hands and hand-tools

There were so many incredible things that happened today at school. Everyone was engaged in the simple yet elegant projects that the collaborators led for the day.

Mackenzie rocked the ojo de dios making all day.

Finagling yarn and dowels.

Ben contemplates the beginnings of his ojo de dios.

The Flying Fish watch carefully for the next instruction.

Soon almost everyone was engrossed in making ojos de dios.

The kids did crayon rubbings with different textured objects and surfaces.

Some bookmaking and illustrating.

Making play dough by hand. Sofia’s face says, “Gross!”

The handmade play dough resulted in moments of imagination and negotiation for some of the boys. They made up a series of rules and names for themselves during doughy battle.

Carving potatoes into shapes…

Ben found that a second go at making the alphabet carvings resulted in better letters. It just the kind of discovery we want the kids to start making!

…and then making french fries at the end of the day.

Josh taught the kids finger binary counting.

Debbie came in and did some gardening by hand with the kids.

The collaborators have picked up on three different main threads of interest for the kids – fiber arts, paper arts, and drawing comics – and have started shaping the day toward including those interests in the everyday exploration during By Hand. The more days like this, the better!

starting portfolios

Before the day started, the kids took a moment to appreciate the hard work they have done in Kid City. And what better time for a school photo.

portfolios

Exposition.

portfolios

Unlike the first two phases of the arc, this one was a little bit of a mystery. What does Exposition look like? Is it different this time because it’s the first one? Can we convince the kids that reflecting and recording what they’ve done is not just a good idea but a great one?

portfolios

portfolios

So it turns out the answer is yes! Things came together like stone soup (as Mackenzie put it) and the day ended up to be a huge success. The prompt? Choose 10 pictures from the school’s Flickr account and use them to tell the story of your arc experience (quite a challenge when considering the 2,000+ photos from the last six weeks).

portfolios

We ended up with enough adults to work with the kids 2:1 and sometimes 1:1, enough computers for each duo to look at their individual journeys through Cities, and a hard-working but sometimes slow printer.

portfolios

It was astonishing to see that everyone focused and helped each other stir memories of the last six weeks of school in the Exploration and Expression phases.

portfolios

A few students took a moment to reflect by writing thank-you notes to the experts they’d seen during Exploration.

portfolios

While half the students was hard at work on their portfolios at the school, the other half went to the Potrero Community Garden with Mackenzie. In the afternoon, the groups switched.

portfolios

portfolios

portfolios

portfolios

The kids’ mild-mannered attitudes, no complaining about switching gears into reflecting, not building… who could ask for more in a first Exposition phase?

portfolios

portfolios

garden or build

We’ve officially been in school for a whole month! We’re amazed and grateful that we’ve come this far, and so quickly. What an incredible month it’s been, too. Today Mackenzie and I took a group of kids to the Potrero Hill Community Garden (my first field trip!) while Chane and Josh took charge at the school and helped out with building projects and declaration work.

Mackenzie told a story about the Goat Lady of Potrero Hill on the snack break during the walk to the garden.

garden or build

Intrepid bug catcher.

garden or build

At the garden the kids used egg cartons marked with adjectives like “stinky,” “spiky,” “beautiful,” and “spicy” to take small samples of plants to share with the group.

garden or build

garden or build

garden or build

garden or build

garden or build

Sharing discoveries.

garden or build

garden or build

One of my favorite parts of the day: Aidan stood as still as possible amidst the swirling bees at their hive in one corner of the garden. He held a tiny blossom in his outstretched fingertips, waiting for a bee to land and collect the bounty from the flower in his hand.

garden or build

Mackenzie challenged everyone to a Sense-o-challenge where they had to smell a secret leaf or two in her hand, then find the plant in the garden where the leaves had come from.

garden or build

On the overpass going to and from the garden, the kids stopped to wave at the cars and trucks zooming under them. The drivers waved and honked back!

garden or build

The visitor of the day: Petey, Chane’s charge for the weekend and a dog with no fear of kid-handling.

garden or build

Sofia built a chair for Petey – also used for humans.

garden or build

Flopping.

garden or build

Examining the bird that the kids found on the sidewalk yesterday (yes, everyone washed hands right after holding it).

garden or build

Building a racetrack for matchbox cars.

garden or build

The tallest construction project of the day, of course, was the frame for Kid City. It’s becoming more and more clear that the spaces that each kid will get in this place are positively enormous.

garden or build

garden or build

One month in and still going strong. And so many great things to come.