Red Spark Start

In the Hive each collaborator chose a spark to concentrate on throughout exploration and mine is the Sun. During our center time we have learned about the Earth’s rotation and revolution around the sun and how that affects day and night around the world.

Before watching the video I shared with the kids that I wanted to learn more about the sun as part of the spark arc because I thought it might be the first spark! “Yeah the sun and stars are the hottest!” Nishka added and Bo shared, “The oldest spark is in the desert. It’s like electric.” “We could find a spark in a thunderstorm,” Mira thinks and we agreed, lightning is also a spark!

  

In the Red band we are reading myths from around the world about how light was brought to the world. We began with Raven: A Trickster Tale from the Pacific Northwest then read Fire Came To The Earth People a story from West Africa. After reading Raven the kids helped create a summary. Once we finished reading Fire Came To The Earth People we each chose one story to continue telling in our What could happen next? writing time. Our most recent read-aloud The Sun Girl and the Moon Boy from Korea had us all on the edge of our seats as we waited to hear if the son and daughter would outsmart the tiger! You can see our continuation stories below.

 

From left to right:

Sky Chief takes the sun back and gives the planets, the stars, the milky way, and the solar system. Mira

Raven comes down from the sun and there is a trap but Raven doesn’t see it. Sky Chief is looking through the bushes in the forest since he put the trap there. Sky Chief will grab the trap and put it in a box when Raven gets in the trap. Bodhi

My story Sky Chief, the moon, and Raven. And the black sky because it’s nighttime. Val

Sky Chief had a hook to catch Raven. Brother Bald Eagle came to the rescue but Sky Chief’s daughter was there. The peregrine Falcon dad showed up and dived down. The squirrel mom went up to save them. And hummingbird cousins went to distract them by going all different ways. The toucan and parrot showed up and made so many sounds. And then the vultures showed up to scare them away so the peregrine falcon can dive down. The falcon is going to unlock them up. Leithan

Sky Chief might give the moon and the sun. Ariadne

Raven took the sun. The god was mad. Raven was happy. Anya

Mom, Raven, Dad, Sister, and Brother are happy. Angelina

Chameleon will get more straw and then Moon God will realize that is it actually mean. She will give them more things because she made the Earth and she should take of the Earth. Nishka

After the Raven puts the sun in the sky a super volcano erupts and Sky Chief dies because of the magma. Emir

We will continue to read more myths about the sun, moon, and stars and experiment with ways to show the relationships between all three and the Earth. Stay tuned for more Hive adventures.

#redheart

Let’s take a closer look at how our youngest community members are approaching this years first arc 💜. We started our exploration with a few questions. So what is a question?

I prompted the kids with question starters such as: how, why, I wonder, and I don’t know. 

We simplified our questions down to three fill in the blanks: How do X’s hearts works? Why do X’s have hearts? and I don’t know (why our hearts are the size of our fists)?

Once we asked our questions we illustrated them.

Next up we looked to our library of body books for answers.

Rich’s first science lesson included heart parts courtesy of chickens passed, veins, and heartbeats.

Once we had our questions and some concrete answers to a couple of our questions we asked, How might we see a heart in action?  Models, videos, and X-rays were possible solutions. Rich stepped in with some plastic tubing and a hand pump to give us a simulated experience- we added the red food coloring, for accuracy of course.

Our second lesson helped us see how a heart pumps blood out to the body and how it circulates back to the heart.

Early on I asked the kids what they thought a 💜 symbol meant. We thought it might show that you like or love someone or something. Such a wonderful place to start. We continued with this idea of what we might love or like and read Uugghh by Claudia Boldt. This story of a slimy slug who worries he might not be loved. A confident spider helps slug learn that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, starting with yourself, and learns that everyone’s opinions differ from finding beauty in red, the postman, or poo. Together we brainstormed what we thought might be beautiful like dresses, castles, and worms. In the end we realized that our idea of beautiful began with a feeling we had tied to these feel-good and feel-happy objects. So on to our feelings we went. Each day we read a short story about a different feeling and tried to think of why those characters felt that way or a time we also felt that way. Then we took a picture to help other’s see what our feelings might look like.

