Fun and Focused Friday
Working with Wire and Wood
There was so much interest in working with wood, wire, and beads this afternoon that a few children built their base and added wire and beads to it. The No-Touch-Wire challenge continued as children used fine-motor manipulation and cognitive planning to create with the wire in a way that the beads would not touch one another. Children used a variety of materials such as traditional beads, clay beads they had made earlier in the year, and fabric to name just a few chosen today.
While working with the wire, children shared some of their thoughts showing once again how the children build off of one another's ideas and come up with solutions to problems.
Tommy: "This is a crazy loop. This is a magnifying glass."
James: "I did the same thing as Tommy."
Abby (indicating her understanding about how to strengthen flimsy wire): "I know, I'll twist it."
Abby: "I'll braid it." (Takes three pieces of wire and braids/twists them.)
Abby (With her new wire creation, speaking for it): "'I'm a wire human. I'm a dragon.'"
Dagny, inspired by Abby's idea, twists her wire together.
Art Journaling: Challenge to Layer
.As we did yesterday, we challenged the children with the Dice Game. What appears to be most difficult about this game is following through on a few consectutive steps/rolls and doing so on just one page in their journal. Some children default to turning the page after completing a step and others want to stop playing the game after just one or two steps. As we have given the children many opportunities to work at their own direction in the journals, we also see there is value in having to follow-through on layering with the random choice of the dice. With encouragement, the children stuck with it. What seems to be happening for many children is after they have completed step three or four, they suddenly start embracing the challenge of the game as well as appear to have many of their own new ideas they want to try. Both yesterday and today children combined some of the steps in interesting ways as well came up with innovative ways of thinking about a step. For instance, upon seeing the roll "tear and glue," James tore the edge of a page straight off and then glued it to another page. Hugh liked this idea and tried it as well. Cate added a miniature book to one of her pages and Lily seemed to get everyone excited when she announced, "I'm going to add something from my pocket." The other children quickly looked to see what they had forgotten was placed inside their journal pockets.
Also interesting is the way some children who usually prefer some sort of direction/starting point are embracing letting go and exploring the process more freely such as Will who opted out of the game today but worked on several pages. He even thought about his cover. After walking around the art journaling table for a bit, looking at tools and materials, Will wondered, "Is it OK to stencil on here (my cover)?"
After the game was finished for today, several children did some free art journaling. Lily, Hugh, and James used the sewing machine to sew together some ephemera for their journals.
Why are we doing all these challenges?
Hugh wondered why we are doing so many "challenges" in KW these days. Today and recently we've been talking so much about the capability of the children and how we don't want the work to be too easy that it isn't interesting. We know they can rise to the challenges presented for them and have been making a game out of it. Many times through these discussions we reflect on what the children could do at the beginning of the year, last year, and when they began at St. John's in the Brown Room. So responding to these ideas today, Will said, "If we did something in Tucker Room that we did in Brown Room, we would be excellent at it."
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