Greetings from Teal band! So much has happened since the beginning, that it’s hard to believe that we’re only on week 5. As you know, we kicked off the school year getting to know each other and moving into our new bandspace.
Since then, we’ve climbed mountains…
read of their value,
worked in the shop,
developed our number sense,
and began to learn that even though we may stumble,
there is a way to be graceful about it.
We immediately set off to check out the rocky spots around our school. Teal soon realized that the tall rocky outcroppings of Corona, and Bernal Heights were made out of a type of sedimentary rock called Chert. Chert is a type of rock born on the ocean floor, and is build of the accumulated shells of a type of plankton called radiolaria. We had to look into it, and found out a thing or two. One, was that the radiolarians must have accumulated over a very long amount of time (geologic time), and these ocean odes to geometry have defenses that make a porcupine look tame.
In an effort to continue learning about our local community, we headed to the Randall Museum. Local animals, large and small, live at the Randall. We had an opportunity to observe a raccoon from close up, have a tortoise bite at us, check out the beautiful pattern of a Gopher Snake (one of which we later saw in the wild), and noticed the difference between a crow and a raven.
From the start, we’ve also been on quests to know and understand the ‘things’ that are within the walls of our old mayonnaise factory. We started of with a partnered quest to identify all things at Brightworks that are made of rocks. The most interesting discovery for Teal band was that metals come from rocks! Then we went outside…it was also metal, and concrete…everywhere! Is it true, that if it’s not grown, it’s mined?
In an effort to dig deeper into metal production, we checked out some videos about mining and processing metal ore. Wide eyes and comments like; “Oh…wow, I had no idea” could be found in the theater room. The Sun-bright molten ore and metal is an exceptional site, but interest was drawn because of another reason as well.
Teal band is reading a youth novel that follows a young boy growing up in a copper mining town in Tennessee. We quickly learned of some the social and ecological impacts mining towns experience, and now we had a clue about what was happening in the company factory in the story. The next step was to discover what the copper was being turned into. We explored different copper products that interested us, and illustrated them for display. As we read about the struggles of Jack Hicks’ community in “A Bird on Water Street”, we now knew what their toils were for.
We’ve also been practicing a few other skills that will serve us, regardless of the Arc we’re in. Namely, developing our number sense and proprioception. We’ve been developing our number sense by practicing simple mental math, figuring out what multiplication and division means to us, the different ways we can do it, and we even secretly dabbled in algebra a bit (but of course we didn’t call it that:).
Proprioception has taken the form of ball toss and falling practice. Patterned group ball tossing to sharpen our visual awareness and hand-eye coordination, and falling class in order build holistic body control, confidence, and keep us out of the Band-Aid bin.
Training our body will not only keep us from knocking over a glass at the dinner table and help grow gray matter, but serve us as we head into the shop and gain experience with the tools and materials of Brightworks. Some days ago, the band received a provocation to build a miniature Zen rock garden. Essentially a shallow wooden box; they measured, cut, clamped, glued and sanded. Simple as it seems, much was learned. Moving on to the miniature rakes meant moving on to trying the band’s decade old hands at fine woodworking. Drilling and setting the minute teeth required focus and intentionality, and it gave the students an opportunity to push their fine motor skills to the limit.
Oh…and it was really fun too:)
On a ‘meta’ note: with ‘change over time’ as a Meta-Arc, we’ve begun to learn how to visualize just that. We were introduced to graphing, and busied ourselves with building a graph to visualize Amanda Oberski’s knee recovery progress. We are plotting ‘knee bend progress’, and are very happy to “see” that Amanda is rapidly recovering from her surgery:)