sand and sawdust

This morning, the kids had two options: stay and hustle on the last few pieces of Kid City before the Great Move-In of ’11 with Josh and Gever, or head to the beach with Mackenzie, Chane, and Anthony.

The sewing machine in action.

sand or sawdust

Lending some weight.

sand or sawdust

Theo’s tallest tower! It was even taller than me.

sand or sawdust

sand or sawdust

sand or sawdust

A brief stop on some familiar steps on the way out.

sand or sawdust

The unmistakable happiness of being at the beach.

sand or sawdust

sand or sawdust

sand or sawdust

sand or sawdust

sand or sawdust

Happy 7th birthday, Logan!

sand or sawdust

The way back.

sand or sawdust

A look of disbelief – did all that sand really fit in Norabelle’s shoe?

sand or sawdust

Pick your favorite fine-grain material: sand or sawdust. It’s an adventure either way.

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?

practicing with tools

We’re all really excited over here at Brightworks because the first day of the Expression phase has come! The kids are so ready to break out the screws and wood and start building their city and working on their very first projects for what we know will be a huge portfolio of work someday. But we start small, with one project at a time: it’s all in the doing.

Anthony and Camille worked all day Sunday to lay down the foundation for Kid City in the corner of the school.

practice with tools

When the Brightworks students arrived Monday morning, it was all tools, all the time. Everyone grabbed eye and ear protection and traveled between three different stations to practice using the tools that will soon become their extra limbs during Expression and beyond.

practice with tools

Inside, they drilled holes and drove screws with Chane and Sean.

practice with tools

practice with tools

practice with tools

practice with tools

With Mackenzie, they sawed pieces of scrap lumber with handsaws.

practice with tools

practice with tools

practice with tools

Outside on the sidewalk, they practiced hammering nails with Josh. While nails aren’t the joiner of choice at Brightworks – they’re too hard to remove – it was an excellent exercise. We calculated that the 20 Brightworks kids used more screws in a matter of hours than 150 kids used at Maker Faire earlier this year.

practice with tools

practice with tools

practice with tools

practice with tools

More drilling…

practice with tools

practice with tools

More sawing…

practice with tools

practice with tools

More hammering.

practice with tools

practice with tools

Every day the space that Brightworks lives in changes – some days more dramatically, others more subtly. It’s always exciting to see what new piece of artwork will go up on the walls, how the room dividers will be arranged, what kind of lunch table we’ll be sitting at… now we’re excited to see the changes in the buildings that go up and the changes in how our students treat tools and start to learn their secrets as they discover their abilities to build big!

practice with tools

Remember to check out more photos on Flickr!