Tuesday, February 20, 2018

back in Arkansas

I am back in Arkansas today from New York City and have a whole lot of cleaning to do and preparation for classes.

In the ideal school, students would be learning and testing what they learned in their own hands.

In the typical much less than ideal schools of today, students are "taught" and then administered tests. The tests create anxiety, even through they are just made up as an abstract means to measure transference of information.

In the ideal school, on the other hand, what the students learn is energized by student interest, and the testing is in their own hands as they challenge what they've been taught and test their own ideas in response. Those tests are anticipated with glee.

All of this has to do with a balance. Froebel believed that each bit of information that went into a child's mind should precipitate an active response and we all learn best by doing real things. If you've taken time to observe your own learning patterns, you will know this to be true, even without being told by one expert or another.

And so I must ask, "When will we find confidence to develop schools that work the way students best learn?"

The small metal box in the photo, in a classic "reliquary" style, likely held small items of great value. I find objects like this to be inspiring. The box is at the Met.

Make, fix and create...

Monday, February 19, 2018

the Met...

Yesterday we went to the Met. Today I am headed home to Arkansas. The image of Joseph the carpenter is from the Cloisters. In the museums I've been looking at things that are so wonderful and that no one of this day could make them without first investing their lives in the development of their hands and minds.

All of the legislators in office since Sandy Hook should be held accountable for failing to protect our students from gun violence. Will you please join the student movement to force legislators to act in behalf of student safety? The American legislators did nothing after children and teachers were killed at Sandy Hook and will likely do nothing now unless it is demanded of them.

While the image is claimed to be that of Joseph, you may notice the background shown in the image is of not of Roman times.

Last night I mentioned my ideal to my daughter, that students in the great universities in the US put students to work in carpentry and stone carving as a means to assist the the forming the students' character, creativity and intelligence. Of course, my daughter is right. Parents would not stand for it. The idea of paying big bucks to engage students working deliberately with their hands would make no sense to those who've based their own terror of the trades.

The funny thing is that industrial arts training in the US was launched in the 1870's because leaders at MIT and Washington University realized that their engineering and math students were lacking a basic foundation for their studies due to their not having done things that are real.

Make, fix, and create...

Sunday, February 18, 2018

sailor's snug harbor

Yesterday my wife and I found our way to Staten Island and visited Snug Harbor, a complex of buildings that had served as a home for retired and disabled seamen and then as a national historic site became the home of a variety of cultural centers. The attraction that led us to Snug Harbor was the Noble Maritime Museum.

A friend had wondered what we would find to do on Staten Island. I'd never been before and that's reason enough to make the free ferry ride.

Ferries are certainly the best way to travel.

Snug Harbor is a fascinating place with a rich history: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sailors'_Snug_Harbor

On the way across on the ferry, I recognized this small lighthouse, Robbin's Reef Light, the story of which is well told in the Noble Maritime Museum. The museum is the protector and defender of this light, and cherishes and tells the story of Kate Walker, who was keeper of the light for 33 years after her husband's death. When the US Coast Guard, declared Robbin's Light to be surplus property, the Noble Museum stepped up with a plan for its preservation. It will be restored and maintained as it was when Kate Walker was keeper of the light. It is not as small as it appears in the photo, and has five rooms inside.

Make, fix and create.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

a city of stone

New York City is a city made of stone. The photo shown is of the Soldiers and Sailor's Memorial on the Upper West Side. From the image you will not grasp the intricacy of the carved detail, but you can see the scale of the work.

Aside from the great monuments, the same level of intricate craftsmanship was applied to buildings throughout New York City, and so while this is a city of stone, it was a city of craftsmanship at an earlier time.

It makes one wonder. As the acid rain gradually erases the hand carved details, will there be craftsmen trained to build again and restore? Not likely.

Today we went to the Cloisters, and also on a search for a hidden monument called the Seaman-Drake Arch. We found it. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seaman-Drake_Arch

If we consider the role of craftsmanship in the development of character and intelligence, perhaps we could think of doing better in that direction. What I have in mind is that college students at the great universities in this lovely city, learn the arts of stone carving and woodworking as foundations for  academic explorations.

Make, fix, and create.

Friday, February 16, 2018

in New York

Today I am in New York City. Yesterday we flew from Arkansas and then visited my daughter's school, Harvest Collegiate, in Manhattan where she teaches high school chemistry and physics. We also met many of the wonderful young teachers with whom she works.

