I wasn't really sure what weaving placemats was going to entail, but the teacher had asked and I had agreed; and when I got there, I was already mentioned in their morning message: the whiteboard said "Dash's mom is going to help us." Immortalized in dry-erase marker.
The first-graders are just as sweet as the kindergarteners were last year, and almost equally bad at following direction and good at asking repeatedly for help. The girls still open procedings by telling me they like my hair, which I think is something we could all learn from.
The placemats were made from strips of coloured paper woven through the "bars" of another piece of paper. (I found an instruction here which shows more or less exactly what we did, if you're interested.) Some of the kids got the idea straight away, while others struggled with the notion that if you go over and then under with the first strip, you go under and then over with the next, or with the physical execution of same.
Some of them had done it before so they had a better idea of what was going on, and Dash had learned to "weave" with yarn on cardboard at a craft thing, so I was gratified that his went along pretty well. The teacher pointed out (to me, not to the whole class or anything) that a lot of the boys did very well at it, because it's a mechanical, spacial-relation-y thing. It's nice to see that boys are better at some things, since they're often still lagging behind developmentally when it comes to fine-motor skills and communication.
(Then again, do boys ever catch up with communication? Oops, sorry. My fingers slipped and fell on the snark key for a minute there.)
It was also nice just to get a feel for the class and meet a few more of them. There are four first-grade classes at his school and the kids were randomly reassigned after kindergarten, so I only knew a few of them from last year. Dash hasn't really bonded with anyone in this class yet and still meets up with his friends from last year at recess; but he's a pretty cheerful kid who's happy to try to be friends with everyone, so I'm not worried. You don't find a bestie in every class.
Meanwhile, Mabel and a marauding horde of four-year-olds (and some adults, I'm sure) were ransacking the neighbourhood supermarket for Thanksgiving feast ingredients. I sort of wish I'd seen it, but I'm mostly glad I wasn't helping at nursery school today. Her friends never say they like my hair.