Showing posts from December, 2010
Over on designingearlychildhoodeducationau, I saw this TED talk which talks about connection, vulnerability and how the happiest people are those who have "a willingness to do something when there are no guarantees". Dr. Brene Brown talks about people who can let go of the fear to believe in something very passionately, who can be vulnerable in life and in conversation. I think this has something to say about teachers who believe and practice differently than the mainstream, and about education bloggers in particular who put their reflections and practices out there for anyone to see. I'm sure glad they do.

Making Star Wars Guys

When 5 year old children can come to the studio to make something they care about, like these Star Wars guys, I believe they learn that school is a place they belong, a place where the things they like have a place.

busy day in the studio

Working with so many grades at school is a real challenge, but this was a fun day. Many groups of children, from age 3 through 2nd grade, came in to the studio work on one thing or another. I couldn't give them a great deal of individual, sit down next to you type of attention, so it turned into a time to finish something that was started earlier, or to just 'mess about' with materials. Luckily, by this time in the year, the preschoolers know how to be in the studio, where things are, how to work together, and when to ask for help.

As children came and went (back to their classrooms to eat snack, or to the playground, etc), the numbers in the studio changed. I have to say it was great fun having a full house, as you see here.

Many of the children had started things the day before that they could keep going on.In these photos, you can see children working on a Rube Goldberg machine,  Red Riding Hood, Fairy tale, or Giraffe houses, a star wars guy, a paper flamingo, and som…

Art Show!

I don't usually talk about personal things here on this blog, but I am excited that I have some of my own artwork up at Sprout, here in Richmond, for the month of December. Bad blogger that I am, I didn't take any photos at the opening, but it was a really nice time, and I thank those who came out on Friday night!

Sounds of the Seasons

After their discussions about the nature of sound and music, the second graders began to think of ideas for what they could make. This class has a deep connection to nature and animals, and spends each Friday outside in the forest. Last year several of these students made a mural to teach younger children about the animals that live on the school grounds, which looks so great on the studio wall. 

Getting to work, some children began crafting instruments and contraptions that could make sounds. Eliza drew a winter night implying the sounds of wind and trees filled with ice and snow. We talked about this idea, and after a few days of work on individual projects, the class divided into groups and began to make sculptures that would capture the sounds of the 4 seasons. 

Dangling jewels, glass and metal would make the sound of ice and cold.

The finished sculpture makes its own music, tinkling and ringing when someone opens the door and a breeze comes in. 

Taking Care of Birds -Meadow Room (5yr.)

The Meadow room children continue to investigate birds and birdsong.  (Remember that many of their 'sounds of summer' bags contained bird songs and memories?)  One day, their teacher Nancy captured a video of a cardinal trying to eat at a hanging feeder. The Cardinal has to flap his wings quickly, in order try to hover near the feeder while he grabs a bite of food. At circle, one child described it like this "He's humming (flapping), like a hummingbird! But he can't do it." The class observed the Cardinal for several days, watching him try different ways to get at the food. One day, he was hanging upside down like a chickadee or nuthatch, but this caused him to fall off the feeder. We laughed together, and wondered if the Cardinal watches other birds to learn new techniques. Nolan said "I have something that we should stop the Cardinal from doing. We need to stop the Cardinal from looking at other birds, and get back to his way." A small group came t…