Showing posts from April, 2010

Adelina's animals

Adelina has changed this year. She moved to Richmond and came to a new school, made new friends, grew out of her old shoes and into new ones. The change because of growing older and through practice with art media, observation and the facets of design is visible in this series of animals she has made over the course of this year. Because she has worked on representing animals throughout the year, it was easy for me to see her growth, but really this is an example of the process all children go through as they grow from 3 to 4, 4 to 5, etc..
Drawing of a moose
                                                                    A Paper Tiger and a painted Tiger

A Duck, Stuffed Animal (Cheetah), a Parakeet, a long snake, a Unicorn

Place and the Meadow Room, or, If the school has moved across the river and a popsicle stick falls in the studio , will it make a sound?"

The Meadow room is drawing a book of memories about this place.
They hope that next year and in the future, children will look at the book and remember what the old Sabot School was like.
Henry and Benjamin were working on pages for the book. Benjamin went to get a ruler to make a line on his picture straighter (what's up with all these straight lines lately?)"
I said "That line looks pretty straight to me, Benjamin."
Benjamin "Well, if this book is going to be in a display, and everyone is going to look at it, then that line better be really, really straight!"

Henry "I hope we can bring the bananas to the new school" (the bananas are rocking toys).
Benjamin "We are. We're going to bring everything."

Henry. looking around "Yeah. But we better draw everything quick, because everything will be packed up soon."
Benjamin "Yeah, then everything here will be really, really quiet."
Henry "But it might not be quiet, b…

Tacit Knowledge -"We Can Know More than We Can Tell"

Not too long ago I heard Robin Moore, who thinks and writes about children and wild places, refer to "the kind of tacit knowledge that comes from experiences outdoors". I have been thinking about this a lot lately in terms of the kind of experiences children are having at Sabot school and in the studio in particular.
This summer, I will read more about Michael Polanyi's ideas about tacit knowledge, which can be defined as a kind of knowing that comes from culture and experience, which can be shared, but which is hard to write down or teach explicitly. For instance, knowing how to ride a bike is this kind of knowledge...I don't quite "know" all about it yet, but here are some pictures of what I think is tacit knowledge being passed between children, teachers, and the environment (our "third teacher");

Engineering and design knowledge about balance (with wood pieces while gluing -making a transformer)

Desiring straight lines, Oliver went and got a ru…

Why I haven't blogged much this week

We had a visit from Lella Gandini!

Before and After


Middle School Photography

I have been working with a small group of middle schoolers on a photography project to document PLACE, the school site, the people and the buildings. Their idea is to make a film and/or gallery show of the photographs, to teach the community about Stony Point School.
One of the places they wanted to document is this fort Miles has been building with some others, deep in the Forest. It was important to keep the location secret -the last time they built a structure like this it was destroyed. So, they didn't take me to the fort, but had me wait nearby while they ran in to photograph it.
It really is an amazing structure...

More about photography and sunprints

In the 3-4 Garden room, the investigation into PLACE has centered around photography. The children have looked closely at many types of cameras and have gone outside with me to make cyanotypes, or sunprints. When Oliver saw the photographs of hands (he was not in that group that day), he noticed that there were also prints of grass on them. This really disturbed Oliver, it seems, because it didn't fit in with some part of his working theory of how the photographic process works.

I don't quite understand the differences in the children's hypotheses, but can see them adding and subtracting information from them each time we make prints or talk about them.

Here is a conversation about how the grass got into those pictures;
Oliver "I don't know how the grass got here, because you just washed it in the sink."
Lukas "Well, we holded really really still, and for a long time. Then the grass will just cut off, and go on here (the photo). Then we can put it in th…

Photography and Place; the Garden room

Last week on two different days, small groups came from the Garden room (3's, younger 4's) to the Studio to investigate new aspects of photography. These children have explored the digital camera, taking many of their own photos and learning things that the teachers didn't know, like how to play music and a slide show on the camera. Avery visited from her class.

Their Teacher Cris brought a group on Tuesday to look at a 35mm camera and film. A parent (Melissa) had donated an old camera, so the children were familiar with the lens opening and other parts, but they had not put film in the 35 millimeter or taken any pictures. I will post more on this after I bring the processed film back to them.
We wanted to somehow let the children in on the developing process, without having to find a darkroom. Cyanotypes (also known as Sunprints or blueprints) are a way of developing a picture just with water, in daylight.  I got some chemicals from Rockland Photographic (http://www.rock…

Signs of Spring

Nothing Earth shattering in this post, but I'd thought I'd share some photos with you. The dandelions and violets are blooming, we have water play on the playground, and it looks like Spring may be here to stay for awhile in Richmond, Va., USA.