Harvest Collegiate was set up as a new model for schooling and children come from all five Burroughs to attend. http://harvestcollegiate.org

It is different from the Clear Spring School in that we have a wooded campus, and their's is on the 4th and fifth floors of a building on 14th St. A party store is underneath, and unless you saw so many students coming and going from the site, you might never know a school was there.

Today we will go touring in New York City.

Make, fix and create...

Thursday, February 15, 2018

food trucks

Yesterday in wood shop at the Clear Spring school the plan was for my first grade students to finish their toy unicorns. But then when a project is  complete, they ask "what's next?" Whatever Might propose, they have ideas of their own. One girl asked, "Do you have hinges?" Going through my parts drawers, I found some. I had asked, how do you know about hinges? It turns out that her mother also likes making things. That's a good thing and explains why she has so many great ideas in class.

The wood shop serves as a design laboratory as well as a way to integrate studies. So what was she going to make? She and a friend had made tuna fish (shaped like fish), salt and pepper shakers, plates, stove tops, and what else would be needed? A food truck. The hinges were needed so that it could open.

Today my wife and I are headed for a visit with my daughter in New York.

On the national scene, when will enough children be dead for the Republicans in Congress to offer something more than their moments of silence, prayers and condolences? How about a moment of legislation to fix things and make our children safe?

Make, fix, create, and increase the likelihood that others learn likewise.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

even under bare ground.

"Put your hand here," she said, and even though the ground was bare, I could feel the growing of grass beneath, just where she said. So it is with life. One must be instructed toward some sensitivity for it to feel it and to recognize it even under winter's bare earth.

But then that was a  dream. Are there powers we've yet to understand? Our digital devices make a parade of all that. But then batteries die and life goes on.

Today in the Clear Spring School wood shop, my middle school students will be working on canes, and my elementary school students will be continuing to make unicorns.

Happy Valentines Day.

To learn how to form a mitered finger joint (as shown) and find an article I wrote recently online, go to the following link on the Taunton Press website: http://www.finewoodworking.com/2017/12/07/make-mitered-finger-joints

Make, fix, and create. Let real life awaken your hidden powers.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

a callico caticorn

Yesterday my high school students finished priming the Bevins Skiffs in preparation for paint, and my first, second and third grade students made toy unicorns. I had planned to also give them the opportunity to make troll dolls, but ran out of time. That can come on Wednesday unless we get distracted.

One student decided she wanted to make a caticorn instead of a unicorn. Who has heard of such things?

Years ago, an old friend, Louis Freund was trying to get the city of Eureka Springs to preserve its Victorian buildings and homes by developing the whole city as an historic district. He argued, that while Colonial Williamsburg was (at great effort and expense) attempting to recreate an old town nearly from scratch, all the city of Eureka Springs had to do was preserve what we had. The city in response passed the necessary ordinances to preserve our historic architecture and Victorian charm that draws 750,000 visitors each year.

One might apply similar logic to the education of children and recognizing the need for preserving their creativity. In American schooling we try endlessly to shape them from the ground up and stifle their natural development. We might instead, simply recognize and protect their creativity, and provide the circumstances for it to be expressed.

Did you notice that the catacorn has heart shaped spots?

Make, fix, and create. Establish the circumstances for others to learn likewise.

Monday, February 12, 2018

to lead you must serve.

My finger joint article on the Fine Woodworking website has gone live at this address: http://www.finewoodworking.com/2018/02/07/build-simple-box-joint-sled

Today my high school students will paint the insides of our Bevins Skiffs with primer. We are closing in on the completion of the project. There are lots of steps to building a boat and at this point we've completed most of them.

I ordered oars and oar locks even though some of my students have told me they would prefer that we make our own oars. We would run out of time before the school year ends, given the other things they and we need to accomplish.

In the wood shop at Clear Spring School, my younger students will be making toy unicorns and troll dolls.

There is an old Chinese saying embedded in the I Ching that if you want to rule, you must first serve. The truth of it may be witnessed in the flow of cardboard to and from the Chinese nation. They send us the things they have made, and we send them (along with hoards of cash)  the used cardboard packaging so it can be recycled, remade into new boxes, filled and sent back for more cash. The balance of payments is enormous, and rooted in the decisions American policy makers have made for us. We would (they said) no longer need to compete as a manufacturing nation. We would be a service economy, flipping burgers for each other (at one level of the economy) while the top echelon, the wealthy elite, skimmed the cream from the trade taking place within and between nations.

