Friday, April 3, 2015

Almost Everything

The girls formed a hooting sisterhood while working on several projects all about owls. I had to keep them from making pink and purple ribbons on their raptors, but you can see some of them wear the next thing to ball gowns when they come to their classes. I don't know what to say about this but I like it, especially next to rain pants and mud boots on the wrong feet.

Something else altogether:
Three are drawing from three willing models, unusual for third and fourth grade, and very worthwhile.
They've made sculptures of famous African Americans . . .
. . . and these gorgeous chalk drawings.

Younger kids have been doing a unit with Miss Melody, learning about our solar system. We've done drawings, paintings, masks, paper sculptures and cutouts, as well as yoyos (for spin - everything spins from giant to tiny). What spins must be balanced so the kids learn to walk on stilts. Learning these new skills, associating them with academic work and stories, helps with brain development, enhancing abilities to read, write and do math.

 On Thursdays Nancy comes to help with the K-1 class. Sometimes Sonya stops by to take pictures.
These kids have also been doing many tiny drawings of jungle and rainforest animals on stickers - oh how they do love stickers. {Thanks Ellie!}

Big kids do portrait work of a unique kind.

They also work on big pieces for their Shakespearean plays.
Then there are the toy makers who make their own board games and old fashioned toys, which they enjoy as much as video games. 

Painted buntings made by Sydney! Until we meet again.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

A Game

In January I taught a workshop about children who have created off-the-charts things in their lives, barely if ever recognized by historians. It was a fourteen-year-old boy who invented television, having seen electricity only once in his life. A twelve-year-old girl invented a shuttle stop, successfully saving child laborers in New England textile mills from injury and death. It was a kid who invented the trampoline, and a boy who lived through famines who built a windmill from junk, bringing electricity to his entire village in Africa. A little schoolgirl took out a patent for her phosphorescent pad - it is marketed and used to write or draw in complete darkness. The list goes on and on. The most interesting thing about all these kids is that they moved through adversity and obstacles, asking questions and coming up with solutions from unknown futures.

Back to my students. We started a board game on the process of how new things - adventures - anything at all - gets created. It's a long way from completion. But I wanted to share with you that something wonderful is beginning to take shape, and for sure you will want to see it when it's ready!

Saturday, March 14, 2015

A Walking Pancake


This is Radcliffe. In our toy making workshop, he handed me his latest game piece, this little disk with a face on it, and arms and legs . "What is it?" "It's a walking pancake!" Nuff said, yes?

Thursday, February 19, 2015


The kids made mossy homes for their little people, while learning about moss, lichen, and fungi.
They loved it.
Too, they loved the "mother born from mushrooms."

Now the littles are into marionettes-in-progress.
Some are practicing the art of portraits.
We are making up a new game (while learning from an old one).
Remember Earth Mother.