Showing posts from August, 2010

Music in the Art Studio -Pictures of Sound

In a post that was mainly about a fun painting activity,  Teacher Tom, (dont-fence-me-in) talked about his method of planning, and how it is different from so many of his blogger friends. My planning process is also different from many of my teacher friends who write lessons and know exactly what materials they will need for any given week. From Reggio comes the idea of "extra pockets" -a way of planning for what may happen in a school where we let the curriculum emerge from the interactions of the children, teachers and the environment. As I prepare for our inquiry into music and sound, I am filling my imaginary pockets with information and ideas. The teachers have brainstormed a fantastic list of things that might come up, provocations to make things happen and materials that we should have on hand. 
I can imagine that we may see children making things to play music on, composing music and writing songs, listening to the sounds of the birds and animals outside, as well as t…

What I'm wondering about

This week we kicked off our new endeavor -pre-school through 8th grade, in several buildings all on one campus. One school, united with a commitment to constructivism and a collaborative approach. Right now it seems like all 10 classes that I will work with need to use the studio between 9-11am. Anyone have a time machine?

We started off the year with a presentation  on co-construction and representation by Pam Oken-Wright, former Sabot Parent and R.E./constructivist educator supreme. She shared a lot about the basis of The Reggio approach and constructivism. In her talk, Pam touched on Vygotsky's idea of the Zone of Proximal Development.

(The ZPD is the place between what you can already do and what is way too hard, the place where you can do something new with a bit of scaffolding from someone who is more knowledgeable) 

One of the things she was reminding us of is that when children are in the ZPD, they will feel disequilibrium, and that it doesn't feel very good. Which got me…

a conversation, a kindness

I have a big binder that is full of pictures of heroes, mermaids, space guys, and monsters. There are examples of the work of Leonardo, Michelangelo, Raphael and Donatello, for Ninja Turtle fans, and pictures of Medusa and some dragons. It usually has some image that can help if a child wants to draw something dangerous or heroic or regal... it is very useful when children want to draw most any figure from popular culture, but maybe not Dinosaurs...

One day, Kaiya came into the studio to make a dinosaur. She asked if she could look in my book to find the kind of Dinosaur she wanted to draw. As she was looking, she said "I'm a kid and a teacher. I'm a kid, and, I'm a teacher to my dog." I think I was paying special attention after she said that -I was pondering being a student and a teacher at the same time, a lifelong situation for me. She continued to turn the pages of the notebook, looking at each picture and saying "Let's see if this man made a dinosa…