Thursday, September 25, 2014

Breakaway- Meeting #7

Our first meeting of the 2014-15 school year was on our summer selection Breakaway by Andrea Montalbano.  This was our first sports themed book.  We had mixed reactions from the girls.  About half liked it.  Others felt it was too heavy on soccer terminology they didn't know.  This is a very good book for discussing themes of jealousy, competition, and managing girl friendships.  It seemed to bring about a good discussion.  Three of our girls have recently signed up for soccer team so a soccer themed book club was fun for them.

We added one more mother/daughter pair this year so now we have 7 girls and 6 moms.  Six girls came to the meeting (as one mother/daughter pair couldn't make it).

We used our general discussion questions to help guide the discussion.  As usual, one of our girls always figures out a deeper meaning that the adults have missed.  In the story, Lily is suspended from the team for not being a team player for two important games.  "Breakaway" is a soccer term for when there is a sudden attack from a defensive position breaking away from others on the field.  One of our girls also shared that it had the double meaning of representing Lily breaking away from the team when she was suspended.  All the moms had an a-ha moment listening to this 8 year old clue us in on the deeper meaning.  I never get tired of listening to them discuss these books!

Eating hot dogs, fruit, veggies, and goldfish crackers while we discuss

I happened to be at a party store buying things for work and found some adorable soccer themed plates, napkins, and bunting.  As a new soccer mom, I was excited to bling out the first meeting of the year.

I found a package of coconut M&Ms at Walmart with M&Ms only in white, dark brown, and green.  Perfect for this easy soccer themed dessert.
store bought sugar cookies and icing, topped with coconut M&Ms

Our craft was a little more complicated, but with the help of the moms for quality control/accuracy checking, all girls were successful in making a soccer ball safety pin craft.  

For each girl you need 13 safety pins that are size 1 and 1 safety pin that is size 3.  You can find these at any craft store and they are consistently numbered in those sizes.  The linked directions above refer to the inches of the pins, but those sizes are industry standard (i.e. size 3 is a 2 inch long pin).

I grabbed the JPG of the pattern and sized it up on a WORD document and printed one for each girl.  The trick to the project is reminding the girls to work from top to bottom (even though as you add pins they stack bottom to top).  Spatially, it can be a little challenging ;).  

Using pliers to loosen up the loop on the big pin is important so the small ones can loop around and to the other side.  The other trick is to load all pins on the big pin facing out, after it loops around, it will be facing outwards again.  All of this is making little sense I'm sure, but if you try to make a sample prior to doing it with a group of kids, it helps troubleshoot areas where things might be confusing.  

hard at work

finished product next to pattern
Much to the dismay of one of our moms, I've stopped making bottlecap buttons this year ;)  Most of the girls weren't keeping them and it became an added expense I would rather put into materials for a craft, etc.  

We all had a great time!  Next month, we are celebrating Halloween theme with a ghost book ;)  


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