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How to Teach a Craft Class

Lesson 9 of 29

Create a Technique-Based Lesson Plan


How to Teach a Craft Class

Lesson 9 of 29

Create a Technique-Based Lesson Plan


Lesson Info

Create a Technique-Based Lesson Plan

Now we're going to move up from the lesson objective to the actual lesson plan itself on dh this is where it gets a little, you know, it can be a little bit because obviously I'm standing here in front of you with no actual anything in front of me, so I'm gonna ask you guys to visualize some things, and I hope that's okay, but I think that because of the bonus materials and the templates that you'll have in the simple lesson plans, you guys will be able to remember and take away this these as sort of starting off points for your own lesson plans. Ok, so let's start with a technique based lesson plan. Now I'm using my own example for the lesson that I just showed you the objective for, which is ah, introduction to machine quilting class. Ok, so you guys in the workbook will see the template for ah blank lesson plan, and I'm also going to put the filled in one here and then you guys also, I think in the studio audience because hat will will have the printed ones as well, and then if you ...

are a svp, you get these for free, so we think about these things to start off, we think about what we're going to call our class, we're going to think about the time that's allotted okay and generally the range would be anywhere birth I would say between like two hours three hours teo on all day workshop which could be anywhere between six and seven hours and you're gonna think about the number of students which you may not know right away okay but you could have a range going on a date whatever is it a project or a technique you want to try to give this class a level and a way to think about the level is to think about what prior knowledge your students are going to need in order to do your class. Okay, so for my class and it's called introduction to modern machine quill in three hours because it's an intro um twenty and for me this is going to depend on the number of sewing machines that are available guy or this space this is extremely flexible number for me depending on the space so if I'm teaching at a conference they might provide twenty four sewing machines so aiken take twenty four students ok but if it's a class in a studio where they have to bring their own machines I need to decide how much space like how many like what is the possibility? What is the maximum number of sewing machines that could get set up in that space without making people uncomfortable and like causing a riot essentially right you want to make sure people enough space to do their work okay what's the date I just used today's date so this is ahh technique based class and is a beginner class and what I've said is that students will need a basic knowledge of so a sewing machine okay, this is a this is a very, very introductory class so they are not going to be to know a whole lot but they are gonna wanna have the desire tow learn this right there that you're not going to take an introduction to machine quilting unless you maybe have a little bit of experience putting a quote together or a desire to okay, I mean that's the hope okay, so we've got all that stuff down again prior knowledge needed is a really important one too to pay attention to when you're thinking about like so susan for for this class are there going? Is there going to be a prior knowledge needed not necessarily it's pretty easy so you could write none but for example, if you were doing um I don't know maybe add enough for example, of that self portraiture classes would there be prior knowledge for that? I'm thinking beginner yeah, yeah yeah so it's it's always good t think about that we're going to find what we have to consider the age because you use a needle so I wouldn't want a three year old in the class right right well yeah we'll consider and I think that that will come into play before you get here just because I think you might have an idea of what your venue is going to be anyways on and then if you did teach to younger kids you could make some adjustments I could do it like a like an enlarged version of it with those plastic needles you know and like yarn which could be kind of cool um right so prior knowledge needed always good and we've already seen my lesson objective my objective although it's it's a little dry I mean I'm not gonna lie I'm excited by but it's a little bit like ok, they're gonna practice three different mission quilting stitch is might not be the most dynamic lesson objective I could think about that but they're going to experience the divers textures because that's what we love and in quilting and machine quilting is the textures that are created when we quote on a quilt so that's really my one of my main objectives is that they get to see what they can create by using both straight lines and by using free motion techniques okay and then number one they'll build their their confidence in their quilting ticket in their quilting abilities. Okay as I said, this is a beginner's class so it's one of my huge objectives is just that they develop more of an appreciation for the craft yeah, well I have to say what I like about that less than objective it's like what is a walking foot in the open toward darning foot I think I would want to take that class just find out what they were it's very glamorous we can I can show you when they are later I know the walking but it's one of my favorite term sewing machine terminology is the best you've got your walking foot you've got your feed dogs you know you've got a lot of really fun terms okay and then I want them to have fun that's my obviously just like this we want them to develop this appreciation this is my lesson plan for this entered a machine quilting class okay, so we've broken it down and we're going to break this intro part down so that we're not going to worry too much about this right now okay? I wrote a bunch of things that out but I'll go into detail about later, okay, but for our purposes right now I want you to think about breaking down your main activity so this is what I'm calling me an activity into chunks okay? And so for this technique that I'm teaching I'm going to have uh what did I say? Yeah, I have three demos ok and that's how I'm kind of breaking down that's how I'm breaking down my actual class material into thes chunks ok, so for example, my first demo is talking about the quote sandwich did I say that we have great vocabulary in our in my world? So we're going to talk about what the quote sandwiches um I know you're intrigued now we're going to talk about the walking foot attachment and then I'm going to show them how to make straight lines using their walking foot okay, so this is my first demo, ok? So basically my demos are setting the pace for my class, so I'm going to say, ok, this is my first demo going to take a good ten minutes to to do it and I'm going to get into how to do a demo later or ways that you could do a demo and then I'm going to say it in my class all right? Practice time, okay? And they're gonna have a chance tio go on work and experience the cold sandwich walking for the sash minutes straight lines ok? And that they're going to be working on a practice piece, okay? And then twenty minutes later I'm going to dio a second demo, which is the free motion demo, which is going to take a little bit longer because I know that using the open toed darning foot you draw, you drop the feed dogs and then you're essentially in charge of moving the fabric with your hands instead of having the machine move the quote sandwich through for you okay, so there's a lot there's a little bit more of a demo that's needed I want to explain the feed dogs the rubber gloved fingers so you guys love me right now talking about all these weird things and the top and bottom tension on the sewing machine ok, so that's my my second demo and then I'm gonna demonstrate swirls using a sample piece so we're goingto go from straight lines when a demo and we're going to do some swirls they're going to go practice and then I'm going to bring him back for a third demo and that third demo is going to be shapes and writing, okay? And because I've already demonstrated the you know, the basics of this free motion