Enough of that. The hidden cost of having chosen to make nothing is the diminishment of mind. Around the world and in so many places we seem to have surrendered world leadership to the Chinese. Let's hope they do a better job of it and that we come to our senses.

And speaking of the senses, the hands are the primary instruments through which intelligence is fabricated. How does this work? The eyes see, and the hands reach out to ascertain the truth of what the eyes have revealed. The hands then respond to test, measure, make and learn to serve others.

Make, fix, create, learn from it, and pass the opportunity along to others so that they may learn likewise.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

re-entering an ongoing realtionship with reality

Yesterday I cut the lids from plastic drums to enable their use at ESSA for collection and proper disposal of sawdust in the wood shop. The wheels installed underneath allow them to be pushed or pulled easily across the floor and out the door.

The drums, recycled from industrial use, provide an elegant solution to managing sawdust. In both the turning studio, and machine room, we can make sawdust and shavings at a rapid pace. The translucent drums show the level of their contents, so they can be exchanged as necessary.

The drums will also facilitate the use of sawdust to build the soil on the ESSA campus.

In the photo, they are upside down in order to drain the last bits of soybean oil from inside.

In my home shop, I've returned to making drawers for small five drawer jewelry chests.

We are having real winter weather in Arkansas, of the near normal kind like we had in the past before the effects of global warming became so pronounced. It is easy to fall into a digital coma and forget that there's a real world out there, were it not for the weather to remind us.

A couple years back, I was caught in a local controversy when a major electric utility announced plans to build an extra high voltage powerline 75 feet from my deck. That got my hackles up. I joined with others to stop the powerline. With the assistance of the mainly passive National Park Service and the National Environmental Policy Act and sustained by the pool of outrage that energized our local community, we stopped the unneeded powerline in its tracks. We proved that a few folks with energy can stop corporations from running roughshod on the beauty of the Ozarks. In that case we were up against two major utilities and the full force of the Southwest Power Pool, and came up right.

There is actually an even larger danger to the environment in that human insensitivity to it whittles away at it in very small slices each day.

On my desk, I have a ball that I began carving at our carving club at ESSA last weekend. Going from a square cube to a near perfect sphere is a gradual process. The first cuts are made along lines I have carefully marked. But then the following steps are tiny, tiny, very tiny cuts, that are guided not by sight but by what I feel in my fingers. Where there is the tiniest bump, I apply the knife.

The restoration of the environment is like that. The degradation of the environment is like that also, but in reverse. A huge amount of sensitivity is required is required to prevent the relentless, inadvertent destruction of the gifts of a healthy environment

Where will children (to whom we entrust the future of the planet) gain the necessary sensitivity to it if we do not expose them to it and allow it to educate them in its ways? And yet, we allow our children hours upon hours distracted from reality. Are we preparing them for a future in which their lack of sensitivity will allow corporations to do whatever they want?

Make, fix and create...

Saturday, February 10, 2018


We began painting the Bevins Skiffs yesterday. In just an hour of painting time, we had the outside of each boat primed for the color coat. The students managed to avoid spilling paint, and also avoided getting it on their clothes. I had instructed them to work from the middle of the boat outwards.

On Monday when we prime the insides of the boats, we will follow the same strategy. I am thankful to have use of the ESSA woodworking shop for this project, as the outside temperatures have been too low for paint.

My fourth, fifth and sixth grade students used their wood shop time yesterday to make light sabers.

In my own shop I have returned to building small five drawer maple jewelry chests of a design featured in my first book.

Make, fix and create...

Friday, February 09, 2018

dreams and reality...

Today my high school students and I will begin applying paint to the Bevins Skiffs. I had planned to paint them when the weather gets good so we could do it on campus and out of doors. With continuing cold temperatures I made plans to do it at ESSA inside the warm wood shop. This will give us an earlier launch date.

