Wednesday, May 23, 2018

reading buddies

I keep telling folks that the best time to visit the Clear Spring School is either the 10:15 morning recess or at the 12:15 lunch recess. At either of these times you'll find our students engaged in play... and for sure, play is the most effective way of learning. You will also find that when  the kids are arriving for the day at 8:15, there is joyfulness afoot. Our kids, grades 1-12, play with each other, and there is so much joy expressed that you'll envy staff members who witness it every day.

In the early days of manual arts training, it was argued by those against it that the time invested in hands-on learning would detract from academic studies. It was soon proven that was not the case. The manual arts refreshed the attitude toward learning to the degree that academic pursuits were accomplished in less time.

Of course there is more going on at Clear Spring School than play.  If you are not here at recess you'll find learning taking place with an equal amount of enthusiasm. Reading is an example. Just as our student play together, regardless of age, they buddy up for reading, too.  Our students pair up to read to each other. The process leads to growth on both ends.

Allow me to suggest that manual arts can lead the way, both in kids making stuff, and in providing a philosophy of teaching. For teachers, the less they do, the more students learn. The more students are driven by internal compulsion, the better they are directed toward lifelong learning.

I should explain that. If I prepare parts for students to assemble like a kit rather than supplying tools and materials, inspiration  and encouragement, I would be busy making parts and my students would not be learning how to do things for themselves. If I was telling the kids what to do rather than allowing them to learn from their own internal guidance, they would develop less self-reliance and intrinsic motivation.

Make, fix and create...

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