Showing posts from June, 2011

Image of the Child

It seems to me that your image of the child forms the basis for the kind of teacher or parent you are. I notice in my college classes that the image of the child students hold is the most important factor in how successful they will be in planning lessons that will inspire children to make connections and think creatively (and get a good grade from me). Education students who think of children as mainly cute and needy seem to make lessons that are, well, cute and superficial.

What if all teachers took some time to think about their attitudes about children, and how important a school community's view of children is? About how the image of the child changes everything about how a school operates?

I've been trying to write something about the image of the child for an exhibit that will take place at a cool art gallery here in Richmond called gallery5. I hope a lot of Sabot people will come, and I'd really love it if some families or teachers who don't know much about our s…
This year the kindergarten worked on a long investigation of animals in urban settings. They came to the studio many times to work on some inventions to help animals, like a trap to lift animals off busy roads at night, and a delightful kit to send around to teach dogs to avoid skunks.

Later, they got interested in ducks and other birds who lay eggs in cities, wondering how they protect their young. They got more and more interested in bird families, and began to make nests all around the kindergarten. In the studio, they worked with basket making materials to weave nests
and eventually decided to make a big nest that they could all get into.
Around this time the artist Patrick Dougherty returned to Richmond to build an installation at the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden. We got the cance to visit the work in progress before when he came to the Children's museum here.
I was so happy that the kindergarten teachers invited me along on a field trip to see the new installation being bui…

portfolio picnic

The end of year portfolio picnic is time for each lower school student to share their portfolio. Families gather on blankets scattered around the garden, eating good food and looking at their child's portfolio. 

This was my first year seeing the portfolio picnic, and I was touched by the care children took in 'reading' the stories of their year at school to their families.

It was especially lovely to see the attention everyone gave to the children and their work. Families spread out across the garden, taking time to chat and smile at each other, but really focusing on listening to the children, and seeing the many examples of learning the children had gathered into their portfolios.

A labyrinth for Stony Point

the labyrinth at old Sabot school was very important
We ran around it, drew it, used it as a landmark in our maps
Now we have a labyrinth at Stony Point, dedicated to our colleagues Marty and Irene.
 It looks right at home here

Last Days of Preschool

drawing a star wars guy

The artist, the painter

“Perhaps a person who has had the occasion to paint has a greater practical sense, a sensibility for what that means, what a difficult, seductive thing, even for a child, it is to deal with being confronted by a large, white sheet of paper, making the first brushstroke, the first sign, entering a relationship with this empty, unknown space of the white paper. At the same time being aware how many ways a person can explore, caress and attack the paper, the large paintbrush steeped in paint, the greediness that takes the child in layering the colors that transform into the impasto as they merge.”

From Vea Vecchi Art and Creativity in Reggio Emilia

This quote reminds me so much of Adelina and other children who love to paint. 
When Vea Vecchi refers to the greediness which takes the child, I think of that moment when a picture that was just under control is suddenly saturated and dripping and the child's hands covered and colored with paint. I know that moment myself, when I 'come …

Packing up, saying goodbye

As we were begining to pack up the studio for the year (tomorrow is the last day of preschool), we were going through all of the drawings left in the workbasket and the paintings on the drying rack. Some children were helping by being mailmen and delivering pictures to the classrooms. Others were in the studio looking to see if they had left anything on the shelves.

Since they were laid out on the table for people to find, this was a good opportunity to see lots of children's drawings.

Nolan, looking over all of the pictures, many of them of people, said "I'm noticing that people don't draw a lot of noses." A group of children, Star Parent Jess and I looked too, and noticed he was right. There wasn't a single face with a nose on it in view! I asked Nolan if he would like to draw a picture of a face and leave it behind for the next group of preschoolers, sort of like a lesson in how to draw a face.  This is what he drew...

I'm going to miss the older preschool…