Tuesday, January 23, 2018

things do not always go as we expect.

Yesterday I had planned for my first, second and third grade students to make t-rex dinosaur models. They had other ideas entirely. It's frustrating when that happens. They wanted flat boards to build things on, and I have to go with the maturity level and interest level of my students.

My high school students and upper elementary students are similarly distracted, and much of their distraction  centers on their time in the woods at recess. All are building forts in the woods. They have also established a barter based system of commerce in which the high school students make things that they trade for materials found in the woods or that are brought from home.

Yesterday, some of the high school boys had brought a 10 ft. long piece of  4 in. PVC pipe into the wood shop with the plan of turning it into a horn. I asked "What's the point?"  and they told me that "We have to have things they don't have." It's a matter of material dominance, just as we see in the real world and in larger life.

We, as teachers, stand on the hillside below, watching the drama unfold. I was reminded of Plato's allegory of the cave. We watch students emerge briefly from the woods holding sticks, and continue to watch as they pass back into the brush. The wooded hillside is a stage. We watch a shadow play, but for the students, it's real life and a society of their own making.

To make the horn, my high school students turned a block of wood to fit one end of the pipe and drilled a hole through it that would hold a mouthpiece, also turned from wood. At recess the deep sound of an elephant's call reverberated in the woods.

Today I will prepare material for use at school for various projects and will spend just a bit of time at ESSA where a brief documentary film is being produced. I'll demonstrate making a few cuts to make boxes.

For readers new to the blog, many of my published resources can be found at this link: http://wisdomofhands.blogspot.com/2010/05/links-to-published-works.html

Make, fix and create.

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