💜 got us off to an exciting start to the year and was rounded out by our outdoor adventure! I wonder what ⚡️ will bring?

Cloth Catch-up

Hello again from the Hive. We’ve been buzzing right along in the Hive moving from exploration into expression. While the Hive tried their hand at many different aspects of working with cloth we landed on the expression of stories using cloth with puppets. Along with puppeteering expert Daniel Gill, the kids have learned how to animate  a variety of puppets from pieces of cloth to mouth plates, hand puppets, marionettes, and stick puppets with the main idea being, anything can be a puppet. Each lesson has taught us a new skills to move, animate, and bring to life the characters we create.

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Lesson 1: Get Creative

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Lesson 2: Anything Can Be A Puppet

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Lesson 3: Bringing Your Puppet To Life

Our first iteration of our puppet theater evolved from a window to adding wings for waiting behind the scenes. Next a second panel was added to provide a place for backgrounds to hang as well as the possibility of using marionettes. Our first planning meeting of the second iteration of the puppet theater was about outlining the work the kids had done so far and labeling parts in order to create a cut list for our plywood. We then added the constraints that the puppet theater be able to close flat for storage. While we still have work to do with accessorizing the puppet theater, we had our first kid test on Friday. We even used our projector to play with shadows and add backgrounds.

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Stay tuned to see our final edits and additions for the puppet theater!

Author’s, Illustrators, and Coins, Oh My!

My favorite reasons for why I work with young children are their endless imaginations and their innate courage. The last two weeks in the Hive have been filled with brave moments: saying hello to someone new, asking for a name when you’ve forgotten, trying a new game, eating lunch at the Orchard, and sharing the stories of your life. We have started our adventures in writing with Lucy Calkins’ Writer’s Workshop. The Hive’s Writer’s Workshop is a time for everyone to become an author and illustrator. Our first few lessons have included: How do you get ready for school? along with a morning of sharing their work. What did you do over the weekend?

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Bo and Hayes work on their first entires for The Story of My Stuff

And our latest adventure The Story of My Stuff was inspired by a gallery visit I had about a year ago. I learned about a project related to consumption by Kate Bingaman-Burt called Obsessive Consumption which documented everything she purchased over the course of three years. I was fortunate enough to catch her show at Mule Gallery and picked up her zine “Belongings: Stories that Belong to the Stuff that Belongs to Us”. Here you get a glimpse of  Zachary Schomburg and Bingaman-Burt’s stuff and the stories of each treasured item as illustrated by Bingaman-Burt.

We had a conversation around what it means own something and I shared the story of the owl keychain that lives in the Hive, a left-behind gift of our friend Octavia who used to go to Brightworks. Our writer’s set off to show their own valuables: teddy bears, houses, and pet quails. Each item accompanied by a lovely story of how it became theirs. We will continue to dive into the story of our stuff this week as we prepare our final coin explorations.

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Christian chose his Gengar Pokemon card as one valuable object. He even taught us about its strength and powers

Also did you know we’re studying coins around here? What is a coin? What are the parts of a coin? And how do they work? These questions have been examined in order to have us reach the goal of designing our own coins. We identified the parts of the coins as: location where it was made, year it was made, its value, a VIP, and a valuable item of our country. For the purposes of our coins, we chose S for the San Francisco mint, our birth years: 1985, 1986, 2011, and 2012 respectively, our faces- because we’re VIPs, and from our identified items from our Story of My Stuff writing we added an item that was valuable to us to the back of our coins.

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Kit adds to her heads-side of her Kit-coin; first her portrait then an S for San Francisco

What a wild ride, five weeks have come and gone. Up next we are gearing up to head out on our first field trip of the year which happens to be our overnight stay at Nature Bridge just across the Golden Gate Bridge. Stay tuned!

Animals by-air

This past arc, the Red Band explored the concept of animal flight. We researched both mammal and insect wings, their construction, placement, and function through a series of investigations. By transferring our new skills from kite construction, the kids created wing models using wooden dowels as bones or insect cuticle. After observing birds at our neighborhood Petco, the kids attempted to imitate wing movement by attaching magnets or paperclips to paper wings. The kids then created their own, taught others, or followed directions to fold paper airplanes. By examining their flight we defined the terms: flying, floating, and gliding to add to our #kiddictionary. We then compared the migration of the monarch butterfly and the albatross, the farthest travelling bird and insect with the largest difference in size and wingspan.

