In clay, children had the opportunity for open clay exploration as well as preparing slabs of clay for a future sewing experience. For those preparing slabs, they did so by putting holes through the clay using straws.
In open clay, Maren and Lane worked together (see photos in top row of the following grid):
Lane: "This is the baby tiger being baptized."
Maren: "Now we have to make the grown up (tiger) house."
Lane: "Do you want to connect them at the tippy top?"
The children combined their pieces of clay.
Lane: "How do you like our church?"
Community of Construction
During construction, children worked off of one another's ideas, chose to work close in proximity to one another, and gradually combined ideas as they continued to work. In the end, they built individual constructions which were connected both physically (with materials) and in story. Read the captions in the following slideshow for more of their process.
During meeting, Sam shared about the house he had built in KW yesterday:
Sam: "So, this is my house...and all the people I know. This is the back, (pointing at the rooms built in the back of the house) so there are people in the back."
(Pointing at cracks between the curved design on the front of the house.) "In these little cracks are sharks."
"Right in the back is my bedroom and I'm sharing my bedroom..."
Jack: "With me!"
Sam: "Yes, and Clare is sharing her bedroom with Austin."
Sam seems to use his constructed house as a symbol of his close relationships and as a tool for his emotions. He talked about the building of his house, explaining he built the house because he was missing his mom and it made him forget about that.
While Lane, Maren, and Lou Lou build together, they have moments of celebration about their ideas. Including a spontaneous group hug (second two photos). They shout: "Hug and jump!"
Getting ready for a photo with their construction work, Lane calls to everyone:
"Let's all hug together!"
Continuing next week...
Maren and Lane began drilling holes in pieces of wood for future sewing work today. Our drill unexpectedly ran out of charge so we're looking forward to continuing this and other work next week.
From our email edition of the blog...
Sewing, Fashion Design, Construction,
Sewing headbands (with the option of open sewing) continued today and more children chose to work on headband designs using ribbons. Maren laid out materials she'll continue with later, Grace D. continued her headband from yesterday, Ellie sewed: "I'm making a blanket," and Lane and Lou Lou chose to work on a collaborative sewing piece and then made each other headbands. Some words from them as they worked:
Lou Lou: "We're going to make a new portfolio that's just Lou Lou and Laney."
Lane: "Lou Lou, do you want to come to my house today?"
Lou Lou: "If it works out."
Evelyn focused on thinking about what different materials could be used for and imagining what she needed. She sought out and then worked with a silver fabric, carefully wrapping it around a figure. When it didn't work, she accepted help from Sally.
Sally and Grace M. also worked together.
Sally: "We did it together."
Grace: "Look at her beautiful bracelet."
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As Maren had presented the idea of building with clay, we offered clay slabs. Children also had the options of adding impressions to slabs, or holes for future sewing (through the slabs.) Open clay was also an option.
Maren & Grace D. built houses out of clay slabs, Maren also prepared a slab for future sewing and Austin made impressions in a clay slab.
Several children worked in open clay including Austin and Jack who made a volcano together.
We are thrilled that Ellie has joined our KW program! She had a great day yesterday, and today was much the same. One of our KW experts, Lou Lou, introduced her to our table setting routine. From there, she participated in most of our planned experiences: baking, sewing, and watercolors.
Meanwhile Austin and Jack worked with pieces of wood to build models of their building ideas.
Jack: "I know what I want to build. A dog house."
As they worked, the children communicated about each other's need for specific pieces of wood.
Jack: "Do you need this board, Austin?"
Jack, having checked with Austin first, decided to use the board.
Jack selects another piece: "Do you need this log?"
Austin: "Yeah, let me see it. Do you have a wooden log?" (in your design)
Jack: "No, I don't have a wooden log."
Austin: "I need one right here."
While working, Austin expresses another workshop idea he is thinking about:
"I know...how things are made. Like clocks and stuff. Like you open it and learn about it."
Jack explains a section of his dog house (see photo of Jack lowering the piece of wood): "This is like a door and it lowers and closes."
Yesterday our wood building preparations including sanding pieces of wood. Today, we took time to reflect on the properties of wood through conversations. Here are some of the things children already know about wood:
Joslin - It gets cut in shapes.
Leigh - In the fireplace, there was black wood and Prater dropped it and black dust went everywhere.
Grace D. - (Wood is) in straight lines. (Noting that almost all the wood we use has straight edges.)
Joslin - (Examining a piece of bark) I notice that there's little tiny pieces in the bark.... bumpy rough stuff that's not supposed to be there. Trees are supposed to be smooth.
Grace D. - (Looking at round pieces of wood.) This is like a round circle..... I don't know where it came from. This is like a stump.
Lou Lou - Wood comes from trees.
Grace M. - The wood is inside of the bark because the bark protects the tree.
Lou Lou - Trees can change over the years. The wood can change color a little bit. (Remembering building with wood last year) We builded super strong with wood. The wood is super strong. We pushed the nails in super far.
Children worked with drawing and watercolors to represent wood, trees, and their ideas.
Louise points to a message she made last week
The enthusiasm for preparing messages for our Blake Hall guests continued. Children prepared messages and then went to deliver them. We were surprised and happy to see that some of the people had saved their message and left them near their beds as a decoration. When Louise saw a message that she made last week, she said, "I think they loved it."
In thinking about the way children understand and communicate what they know through multiple "languages," we wondered if any children would want to represent their workshop ideas through the language of building with blocks and other materials. We also wondered if this building would give us further insight into the children's ideas, in other words, further our own understanding of what the children know already.
Austin and Sam were the first to arrive at the building table.
Austin chose to represent part of his Sports Workshop ideas in the form of a football field. "I'm doing sports."
Sam said, "I'm going to build the Toy Workshop where people make toys and take them home."
As other children showed interest in building, they were invited to support Austin and Sam with their work already in progress.
Sam, possibly inspired by the green football field, built an outdoor play space on green paper. Grace D. and Lane helped him by adding people. Grace, Lane, Maren, and Gigi also added various found objects to represent toys in the toy workshop.
Austin used bricks to represent the football players and people in the stadium.
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