I have everything ready to go. The primer and paint are on hand, and new brushes and paint buckets are ready to go.  I have tarps to lay out underneath. Nevertheless, I had anxiety dreams about it. In one the students were standing around talking and not working. In another, the paint was as thick as paste wax and I could not get it to brush out without thinning. Neither will be the case. Anxiety dreams are a good thing. They simply suggest that one is engaged with some level of passion in one's pursuits.

The wooden ball is one that I carved last week at the wood carvers' club meeting at ESSA. Carvers from around the area meet here the first Saturday of each month. There were about 10 carvers from as far as an hour away and I was the least skilled of the bunch. The remarkable thing was that they all worked so quietly and and would drive so far to do with what they could do in their own homes or workshops with such quiet. It was a social experience in which all were working quietly instead of talking.

Painting the Bevins Skiffs will be like that.

Make, fix, and create...

Thursday, February 08, 2018


There are mornings in which I find  I have very little to say. It's not because there's not a lot going on. I try to keep my comments non-political because the wisdom of the hands is not political per se. Whether my readers are of one party or the other or no party at all, the hands are necessary to the making of intelligence and human culture and I choose not to go into all that's ailing me.

I think a lot about what schools are for. One championship idea that stands out is that schools are to build democracy by equipping students with interpersonal problem solving skills and techniques and to equip them for real life by allowing them to do real things.

Due to our failure to actually equip schools with teachers allowed time, training and experience in that, schooling is abandoned to less noble aspirations. The powers that be decided for a while that every child must go to college. Deciding that all children would go to college gave schools the excuse to abandon the dual track schooling in which some students would self-select for the trades and others would choose college prep. But then colleges don’t want to lower their standards to accommodate the uneducated and ill-prepared to join their ranks and they've required nearly 30 percent of those ill-prepared for college students to take remediation courses at their own expense, making up for what they either did not learn in high school or were not taught.

So then those students spend (and have lost) big bucks even before they are given a chance to compete for a college degree. The serial effect of that is tragic. Students drop out, owing thousands of dollars they can barely pay on the low salaries they receive.

My point is not that some kids should not go to college, but that all children should be better prepared for learning and for life by doing real things and by learning to get along with each other. The hands forge the crucible within which mind is formed.  I would love for all students to go to college. College should be made affordable, and learning should be lifelong. Students should be granted credit for what they’ve learned in life as well as for the time they’ve spend seat-wise. I have all these noble thoughts about schooling. But we have schooling that's allowed too few noble thoughts, I’m afraid.

My student Ozric noted the huge array of sparks that came from the grinder as he ground the edge of the cleaver he'd hammered from an old lawnmower blade. That's carbon, he told the other students.

Make, fix and create.

Wednesday, February 07, 2018


Some of my high school students have become enamored with iron work to the point that they've built forges in their back yards. I am reminded of the Chinese years ago when they launched their "great leap forward." The following is from Wikipedia:
"Huge efforts on the part of peasants and other workers were made to produce steel out of scrap metal. To fuel the furnaces, the local environment was denuded of trees and wood taken from the doors and furniture of peasants' houses. Pots, pans, and other metal artifacts were requisitioned to supply the "scrap" for the furnaces so that the wildly optimistic production targets could be met. Many of the male agricultural workers were diverted from the harvest to help the iron production as were the workers at many factories, schools, and even hospitals. Although the output consisted of low quality lumps of pig iron which was of negligible economic worth, Mao had a deep distrust of intellectuals who could have pointed this out and placed his faith in the power of the mass mobilization of the peasants."
The program of Chinese backyard steel making was a complete flop, as was most of the Chinese Cultural revolution. Mao was a brutal dictator and irrational to boot. The Chinese backyard steel making was big news in the US at the time, as was American gloating when the program was abandoned.

On the other hand, think of millions of backyard steelmakers being launched into experimental processes from which they learned  through experimentation and failure. The hands are the crucible within which the mind is formed.

In the photo, my high school student Ozric is making a steel cleaver as a demonstration art project for the study of World History. He used an old lawn mower blade as his source of steel. He heated it in his back yard forge and hammered it to shape and brought it to the Clear Spring School woodshop to finish into  working kitchen tool.

Given the state of things in  our country, and in our system of education, we can use a cultural revolution of our own, in which we rediscover the value of the hands in learning and in the development of intellect. If we want smart kids, we can begin by offering them something interesting and compelling to think about.

Make, fix, and create...

