Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Home school class

I started my class for home schooled students at Clear Spring School today,  and the students, aged 8 though 13, started out making button toys from wood. They were amazed at how much fun they could have with such a simple device, and making your own toys, rather than being dependent on the imagination of toy manufacturers, is empowering.

The button toy is so easy to make, but we added a special feature to it, an extra large hole drilled through. We discovered that the hole not only increased the sound the button toy makes as it spins, it also allowed us to see through it. That was an added feature that we didn't expect.

Sticky sandpaper forms a sanding station
Those things that we "discover" trigger exceptional brain activity, forming patterns in the memory that are far superior in strength, and longevity than the information we have had administered to us by others.

The term for this is heuristic, meaning: enabling a person to discover or learn something for themselves. "a “hands-on” or interactive heuristic approach to learning."

I have a new sanding method in which sticky sandpaper is simply adhered to the surface of the work bench. This is far simpler than having sanding blocks to get out and replenish.

In addition to button toys the students also began making flip cars and experimenting with their own designs.

Make, fix and create...

1 comment:

  1. I have been using PSA backed sandpaper for a while and find it very effective, with one caveat: it can be difficult to remove and may leave part of the paper backing and/or adhesive residue to clean up. I attach the paper to a marble door threshold (heavy, doesn't move easily on bench top) and find that I have to use a heat gun to pull it up and then a solvent (mineral spirits)to remove the residue. I contacted the vendor that I get the paper from and was told that this is a common problem that is also affected by changes in temperature. They said that some users put wax on the surface that they attach the paper to. Based on my experience, I wouldn't stick it to a bench top. The first time that I used this type of paper I attached it to my table saw to get a flat surface; big mistake.