Saturday, April 07, 2018

marking the centers of wheels.

Yesterday at the Clear Spring School my students, grades 4-6 worked on kites. They had asked to work together in pairs, and that helped. My instructions delivered earlier in the week were not remembered exactly, even though they had used their own hands to help the younger kids make traditional paper kites. We arrived at the point where bow strings and bridle strings are to be added.

Today is woodcarving club day at ESSA, and new folks are expected to join. Today is also the day of the Clear Spring Fling art auction to support the school. You are welcome to attend and details can be found here:

I have been working toward being able to share some of the methods I use to prepare stock for woodworking with kids, and to simplify things that might be difficult for others to do. How doe one drill holes in wheels at exact center? What you see in the photo is a simple device that can be used to mark the center of a large dowel of equal size. Drill a hole for a nail at the center of a large dowel and use that nail to mark the center of a wooden disk of equal size.  The nail is loose enojgh in the hole that it can slide when struck by a hammer. With the center marked, drilling an axle hole at the dead center is easy. Use a brad pointed bit in the drill press for best results. To make the marking device, I used the lathe to turn the wooden piece and a drill chuck and appropriate sized bit mounted in the tail stock.

My students had been invited to design kites. What I learned was that they had few of the resources necessary to actually design their own. Some of those resources would have been: An understanding of aerodynamics. An understanding of how to get good performance from a pair of scissors.(The material needs to be held tight.) An understanding of structure. The ability to tie necessary knots. An understanding of the materials available and of the required strength of various parts. It was useful to offer them the design of a traditional paper kite as a starting point. To become a designer, one must first become a relentless, irrepressible observer of all things. That may require a starting point in the direct analysis of all things, even those things that are on the surface, too simple for words.

Analyzing this project using the principles of Educational Sloyd as a reference. point

Kite making was a project that met the interests of each and every child.
We found it best to move from the known to the unknown,
From the very easy to the more difficult,
from the simple to the complex,
and from the concrete to the abstract.

Now when the students design their own kites, they will have a better starting point.

These principles were shared by Diesterweg with Froebel, then by Froebel with Cygnaeus, and then by Cygnaeus with Salomon's Educational Sloyd. I share them with you. Whatever you teach or learn moves in the same sequence.

Make, fix, create, and adjust schooling so we each learn lifewise.

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