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.

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Watching the radial saw closely.

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Walls!

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Hmm.

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Finger-knitting is the newest craze.

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Strolling down Mission Street with some canvas for Kid City.

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Major glue spillage!

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

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The view from the second floor of Kid City.

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

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

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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.

rain shadows

I want to share a beautiful moment that could not be captured in photos today.

It is a secret mission of mine to find and make moments that really connect the kids to the natural world. Today the moment found us. Despite the menacing rain clouds, a group of kids and I went up to the park after lunch. We were infected with the energy and anticipation of an oncoming rainstorm. The air was warm and thick and wafted in delicious scents from the taco truck down the street.

As the rain began to fall, Coke noticed the sound it made as it hit the ground. We all took a moment to just listen. Kaia noticed how it was staining the pavement with dark dots. And here was the magical moment: five kids lay down on the pavement to make rain shadows.

If you are patient enough to lay in the rain and feel the water drops fall on your face, when you stand up you can see the light, dry outline of where you were against the dark wet pavement of where the rain fell. As we lay in the rain, we noticed different things about how the rain looked, felt, smelled and even tasted. The most important part of building a relationship with the natural world is to open your senses; the rest just follows. And when we stood up, the kids were delighted to see their silhouettes slowly fill with rain drops.

In the Brightworks space our senses are often assaulted. The vaulted ceiling amplifies sound and smells can become overpowering. But these moments of patience allow us to quietly and joyfully connect with the world through our senses – even in a downpour.