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!

not friday!

This morning as I greeted students in their Carhartt coveralls coming into school with a “Happy Friday!”, I received a “What? It’s Friday?”, a “No! I don’t want it to be Friday!”, and a “I’m going to die without school!”

Band meetings in the morning. The Slightly Undead Goats visited Coffee Bar.

no! it's friday!

no! it's friday!

Then it was back to work!

no! it's friday!

And reading.

no! it's friday!

Our first Expression phase is coming to a quick close with only three days of school next week, so there was a big rush to work on unfinished furniture and sectioning out spaces in Kid City.

no! it's friday!

no! it's friday!

no! it's friday!

Audrey wrote, “I played and made a counter.”

no! it's friday!

no! it's friday!

Other projects continued, too.

no! it's friday!

“Today I started building my house/store. I also crocheted,” Zada wrote.

no! it's friday!

no! it's friday!

A view from the second story.

no! it's friday!

A pre-preview of Kid City.

no! it's friday!

no! it's friday!

Quinn wrote about his day, “Today my band group went to a market and got some snacks. Two new kids came to visit for the day. Today I also learned how to use the jig saw, and got better and better.”

When the collaborators told everyone that there was a four-day weekend this weekend, the cries of “NOOOO!!!” vastly overruled the only halfhearted hoorays. What other kind of school gets that kind of response?

walls, furniture, and drawing

The rain pouring from the sky this morning rang crescendos through our school-warehouse as it pattered on the skylights and flooded the streets. It was dark and we were worried about the lighting as projects continue. But after morning circle and some staring out the window, the sky cleared and the sun came out.

make your own

Heights. Kid City is many, many inches taller than our smallest kids. How lucky is that.

make your own

Watching the radial saw closely.

make your own

Walls!

make your own

Hmm.

make your own

Finger-knitting is the newest craze.

make your own

Strolling down Mission Street with some canvas for Kid City.

make your own

Major glue spillage!

make your own

Chane made a small space for kids interested in building furniture together or one-on-one. Lots of beds and chairs were constructed!

make your own

make your own

make your own

make your own

make your own

The view from the second floor of Kid City.

make your own

The kids add more walls, and this piece of redwood.

make your own

Some drew gravestones for Henry (no idea). Earlier there was lots of illustrating happening on the cork floor.

make your own

And so goes another beautiful day at Brightworks. We find that these days – where outwardly it doesn’t look like much is happening but inwardly the kids are bubbling with excitement and soaking up their days like a sponge – are thrill because we’re able to experiment with teaching, scaffolding, and building the kids’ relationships to their school, their peers, and their teachers. “I feel like I’m learning more here than I did at my old school,” one of the older kids told me today. I have a feeling that we’re on the right track.