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Showing posts from September, 2014

OUR RICHMOND Umbrella Project

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OUR RICHMOND is the Umbrella project this year at Sabot school. Children, Teachers and Families from each classroom will explore their relationship with the city of Richmond. From the start of this school year teachers have been offering provocations and children have been talking about their places and drawing maps. Are you familiar with the term provocation, which comes from the schools of Reggio Emilia? Provocations are experiences designed to inspire children’s thinking. They can be questions, encounters with materials, people or places. Provocations are thoughtfully and carefully arranged by teachers who then observe the children as they encounter the idea, object, place, or event. Yesterday was the biggest provocation so far, as all of the Kindergarten through 8th grade children, Teachers and lots of Parents took trips to various cites in the city. You can see many pictures here facebook.com/SabotatStonyPoint

I went with the second grade to walk the Pipeline Trail atlasobscura.c…

Asking Young Children to Plan

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I've written before about how we use plans here at Sabot. Most often a plan is a drawing of something you want to make. Sometimes if drawing is hard or very unappealing, children may describe their plan with words or motion, or dictate it and I will draw it.

I ask children to follow three steps:
Think of an idea
Make a plan
Then gather materials

This works very well here. For one thing, it causes a little pause- sometimes just long enough for someone to formulate an image in their mind. This image will serve them well when it comes time to make the thing.
Even if the mental image has to be revised A LOT, having one will make the experience much easier.

Also, planning helps children choose materials very deliberately. We all should have grown up with a sense of stewardship for the Earth, but it seems especially important for children nowadays.

As for messing about, it still happens. A lot of the time the serious messing about with materials happens within the classrooms, so that by…

What is on your map? Kindergarten

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Atelierista: What are the most basic studio materials?

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Over all the years I've been studying studio practice I've thought about materials a lot. What can materials do? Are they worth having in the school? From an excellent video produced by the English Recycling Center houseofobjects, I learned about the idea of "intelligent materials"- can a material be transformed into something else? I've come to see a difference between using materials for fun, like in crafting, and using materials as a thinking tool, a way of researching.

So, what are the materials that are the most basic in terms of studio thinking and learning? This is useful to think about not only for a main studio but maybe even more for mini-studios in classrooms, where there isn't as much space or time.
Here is a list of supplies for mini-studios I put together for the classroom teachers at Sabot. What do you think? Would you do anything different?

• Drawing pencils and thinking pens, crayon or pastels, colored pencils or
markers (thinking pens are b…