Monday, February 3, 2014

New Explorations!

Alexa and her new necklace, with more in the making:
Ava begins her necklace.
Cutouts below - first and second graders gearing up for their next
curriculum unit, which will be all about the Winter Olympics.
The plan is for them to learn how to draw figures in motion.
Those necklaces, painted on thick paper and backed with felt, are a big hit with
the littles from pre-K to second graders. You can't tell from the photos, but
some of the necklaces are made as reminders of different hibernating animals,
and others are for the love of songbirds and horses.

Little Bella snapped this shot during free time in the art room:
As part of their unit on different cultures, third through sixth graders are getting
a glimpse of the breathtaking wonders of Islamic civilization:
It was fun talking about all the math and science that go into buildings like this, and the big kids found it "trippy!" just to study the pictures (which made me very happy).
Question of the day for third to sixth graders - how did they 
make all those tiles with such precision and beauty? I gave them the assignment of
creating similar designs of their own (in one hour, right?) We looked at
circles drawn with a compass and studied the geometric shapes that 
come from absolute mathematical precision:

They wrestled with how you could get from one point to another, to another, keeping in mind symmetry, precision, and balance. They used their rulers and compasses and all the patience they could muster until it started to hit them how wonderful and amazing these seemingly small things can be.
They were excited and proud of their own work:
 They looked again at what was done far away and long ago -
and said, "Oh wow!!! Beyond trippy!!!"

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