Saturday, May 25, 2019

friendship boxes...

Yesterday with the last Kindergarten woodworking class of the year, I helped my students to make "friendship boxes." In years past, and in exclusive summer camps on the east coast, campers would make friendship boxes and exchange them with each other as a way of sharing memories of their delightful days at camp and the good friends they had found there. I was made aware of friendship boxes by an article in the Smithsonian a number of years ago.

So friendship boxes seemed to be an ideal way to end the school year. Each student had someone in mind as the boxes were made and decorated. Small boxes are useful enough that they will be kept and enjoyed for years to come. The students wrote notes to go inside.

The boxes are nailed and glued, and lid pivots open using an axle intended for wooden wheels as the pivot pin. In preparation for the project, I cut the parts to size and predrilled the nail holes. I also had the drill press set up with the right bit for drilling holes for the pivot pin attaching the lid.

Yesterday one of our teachers told me that our oversized Froebel blocks have played a role in bringing out the confidence in one of our boys. He had been socially awkward. While the other boys were playing together he would manipulate the blocks on his own, gradually drawing the other boys in. Now he is showing greater confidence in his relationship with all the other students in class and in other things. I can assure you that the blocks have no magic power on their own, but they have helped foster a more loving and cooperative environment for learning.

Today the Stateline Woodturners will meet at ESSA to practice segmented turning. I plan to attend.

Make, fix, create and extend toward others the opportunity to learn and grow likewise.

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