Wednesday, September 21, 2011

making tops...

Today in the 1st, 2nd and 3rd grade wood shops, my craftsmen made tops. It was a project stimulated by Oakley, who having made them last year as a first grade student had not gotten enough. Oakley told me that he's a "topaholic." He loves making them. He didn't want to decorate them at school since he has markers at home, so he made 19 of them and every pocket was filled to capacity when he left class.

My students told me, "This is my favorite class!" and "I LOVE wood shop!"

To make the tops, we drill holes in the center of solid wood disks, and then sharpen a dowel on both ends and drive it in place. We decorate the tops using cut paper applied in layers, and with markers on the edges. As they spin, the bright colors blend.

To make the cut paper decoration, lay bits of paper in a pattern on the surface of the work bench. Then lay a piece of clear tape over it. Peel that from the workbench and apply another layer of tape to the back side. Use a paper punch to form a hole in the middle of the paper assembly, and then slide it in place over the dowel on the top. Use scissors to trim the paper even with the edges of the wooden disk.

Make, fix and create...


  1. Have you considered doing a book on these wood projects for kids?

  2. Have you considered writing a book on these wood activities for small children?

  3. Don, I do think about doing a book of projects some time. I am trying to do a book about the philosophy of hands-on learning first. Wish me luck.

  4. Well write fast. At 71 I am not sure how much time I have to wait for you second in line! Also the kids I have in mind will grow up.

    And Luck!