Showing posts from August, 2011

Teachers Tinker

Our Umbrella project for this year is Tinkering. Many of the Teachers at Sabot@StonyPoint are not natural Tinkerers, myself included. Don't get me wrong; as an artist I mess with materials constantly, but mechanics and engineering and physics? Not so much!
Exploring this subject will give teachers a chance to practice and gain new skills,in order to learn how to scaffold others in this type of building. This years Umbrella Project will be a chance for the children at school who have this type of intelligence to teach everyone else a thing or two, or three or four.
So on one of the Teacher work days, we broke into groups and practiced tinkering... the challenge was to use the materials pictured above (plus a few more) to make something that moves. Each group worked together to make something unique, from a coffee fetching machine, to a pop-up surprise.

                                   Teachers collaborated in small groups just as the children would.
                      It took so…

Drawing letters and writing symbols

I just got a couple of back issues of Innovations in the mail (well, see, I thought I had re-upped my NAREA membership at the NAEYC conference, but apparently something happened with that).
Anyway, the Spring issue features two articles about writing as a form of visual communication. One is "Between Signs and Writing: How Children Approach the Written Code" and the other is "Children and Figurative Writing". They are an example of the kind of teacher-research that they do so beautifuly in Reggio. In this case, teachers noticed children's proclivity to embellish letters and words in order to convey deeper meaning, and decided to methodically observe and notice this phenomenon. Teachers then asked children to "experiment with words and letters", documenting the process. I am very excited by these articles because I've been asking myself questions about how drawing relates to the development of writing quite a bit lately. I think all of the drawings o…