Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

I spent yesterday at the Botanical Gardens with the pre-k.  I am having technical difficulties- my internet connection was working sporadically yesterday and today my camera battery died, but I promise to update the Botanical Garden trip as soon as I can.

We continued to work on our fairy houses (all grades) and our Guide to the Animals of the Valley Nature Center (second grade.)

Since the details are similar, I wanted to use today's post as a reflection on the project.

The fairy house project is a big hit. The enthusiasm from the students makes for an exciting day in the atelier. The faculty and staff frequently pop in to see the progress we're making.

As they build, I require that they use verbal language to explain the purpose of each item they add. They can't just say, "I want this rock here." They have to explain the use, though it's perfectly fine for them to say, "It's for decoration."  I was most impressed when an ESL student, who couldn't speak much English at all at the beginning of the year, explained to me that he'd built a crane. The fairy house is being constructed using the crane, the way the cranes are used in the construction going on downtown.

The students are using measurement skills. I watch them choose materials that are similar in size for symmetry. I'm noticing the use of pattern and repetition frequently.

The fairy house project is going to make storytelling easy.  After the fairy houses are complete, half of them are going to the Fairy Festival at Artpark and the other half will be placed along the nature trail near our school.  We'll photograph the houses in their new "homes" and the students will then write stories about the houses and the fairies who inhabit them.

Just an example of the dialogue heard today:
B-"This is her bathtub and this is where the water comes out."
Y-"She needs a sink, too."
A-"She can climb out here and sit when she needs some fresh air."

The Nature Trail book in progress.  David's fish is the cover. 

1 comment:

  1. I think the fairy houses are tapping into the childrens' natural sense of wonder. They are using natural materials in a constructive way, and I think that is why it is such a hit with all the students, boys included.