Abir and Dash team up to solve their paper bird's flight problem.

Abir and Dash team up to solve their paper bird’s flight problem.

Sylvester and Dash discuss technique while Calvin consults on a design.

Sylvester and Dash discuss technique while Calvin consults on a design.

Following our explorations, the Red Band completed their first project brainstorm where ideas ranged from revisiting past projects such as the wing models, create a school kite or build a mini-airplane before choosing to create adaptations for flightless animals both with or without wings. We started by identifying a problem: Some animals do not or cannot fly and creating a solution: design wings or means of flight for flightless animals. We each set to work choosing a wingless or flightless animal: an elephant, a girl, a giraffe, an underground dragon blob, two dogs, a penguin, and a chicken. The results varied from tiny insect wings to bird wings to jetpacks and larger ears to aid the animals’ flight. For some added encouragement, we took a trip over to the San Francisco Zoo to observe some of our animals up close. The kids all stretched their imaginations and motivation to truly bring to life their solutions.

#bwxredinthewild

#bwxredinthewild

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A band that weaves a web together… sticks together

Just in time for our first arc gathering, the Red and Yellow bands also wrapped up their cockpit and wave machine projects. Each afternoon the kids choose one collaborator-led project to participate in; since the start of the year we have completed a bench and planter box for our entryway. The collaborators and kids are working in a two to three week long timeframe to expose kids to the Brightworks project process and best practices. We will take our new project guidelines to help us work on our first by-land projects, a carwash and a machine to harness our people-power. Stay tuned for more #brightworksbeehive news.

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currently on display in the hive

currently on display in the hive

A few of our favorite things

Welcome to week four everyone! The Red band is at the helm this week authoring our blog as we learn about the writing process. We started with a lesson on captions: the words that talk about the picture #kiddictionary. Each kiddo chose one or two pictures from our week to caption and add to their journal. Enjoy!

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MEZRiNG ALBUTZHROZiZ WiNZ /Dash “Measuring albatross wings”

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ME DRAWING IN MY JOURNAL/ Abir

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Me aD ROOn MaF/ Khalilah “Me and Ronin doing math”

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“Dash drawing wings with Nathan.”/ Sylvester

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me and may are reading. /Ronin

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LOOKING AT ANIMALS/ May

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QiNN iS TAKiNG TAPE/ Calvin

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“Here I am writing the word bird like Khalilah. After I drew a great big bird.”/ Quinn

Happy New [School] Year

Hi Everyone,

If we’ve not yet met I am Nicole, the Red Band Collaborator. This year we can be found up the block at 1920 Bryant with Nathan, Piper, and the Yellow Band. We are all thrilled to work in this new space together and continue to build it out with the two bands.

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This was an exciting week as we explored and settled into the space. We brainstormed goals for ourselves for the year, both personal and shared, to help create our group agreements. We read Ish by Peter H. Reynolds to help frame our thinking around the people we would like to be and how our actions affect others. Our week was filled with activities to get to know one another, such as our people scavenger hunt and people mapping.

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We learned about and have practiced the daily routine together, including morning circle and lunch spent up at 1960 Bryant. This included learning about morning “vitamins”, multi-disciplinary skills work that allows each kid to work through a problem on their own then share out their process during a group discussion. Our afternoons will be largely dedicated to arc and project work with the kids choosing between two different project offerings. Our first projects are aimed to improve our bandspace entryway. I am helping a crew create outdoor seating while Nathan is working on garden beds.

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We ended our week with a round of show and tell. My favorite part of this activity is learning about the things that are important to each kid and let me tell you, it was a wide range: from home gardens to family heirlooms to hopes and dreams of owning a pet.

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It was a jam-packed week and I can’t wait to see what week two brings. If you would like to follow along find me at @bwx_nicole on Instagram and on Flickr at SFBrightworks.

Have a lovely weekend,

Nicole