I think there are exactly 52 ways to mess up a slip knot and my seven students discovered each and every one of them. I expected that teaching this fundamental element of knitting might be a little challenging, but I didn't realize it would take up more than half of the class.
They are, at least, an enthusiastic bunch of girls who got just a little frustrated at not getting the knot immediately. Mostly they just seemed to have fun trying. I will say that I am glad there are no more than seven, however!
I tried showing them everyway I could think of - setting the loop on the table, wrapping the yarn around their hands and wrapping it just around their fingers. There are just only so many ways to explain it. We had barely enough time to learn that and basic one-finger finger knitting. I'd hoped to move on to four-finger finger knitting but that just wasn't going to happen. I also made the grave mistake of thinking that 15 minutes was enough time to teach pompoms. Oh no, not by a long shot. I was frantically trying to tie off bundles of yarn one at a time when parents were arriving and wondering (like I used to) why the teacher was taking so long to send them to the lobby! I think I sent everyone home with at least a little bit of yarn to practice on.
The highlight was when the cooking class in the next room started to get loud. One little girl said, "They're out of control. We're calm because we're knitting. Knitting calms you down."
Yes, that's a large part of why I knit it calms me down (when I'm not getting frustrated from having read the pattern wrong or dropped a stitch while frogging.)
P.S. I will confirm that it generally helps if you read the directions. I finally did that for the yarn meter - now I know why my count was so far off!