Friday, December 15, 2017

kids and boats...

Wendy, our art teacher at Clear Spring School, introduced a boat project using water colors and torn paper in the lower grades to collaborate with our high school boat building project. Students learned some nautical terminology, and learned a variety of things about art at the same time. The results are delightful and are what you get when a teaching staff has the opportunity for all to work in collaboration with each other. What you see in the photo is first grade art and first rate. No, those are not catamarans, or catboats. They are sailing cats.

All over the US, folks (outside of public education) are discovering the value and necessity of hands-on learning as in the link here:

Yesterday at ESSA I scarf joined the white oak to form the keels of the two Bevins Skiffs. My students finished installing the top rails. Today  I hope we can get the keels and skegs installed. This is my last day of school before the Holiday break.

Yesterday I asked my students to name a few specific things they were learning by building boats. One they mentioned was teamwork. Teamwork is a skill and resource they will use all their lives.

Yesterday we had a plumber here working on our propane line. I noticed that he was wearing a VICA jacket indicating his participation in the Skills USA national competition, so I asked about it. He told me about winning first place in the state competition in plumbing and having gone on to the national competition. He told me too, that without the shop class at Eureka Springs High School he would not have graduated from high school.

He told me that the problem with all his other classes was that they weren't doing anything real, and that when he was doing something real, the rest of it began to make sense. Can we fix things, please? Every student should be afforded the opportunity to learn by doing real things in service to family and community.

Make, fix and create...


  1. Anonymous7:19 AM

    Wouldn't it be nice to bring your boatbuilders and the younger painters together, occasionally?!
    For example: Give the lower grades the opportunity to "organise" a short exhibtion by presenting their pictures to the elder boatbuilders (invitiation, decorate, short explanation, nibbles).
    In reverse the boatbuilders might invite the lower grades to a workshop-tour, some tool talk and so on - and finally to the maiden voyage with a short round trip...

    This way the engagement of both groups connects with the community and get's more like a "circle idea".


  2. The sailing cat pictures are so lovely and whimsical...are there more and are there any for purchase!!! thank you so much!! signed a cat lover

  3. Only one of the children's sailing illustrations featured cats, and I'm sorry they are not for sale.