Monday, January 26, 2009

today in the wood shop

We are expecting a major ice storm in Arkansas that may likely close schools for a day or more this week. But today in the wood shop I have prep work for classes anyway. The first and second grade students will begin making a totem pole, each making an animal of his or her choice which will interlock with others to create a monument of this year's study. It will be a small one. The 3rd and 4th grade students will begin making models of the solar system. I have a model from years past to use as a guide in preparing parts. The 5th and 6th grades are still working on puppets, so I have very little to do to be prepared for that class. The seventh and eight grade students are beginning to make some book holders based on a project I did a couple years ago for publication in Woodwork Magazine. And last, but not least, the high school students are building a boat.

That sounds like a lot to keep up with, but by doing one thing at a time, things fall into place and each project, being physical, has a memory of its own, informing me which thing must be done next.

In 1854, a Swiss statesman named Schwindler offered a reward for the best answer to the following question:
"How shall instruction in our elementary schools be freed from its present abstract method, and be made more conducive to true mental development?"
The answer to that question should be fairly clear to the readers of this blog.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

When it's all going right, and there are never enough of those moments, teaching is like being an orchestra conductor. Everybody is playing their part and the product is pure pleasure. Enjoy!

Mario

Anonymous said...

Doug, Checkout this site with your 3rd and 4th Graders http://www.exploratorium.edu/ronh/solar_system/

Joe