Friday, November 10, 2017


Today I'm headed to Minneapolis for an evening lecture and two days of demonstration class. I heard there are 76 or more members of the Minnesota Woodworkers guild planning to attend, and that will be my largest class ever. Please wish me luck.

In wood shop yesterday at Clear Spring School, I had enough projects going so that each student (4th, 5th and 6th grades) was able to work at his or her own level of skill, confidence and interest. Some made toy cars, some made button toys, some made super-heroes, and some turned on the lathe.

Later in the morning I had a planning session with my editor from Springhouse Publications on the "Wisdom of the Hands book." It will start with about 30 pages or more on the philosophy of hands on learning, but then launch (as a workbook) into giving the reader the information necessary to plan projects for kids. The is will not be a book for kids to read (though some might). It is to inspire adults to give children what they need to inspire themselves. The audience will be those who as teachers, grandparents and parents want to  be sure that the children in their lives and for whom they are responsible, get the best learning opportunities available, hands on. It will also convey the following simple message, a thing you can learn yourself if you've been paying attention to your own learning and to your own life.
That which we learn hands-on is learned at a deeper level and to deepest lasting effect. Don't believe me? Examine the things you have learned. Hands-on is a measure of engagement in real life, and no doubt the lessons in your own life that had greatest effect were not learned from google but were learned from real life, doing real things.
In the photo, with a freshly made button toy in one hand, a first grade student in the Clear Spring School wood shop shows her construction of a miniature bathroom, complete with sink, tub and toilet.If children are given the opportunity they will build.

Make, fix and create.

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