It's my favorite new question, for today! My middle daughter enjoys sewing and is currently making a wallet for herself. She is trying to be more independent while soaking in some words of wisdom.
Mama's Getting Better Words of Wisdom
(said over time, not all at once.)
1. Sewing more often will help you reach your goals.
2. Practice more often will fine tune your stitching.
3. Being very precise is important, everything matters in sewing.
4. Sewing when you are tired is dangerous.
5. Read the pattern carefully.
6. Go slowly.
7. Yikes, don't leave the iron down on the ironing board when it is hot.
8. Ask for help when you don't understand or need to clarify.
This is where my favorite new question comes in. A has been able to figure out some of the pattern directions on her own but when she is questioning something she comes and asks me what step ?, means. Before I tell her, my reply has become, "What does it mean to you?" I figured out I'm pre-assessing the situation with a little formative assessment. I can tell if she's read the directions all the way through. She can then show me with her fabric what she thinks she has to do. I can agree or reread the directions aloud to tell her where there are some glitches in her understanding. While doing this, I can give her a compliment or use her fabric to show her a slightly different meaning and send her back to her sewing machine.
I think I need to use my new favorite question more often in my classroom. At home, it's causing less frustration and more independence - something my students deserve too.
Thanks to the Two Writing Teachers blog for fostering this writing community.