technique, I think this demo is gonna be a little shorter because all I'm going to show is some demonstrations on maybe making some squares and triangles and then tasking them to write their name, which is probably like the culmination of this intro class when they can look down and be like I just wrote my name using my selling machine that's really cool and then for the rest of the class depending on how things are going, they're going to have free work time where I'll be kind of walking around and helping ok and then that takes me all the way to the end where I always always always want to do a wrap up where I bring the class back together and we were going to talk about this later too but I think it's always always always always important even if you are totally running out of time and you know it's time to go you still want to make sure you call everybody's attention back to back to the group it's it's kind of like what we've been talking about a little bit of creating this community of people you don't want to just be like ok it's time to go everybody leave you want to bring everybody back together and really end as a group I'm a big proponent of doing that so you always want to I always make sure I schedule that in okay and you could also use this time for your students to show their work hey um in more formal art settings you know you could do like a minute miniature critique of work right? Another word critique kind of we don't necessarily like just cause it might have a negative connotation right but you could do like what I like to call it a little show and tell okay where people show off what they've done a really good question on our chat or ask function so the question was going back a little bit to the level you clear what the level is for your class and it was interesting question does some nice teach like career building for actors and it's hard to know, like what? People where people aren't what they get, where they will get the most out of the class. So the question was, should we keep in mind that people tend to think they know more than they dio like a beginner may think they're an intermediate and how have you dealt with that and how you deal with that? Oh, definitely, I think you definitely get that more with with adults, but you your class, some everybody is going to get something out of your class, regardless of their level. So you can you can always say that in your and I'm going to go into a little bit more detail about what to say at the beginning of you glass in your introduction to both challenge the students that might find it too easy and to make sure you comfort the student who might find it too difficult and it's a case by case matter, you know, like you're going to have a student who you might think is having the worst time because you think that the materials not challenging for them, but that might not necessarily even be the case um I'm not sure if that is yeah I think that's a good answer because people get everyone gets something out of the class right? I guess I worry about the people in the middle like the intermediate if I'm doing a class and like for example, I taught a class recently and we had all different levels and we divided the class into two groups so there was a beginning of class and an advanced class but I wasn't sure what to do with the people in the middle because I didn't want them to be teo board in the beginning class but I just also wasn't sure if they're ready for the advanced class yeah, well you know, in teacher teaching world we call this differentiation and it's probably the number one challenge in a classroom I mean just if you just think about how many different types of students and levels that you're going to get in a class think about math or for language classes and literature classes the same applies for our craft classes and I think that the like the number one answer is that you you're going to get something out of it and even if you've taken a class that maybe is similar like all I've taken a class it's similar than this that teacher is going to give you something different I guarantee it and so it's all about you know, opening yourself up to this experience that okay, maybe it's not quite as challenging as I hoped it would be you know noted for next time but I'm going to try to make the best of it right and that goes for teachers as well so you try to make sure you reach every student in your class at their level but you might not especially the first time but that's ok because you're going to learn from that experience and sure enough of the end of that class like the intermediate people who are in the beginning class felt like they learned a lot you just I feel like sometimes we get nervous about it but then in reality exactly well and it's true sometimes it's all about knowing the student like in school settings for example you might know that a particular middle of the road student I would love to be challenged by being in the higher higher level class or that particular middle of road student would love to be like the expert in the group in the more beginner class so it's also kind of knowing the student and kind of knowing my like maybe what might motivate them more right being the underdog or being like more of the like hey, I know what I'm doing you know so thank you think is there anything else before you move on? I'm not right now do you guys have any questions about this technique base plan? Yeah edna that say you're talking about the different levels in the class, do you find that you, if you can, you build in more time so that you can find out individually where student is ad and safe there, like far ahead of the rest of them, you can actually give them a tip and say, you can skip this step, but core I've this that is, yeah, that and that's why in in this starter, we're going to spend a lot of time talking about how to start strong and that's something that you're going to try to d'oh, depending on the time, especially if you have a longer amount of time, you really want to take time to go around and get everybody's experience level so that you know who to go to when work time starts and maybe give them an extra challenge, or maybe know that they don't have exactly the skills that they're going to need, so maybe they need a little bit of extra teacher attention during work time. Okay, so that's why the starter is super super important for knowing getting to know your students? Cappie, I was just going to say on the wrap up that's, a really great time to gather everyone with their project for a photograph and then that's good marketing materials later totally, and ideally everybody, it if they come to my book chef has a book at their desk that they just write something in or they stick something in her just leave something for the next person oh that's really close it just kind of builds that community in that aspect but the photo with the end is kind of a big deal in the class today it's too you into them? Yeah right people love um I work with and it's also good when you're trying to market the next time you do the clouds and the students you know they'll put it on their social media and they'll say like, oh my god, I just took the best class and then their friends will be curious about its great marketing and just great community building um and we're going to talk a lot about some of that stuff in a later segment. So the main thing I want to point out with this so far we're going to get a chance to help you guys with with your lesson plan ideas we're gonna do some work work shopping a little bit later but I wantto like why I want you guys to understand the importance of the balance between teacher input and student work time so it's a really important balance to strike he want to make sure that your students are getting enough from you and enough demo right. But then they're also getting time to experience it on their own. Okay, that's. A. Really, for me, that's, a really important balance that you should definitely, that you should make sure you try to strike. And a twenty minute intro might feel like a long time. And I'm going to explain why it might be super important, and that you shouldn't overlook it. But, you know, you don't have to spend twenty minutes because you might not feel like you want to be talking so much at the beginning. Okay, especially depending on your personality type.

