Thursday, March 01, 2018

quick thinking.

On Monday I was to have my first, second and third grade students make boxes to hold puzzle pieces cut from index cards. After the words are written on index cards on one end, and  pictures of what the word represents are drawn on the other, the card is cut in two pieces along a random line like a puzzle. A collection of puzzles, as planned by their primary teacher makes a great learning game, both in the making of them and in the practice reading and learning vocabulary.

My students on Monday, however, insisted that they not make boxes, but make cats instead. Yesterday, with a bit of quick thinking, I turned tables, and challenged them to make cat boxes. What you see in the photo are some of the results.

The boxes I'd planned in the first place were boring.  These are cool and will be kept as treasures along with the word puzzle cards that fit inside. When I stopped in their classroom before the end of the day, the students were busy with markers and scissors making puzzle cards and cutting them apart.

A rule in Educational Sloyd is that students move from the concrete to the abstract, so I always provide a model of what the students are to make. Making a model helps me to anticipate problems the student will face and it gives the student something real to examine rather than being dependent on me to guide every step. So I made a cat box of my own design first, and the students upon completing theirs compared whether they liked their's or mine best. The consensus favored their more colorful work. Next time I'll use markers.

Besides learning spelling and vocabulary in a fun game, the students are also exercising their spatial sense in the fitting of puzzle parts together, and they are becoming quite good with scissors at the same time. Their teacher is trained in A+ Schools to integrate the arts in student learning.

I am off from school for the next two days while parent/teacher/child conferences are held. So I will be working in my own shop.

Make, fix and create...

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