patience.. skills! A few of them struggled but it was our first time attempting a project like this and they enjoyed getting to make their own flower that they got to take home at the end of the day!
This was the first time I let my students use the Cricut in our classroom. I use it daily for little projects like cutting out circles to bigger projects like making bulletin boards [another obsession of mine!] They are used to hearing it run in the classroom and it is pretty quiet so they are not distracted. Typically, I will only use it in the mornings before the school day begins, during specials or lunch/recess break, and at the end of the day.
They really enjoyed this project and it definitely lead me to start allowing them to use it, or at least use materials from it, to create their own work!
Stay tuned for more Cricut in my Classroom projects and again, thank you for reading! :)
~ Ms. Jones