Class Description

Teaching opens you up to a whole new revenue stream and lets you connect with people who are passionate about what you do. Learn how you can use your existing skills at the front of a creative classroom in How to Teach a Craft Class with Ashley Nickels.

Ashley is a life-long quilter and multi-discipline creative educator. In this class, she’ll show you how to prepare to teach a craft class and offer plenty of insights on making it fun for everyone involved. You’ll learn:

  • A variety of teaching styles for the full range of teacher personality types
  • How to plan lessons, set objectives, and manage student expectations 
  • Classroom prep tips that help you feel fully prepared 
  • Techniques for dealing with tricky situations 

Ashley will share insights from her years as an educator and help you feel confident before your first (or next) class. She’ll reveal her favorite classroom management techniques and teach you how to deal with difficult personalities. You’ll learn ways to engage and inspire everyone – from advanced learners to beginning students.

Teaching is not easy, but it can be incredibly rewarding both personally and financially. How to Teach a Craft Class will demystify the magic behind a good craft class and help you make your dreams of educating and inspiring others a reality.


Claude Aimée Villeneuve

This was a very good class, well prepared and packed with such useful information! I've been teaching various arts and craft classes for over 10 years now and did it sort of instinctively. Ashley gave me the tools I needed to refine my classes and prepare really good classes outlines and how to find venues to teach and pitch my classes. That was awesome and I plan to watch it again and again because there is so much in it! This was a first class presentation! Thank you Ashley! Claude Aimée Villeneuve, Visual artist and teacher

a Creativelive Student

I'm not even half way thru the online videos and want to recommend this class to anyone who just needs that extra boost to start their own classes! I like the fact that Ashley suggests that we think from a student perspective to help us to better plan. This class covers many things I have heard before BUT in greater detail. When I hear the 'WHY' of doing things, I'm more likely to follow thru. These videos explain many 'WHYs' (There are many informative sites/classes for this topic but not many people give you 'this is WHY' it should be done this way) Ashley gives the "WHY' and the 'HOW to'. If you want to teach and are mostly ready to teach, take this class and all the gaps will be filled in and you will be ready to go forth and teach your craft!

Barbara Schiffman

Great class -- watched live (most of it) and purchased for ongoing review. I've taught many things, including some crafts (decorating gourds, collage, making your own tarot-collages) but I gained new insights, ideas and confidence from Ashley's advice, the students questions and input, and the panel! I recommend this for anyone who wants to teach a class -- craft oriented, personal development, or anything else!