Tuesday, February 06, 2018

Making Mitered Box Joints.

My article on making "box" or "finger" joints has come out in the April, 2018 issue of Fine Woodworking. In addition, an online article (finewoodworking.com) about how I cut the mitered finger joint shown in the photo will go live soon. I'll share a link when my editor makes it available to me.

"Finger" or "box" joints were first used in the making of boxes for fine cigars. The joints then were called "locked" corners. The joint is known for its strength. The pattern at the corners of a box can be decorative, but also conveys a sense of lasting quality. As my article describes, with the right equipment and a jig you make yourself, the joint can be quickly and reliably cut.

Taking the joint a step further, a miter can be formed at the top, giving it additional beauty and allowing decorative bands of contrasting wood to be inlaid into the top edge.

The photo shows a demonstration finger joint cut when my editor Barry Dima was with me in the ESSA woodworking shop, and can be found on page 6 of Fine Woodworking #267.

Make, fix, create. and assist others in learning likewise.

Monday, February 05, 2018

Building The TotalBoat Sport Dory

This video series Building the TotalBoat dory features shipwright Lou Sauzedde. He is a very good instructor. The series is effective and worth watching, even if you never plan to build a boat.

The point is simple. We learn by doing real things. So let's do something. You may choose to learn a few things first through a bit of instruction. It may lead to having some expertise of your own that you can share.

In this particular episode, Lou scarf joins plywood while building a strongback for building dories. Other episodes show the designing of the boat on paper and the milling of logs to provide the material for building boats.  An earlier season illustrates building a skiff.

Make, fix, and create. Inspire others to learn likewise.

Sunday, February 04, 2018


Cræft is a strange way to spell an old word, but is given extra meaning by a new book of the same name by British author Alexander Langlands. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/08/books/review/craeft-alexander-langlands.html
"Today, it’s far easier and cheaper to find an ugly plastic container that will be filthy in a year, cracked a year after that and interred in a landfill a year after that, presumably for eternity. The same species that made that first basket eventually invented the machine that cranks out the plastic one today. That is progress, and it has brought our fragile world nearly to the brink."
Perhaps we should re-consider. Can we go back and do over? On groundhog's day my wife and I watched the classic movie with Bill Murray and Andie MacDowell in which the lead character, a weatherman played by Murray is forced to relive his day over and over and over again until he finally gets it right. The film is funny, but serious also. We may be required to do the same thing.

The interesting thing about making things is that we are making ourselves at the very same time. We miss that essential point. Is the making of oneself a thing that should be quickly and thoughtlessly done using the most shallow means available, or shall we take time in our own making? To abandon our traditional roles of making beautiful objects in service to humanity removes us from being recipients of that traditional sense of self in which we are the stewards of each other. Can we learn to care about each other? Can we learn to care out the planet from which we've all come? My fingers are crossed.
"As for the hands, without which all action would be crippled and enfeebled, it is scarcely possible to describe the variety of their motions, since they are almost as expressive as words. For other portions of the body may help the speaker, whereas the hands may almost be said to speak.

"Do we not use them to demand, promise, summon, dismiss, threaten, supplicate, express aversion or fear, question or deny? Do we not employ them to indicate joy, sorrow, hesitation, confession, penitence, measure, quantity, number and time?

"Have they not power to excite and prohibit, to express approval, wonder or shame? Do they not take the place of adverbs and pronouns when we point at places and things? In fact, though the peoples and nations of the earth speak a multitude of tongues, they share in common the universal language of the hands." – Quintilian
 And how much more they cræft than all that.  Quintilian was a master of oratory, founded a school of oratory and wrote a twelve volume book on rhetoric during the first century A.D.

On another subject, in reading Columbia College Today, the magazine for graduates of Columbia University and their parents, I found an article about a friend, David Heim, graduate of Columbia University '68 and Columbia Journalism '75. David was featured in the magazine for his wood turning and advocacy of woodturning.  He is on the board of the American Association of Woodturners.

I've only met David a couple times, but due to his sincere personal warmth I regard him as a dear friend.

Make, fix, create, and increase the likelihood that we each learn likewise.

