Showing posts from May, 2013

Teacher research and children's intentions: Story

How does a group create narrative together? This was one of the questions I wanted to explore this school year. Since seeing the work of Little Creatures films, I've been wondering about film making with children, which led to questions about how children come to inter-subjectivity in dramatic play.They seem to easliy agree on a story line, characters, and other narrative elements in dramatic play, but how does that happen? 
It would be difficult for me to follow children around while playing, so I began by asking the preschool teachers to send me small groups of children who care about stories a lot.

I asked the children, 'can you tell us one of your stories?' Then we spent time in the studio drawing and talking about these. Eventually I asked if they wanted to make a puppet show, play or a movie? That is when the stories started to meld together. This is one of the conversations the 'story group' had as the children sat around the table making characters out of cl…

A story about Chief Joseph told by Roman

"He was shooting a bow and arrow. He was shooting it at the army. They were trying to move his people from their place.
Chief Joseph held them off for a long time. He held them off about 5 days. They fighted for a long time. Then he made a speech, and a lot of his troops were already dead.  He said "I no longer fight for my place. I will move. And I really do not want to fight."
Gardner "It's a really good thing to say that, cause fighting really isn't good. It isn't good for anybody."
"But they didn't keep their promise. The Government army didn't keep their  promise and the President didn't keep his promise. They didn't give Chief Joseph and his people a good place. 

And Cheif Joseph's heart was broken. He was so sad. He died because he was so sad. Then he was in his grave place."

One day during circle in the Kindergarten, as the children were considering love, we listened to this poem:

[i carry your heart with me(i c…

friendly signs, out on the town

Guided by their teacher Mary, the kindergarteners have been sign scientists, testing to see if the signs they've designed make people feel more friendly or not.
Today we brought some signs to a shopping center across the street to gather data.

A couple of days ago in conversation I said that the friendly signs were my dream. "All of us have dreams" Ella said.
"I only think at night, not dream" Ian added. I explained that this was not a night kind of dream, but more like a wish. "Like an all day dream"
said Annie, "An everything-day dream".

 Yeah. Like that.

(see more about kindergarten at

A Story by Henry

"This is the floor for the Moon's house. No. this is the floor for the earth-ball's house. 
(The Earth is the blue ball)
The Moon comes in. The Moon just bounces around and sometimes bumps their head. 
The purple is the ceiling of the Earth-ball's house."

Learn about World Peace and other 4th grade Achievements at Sabot!

The World Peace Game has been played by students around the world. This summer rising 4th-8th graders can play in Richmond at Sabot, and at the same time, Teachers can participate in a master class with John Hunter. Five-Day Master Class for Teachers and World Peace Game Camp for StudentsThe Martin Institute Master Class with John Hunter is an unparalleled experience for teachers to come together in an environment insulated from the demanding rhythms and routines of the day in order to interrogate their own teaching practices. Using John Hunter’s World Peace Game as an inspiring and challenging analogy, class participants are led by John Hunter and Jamie Baker of the Martin Institute through a series of reflective questions and activities that uncover the grounding assumptions of their teaching practice. This process renders new space and possibilities for different approaches in their teaching method and their learning design. Using new insights, class participants take the outcomes ev…

Building a Story

A mixed-age group of 3 and 4 year old children have been meeting in the studio to think about stories. Story is a very important thread running through the school, and there are stories happening in each of these classrooms as well. We started by talking about stories that the children already had.These were about Princesses, Wolves, Cowboys with horses, Giants and Kings.Some of those stories were dreams, some were movies and books written by other people. Over time, through repeated tellings, the different individual stories got whittled down into one that the children could act out together. Now we are working together to make a movie of the story.
This is an experiment. Ever since I first saw the work done by, I have  been curious about how to help to turn stories created trough dramatic play or drawing into something else, while staying true to the children's intent.