Saturday, September 09, 2017

during recess...

Yesterday during recess at the Clear Spring School, I took note cards and pens and ink out to the picnic table where teachers were gathered, so they could experiment with the writing pens we make.  It should be noted that recess is not only important to kids, but also to teachers. It is a time to share concerns with each other and to share what is going on in their classes, while the kids come and go and release pent up energy from class room sequestration.

It doesn't hurt that the Clear Spring School campus is lovely.

The teachers were excited about making pens of their own and practiced with the note cards, pens and ink.

The simple pen holder consists of a piece of wood with two holes drilled in it, and then decorated and personalized with letter stamps and markers. One large hole is to hold a bottle cap in which ink can be dipped, and the other is sized slightly larger than required to fit the nib so that the pen can stand up at the ready when not in use. We are using bottle caps as ink wells.

Those who have not written (recently or ever) with real dip in ink pens may be surprised by the thoughtfulness required. The pen holds just a enough ink for a word or two before dipping again. Practice is required as to the flow of thoughts onto paper, and slowing down and becoming more thoughtful in what we express is not a bad thing.

The photo shows 4th, 5th and 6th grade students with their carved pens and pen sets. They voted on whether they wanted blue or black ink to take back to their classroom.

Do you suspect that writing is more fun when you are using dip in ink pens that you've made yourself? This is an example of what is meant by integrating arts (and particularly wood shop) into the curriculum.

Today in my own wood shop I'll be making boxes.

Make, fix, create, and take the fundamentals of real life into your own hands.

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