Saturday, February 03, 2018

just in case

In case you haven't noticed, there is a difference between schooling where you sit in a lecture hall, listening to a professor go on and on on some subject, and actual life which is infused with sensory information. Human beings are multi-sensory. We have arms, legs, hands, eyes, ears and bodies, that crave engagement in the real world, and schooling, rather than isolating us from the real world, could instead be designed to assist in multi-sensory engagement to simultaneously meet all learning styles for all students.

Howard Gardner maintained that we learn in a variety of styles engaging various senses, and that most of us lean upon one sense more than others. Gardner identified these as being particular "intelligences." Followers of Howard Gardner have attempted to follow a check list of learning styles to make sure that student needs are met. That forces the teacher to develop strategies that tend to feel artificial or contrived. Far simpler is to just do real things. When you work in a wood shop, all the senses are engaged, so let us use that as our example. You walk in the shop at Clear Spring School and first you smell wood. Then the rest of the senses fall into useful place, assuring the student of the reality of schooling and his or her reality in the educational process.

Schools can become places of engagement and creativity, and the whole world needs that to happen.

Small towns (and small neighborhoods) in the US have suffered from a strategy of extraction, through which the best and brightest students (measured by academic standards) are extracted and removed to a system of universities so that their talents can standardized and be hauled away. That may appear to be a good thing for the students involved, but is not so good for the communities involved. Having the opportunity for students to use the Eureka Springs School of the Arts as a degree pathway as we plan, will be a wonderful way to meet learning needs at home. It may also serve as an example of what all schools must become... places in which student's lives are shaped by doing real things in service to community.

Yesterday in Little Rock I was part of a panel to select the 2018 Arkansas Living Treasure, an award from the Arkansas Arts Council that I was selected to receive in 2009. The award is granted on the basis of artistic merit, and service toward the perpetuation of traditional crafts, using a system of assigned points. We arrived at a unanimous decision that will be announced a bit later in the year.

Make, fix, create, and assist others in learning likewise.

Friday, February 02, 2018

school as you like it

Yesterday our ESSA director, Kelly and I met with the head and selected staff members at the North Arkansas Community College to begin the process toward being able to offer our ESSA classes for credit toward degree. Our objective is to make a college education, particularly in the arts, available to people in our small town. We seem to be well on our way toward that goal.

The interesting thing at this point is that distance learning can allow our local students to gain everything they need toward a college level arts degree except the studio experience necessary to get a degree in the arts. That hands on studio learning is available through ESSA, right here at home. For me, this will be the fulfillment of a dream. I have students in mind that may not choose to go away to school but can be  lured onto the path of college graduation by taking classes at our Eureka Springs School of the Arts. The added benefit is that having young people on campus will bring fresh energy and a heightened level of creative joy for those of us in the over 50 generation.

The thing about human beings of all ages is that we learn through play. Adults and children all learn in the same ways using multiple intelligences activated through play. University education should engage the same techniques as Kindergarten. Instead, many university students are crowded into lecture halls where they spend learning time removed from their most natural learning styles and checking their facebook accounts. My simple illustration is intended to describe the way that various learning styles are filtered out during the process of advancement through educational institutions. Can you imagine an educational method that left creativity intact, and what it would mean to the future of humanity? That was Kindergarten.

Today I have a meeting at the Arkansas Arts Council, then will go back home to Eureka.

Make, fix, create, and extend toward others the opportunity to learn likewise.

Thursday, February 01, 2018


Mario Rodriguez is another Fine Woodworking writer who has started woodworking with kids, and his experience is described here:  http://www.finewoodworking.com/2018/01/30/shop-tour-mario-rodriguezs-woodshop-classroom-curriculum on the Fine Woodworking website. A few more and we'll have a movement.

Mario has long been  a teacher of adults. You can tell from the interview that he's found equal or  greater rewards in teaching kids.

Today I go to Harrison for a meeting at North Arkansas Community College and then on to Little Rock for a meeting at the Arkansas Arts Council on Friday. When my 4th, 5th and 6th grade students learned that I'll be out on Friday they asked if they could have class yesterday instead, so we did. The students were all very happy to be in wood shop.

My students would opt for every day wood shop if I and my fellow teachers could manage it.

The photo is of a puzzle made yesterday by a second grade student. I had asked that they add other things to their puzzles to add interest. Colored papers and bits of wood were suggested. Aside from being a puzzle, I cannot tell you what this is, but the students have been taking them home in bags and challenging their older siblings and parents to put them together.

Make, fix, and create...