Tuesday, March 13, 2018

evidence of learning.

We are preparing for our boat launch and delivery of canes on Thursday. The boat oars are fitted and ready to row. A reporter from our local NPR affiliate will be on hand for both events.

In wood shop yesterday, one of the students noted a spot of yellow paint on her jacket. She said that she proudly tells folks when asked, "That's boat paint." And I know how she feels.

To wear evidence of concrete engagement is a good thing. Another student echoed the sentiment. When asked about a bit of gray color on his sleeve he told someone, "That's boat primer." And from there, they are proud to tell what they've been up to at the Clear Spring School. Schools needs not be sequestered from concrete reality. In fact, they should be deeply engaged in community life. A bit of primer on the sleeve can invite students to brag about what they've done.

We have new boys in the lower elementary school class, so for wood shop yesterday I decided to welcome them by making toy cars. For the girls who are enamored with cats and unicorns, I made my model for the exercise in the form of a pig car. Catcars and unicarns can come from their own imaginations. To prepare for the exercise I made wheels and cut blocks of wood and set up the drill presses to be ready to go. The students are required to assist each other in the drilling of wheels, and they've gotten good at it. We use a simple fixture that I made for the drill press that centers the wheel blank under the drill bit.

What you see in the photo is my quickly made demonstration pig car at right, and a first grader's caticarn left with me at the close of the class as a gift. I will load other photos of student's work to my instagram account. https://www.instagram.com/douglasstowe/

Make, fix, and create. Lead others in learning likewise.


  1. So, not only do you get to provide a space where the students can learn and have fun, you can learn and have fun too. Sounds like a win/win to me.