Friday, September 23, 2022

letter holders

This week in the Clear Spring School wood shop, my Kindergarten students made letter holders, that could also be used to hold napkins at the kitchen table. There are very good reasons for kids to make useful art. It goes home with them and establishes a great relationship between home and school. When children see the things they've made celebrated by use in the home, they know that they and their work is valued and appreciated. A carefully crafted item is concrete evidence of learning. And when the parents ask their kids, "what did you do in school today?" it's a question easily answered, and the kids are very proud of their work.

For this project, I re-sawed white pine to make thinner stock for the front and back of the letter holder, and I introduced the use of coping saws to cut curved shapes. 

Re-sawing makes thrifty use of the material and makes cutting easier with the coping saw as the kids try to master a new tool. The thinner stock also allows the use of smaller nails which the kids can start themselves without pre-drilling as I did with earlier projects.

The project fits into a series I'm developing, leading the students through the normal progression of learning... From the known to the unknown, from the easy to more difficult, from the simple to the complex and from the concrete to the abstract.

In the first lesson we started with straight cutting Japanese style saws, marking and following straight line cuts. By adding incrementally to the student's foundational skills, they progress in short order, even though not all were at the same starting point.

In my home wood shop, I've been sanding boxes to fill orders. Some are ready to sign and begin finishing today (at least a two day process.) I'm also nearly ready to leave for my weeklong class at Marc Adams School of Woodworking which begins on Monday.

Make, fix and create...

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