putting limits on hands

To prepare for a visit from an expert in prosthetics and living with only one hand, the collaborators led a series of experiments this morning for the kids in working with a hand impairment of one form or another. They taped down their thumbs or all their fingers or restricted the movement of their digits.

They tried using scissors…

putting toys together…

hanging pieces of fabric with clothespins…

…and eating snack.

Keiron McCammon, our expert for the day, arrived in the late morning while we were gathered for snack. When he held up his prosthetic hand and showed everyone how it could turn 360 degrees, there were wide, shocked eyes and an immediate flurry of questions from our flock of curious kids.

The kids broke into bands and a few had to be dragged away from Keiron so that each band could have all the time they needed to ask questions and get the full story on Keiron’s experiences living with one hand, the prosthetics he uses for different activities (bike riding, exercising, the everyday), and how he gets by tying his shoes or brushing his teeth.

Meanwhile, the school filled up with the mouthwatering smells of Peter and Kristie’s expert activity: making homemade raviolis for lunch.

Josh helped some of the kids make their own pieces of rope to continue practicing with knots.

Chane presented a fashion challenge and a few of the kids created clothing for a brief fashion show at the end of the day.

And we finished the day with Art Lab, doing flash drawings of Audrey, Logan, and Norabelle.

Then Gever and the kids rigged a piece of glass so that they could try drawing and tracing directly from life.

capoeira, pretzels, massage

Today, the kids experimented with capoeira, rope, pretzel making, hand anatomy…

Chane reclaimed the cork floor as an organized body movement space. The kids moved like insects and danced to the story about monkeys jumping on the bed.

Debbie came in and helped the kids hand-make pretzels for a snack before school got out! Yum!

Josh led a knot-tying session.

One of the highlights of the day was watching Josh use the torch to clean up the ends on pieces of rope.

Susan from Project Commotion around the corner came in to work with the kids on the power of hands in the tradition of capoeira.

Kristie, along with making chicken and dumplings for hot lunch this afternoon, took some time to talk about hand anatomy and hand massages.

At the end of the day, the collaborators emptied their pockets and took a picture of the contents of their hands.

Lots of the kids complain that 3:30 always comes to soon!

celebrate

Friday is always a day of exhaustion, no matter where you go to school or where you work or where you spend your days. The kids put on a great party tonight, but that didn’t mean it wasn’t a hard day of working and trying to focus after a long week of projects.

There was some more making-up.

halloween community party

Preparing the bungee…

halloween community party

…and the coffins.

halloween community party

halloween community party

Making food for the Creepy Cinchin (Kitchen).

halloween community party

halloween community party

halloween community party

Yikes!

halloween community party

Helping Kristie make hot lunch.

halloween community party

Finagling the game station.

halloween community party

halloween community party

Kristie’s hot lunch! It was incredible.

halloween community party

halloween community party

Guacamole.

halloween community party

Lola says, “I’m the old lady from the town who knows everything.”

halloween community party

halloween community party

halloween community party

When the party started, the kids led their parents and other grown-ups through the living exhibits of the Brightworks Halloween.

Past the graveyard…

halloween community party

And the guillotine…

halloween community party

Through the spider cave…

halloween community party

To being scared by the Connor-sized spider…

halloween community party

halloween community party

And creepy children in the haunted pumpkin patch.

halloween community party

…then becoming zombie-fied.

halloween community party

halloween community party

And maybe grabbing something to eat on the way.

halloween community party

…before playing eye-tossing and spinning games.

halloween community party

halloween community party

halloween community party

Zombies come to life in the graveyard!

halloween community party

Spider kid.

halloween community party

What a great night.

halloween community party

I think everyone’s really excited to see what this little Experiment can do for the kids and the structure of the school in general. Working in small groups has always been Gever’s goal in the 6:1 student-teacher ratio, and the opportunity to explore that this week will, I know, lead to better practices when the kids work on their projects. We, the staff and the kids, are all so lucky to be able to learn on-the-job at this school – a failure-positive place where we can always take a step back and change our behavior to fit the situation. It’s all an experiment, and one day we could get it right… but that just means we’ve stopped thinking and have more work to do!

Happy pre-Halloween, and thanks to those who were able to make it to the school tonight! It’s always a treat to see how much we have support in the world.