This Friday, our school experienced its first real excursion hiccup. We spent the afternoon in the library reading, picking books, and doing a bit of scary story research for our upcoming Halloween party.
After two hours wandering the halls of the Teen and Children sections at the library, it was time to head home. Our timing, it seemed, was perfect: a roughly 20 minute journey home starting at 3:05pm. We’d even have time for a quick end of day circle.
Clipper cards ready, we all hopped on the bus. Confident we where looking for our standard 18th street stop, we embraced the usual shenanigans of the bus ride – story telling, day sharing, brotherly rough housing, and backpack ruffling. A bell ding alerted us that we were coming up on the 17th street stop and the warning to students went out: “The next stop, at 18th street, is ours.”
With bags closed and students ready, we flew by the 18th Street stop. 19th Street went whizzing by. 20th, 21st, 22nd and 23rd follow suit. Turns out that the 9 and the 9L are very different buses.
We got off the bus and shared with the kids the fantastic nature of our bus stop failure. Taking the opportunity to model calm and reasonable problem-solving, Mackenzie and I plotted a new path home and called Justine so she could keep parents in the loop. We were to walk over to Bryant and take the trusty 27. Looking back, I now realize we missed an opportunity to ask our kids to participate in generating a solution.
The 27 seemed like it was going to take far too long, so we opted to try and beat it by walking back to school. We split into two groups: the runners (hell-bent on beating the bus home) and the walkers (less-bent but still hoping to beat the bus home). Some parents met us along the way to keep after-school appointments but most others waited as we and the kids added an additional 20 minutes to our journey home. Our day came to an end with varying levels of sweatiness and similar levels of accomplishment and adventure.
Another fantastic day of reflecting and playing.
While I had initially thought that the Exposition phase would be kind of a let-down after the fierce activity of Exploration and Expression, I asked a few kids today what they thought of this portfolio idea and they said they were really liking it. Such a good sign.
Sharing bits and pieces of writing and pictures.
And of course, a break at the park.
A warm September day in the Mission means nothing less for Brightworks than a tour of the Mission, mural-style! The kids walked down to Precita Eyes on 24th Street to visit some incredible murals, led by Jorge, that have made the Mission a beautifully colorful place.
A quick walk to the park.
And water! Most of the kids came back to school soaked to the bone.
The walk back to Brightworks.
Putting things in cubbies…
After lunch, the kids worked on their own mural projects: stencils with spray paint…
…and designing four murals on old doors.
Completed murals in the works!
Today in exploring Cities (our first arc), the kids went to Mission Dolores to explore where the Spanish enforced a missionary lifestyle on the native Ohlones and to learn about the seed of San Francisco that soon bloomed into a thriving city.
The older kids went on foot and talked about the watershed of old, as well as the legendary Mission lake.
The younger kids took the bus to save their walking legs.
Exploring inside the Mission
Everyone loved the graveyard, including the apple tree that grows there.
A couple kids noticed that lots of people died in 1850 – but why? Was there a drought? A famine? A war? An iceberg?
Looking back in time and exploring the Ohlone huts. The kids had many thoughtful questions about why the Spanish took over the Ohlone land and forced their religion on them. What would have happened to San Francisco if the Spanish missionaries hadn’t come to California?
The sheer thrill at the idea of rolling down the hills in Dolores Park!
Lunch in the park
Back to school for some written and illustrated reflection on the day
When the kids traced the projected image of the Mission, they noticed things about its structure that they hadn’t while they were there – the gargoyles, statues, intricacies of the architecture.
The first day. The first year.
The space was miraculously clean overnight.
Happy birthday and happy first day, Gever!
The tables were ready for drawing and lunch.
The first morning circle.
The kids lost no time and explored the neighborhood, including the MUNI bus depot just up the street…
…some weird things…
and the local fauna…
…before becoming sunscreen warriors and heading inside for lunch.
They made a human maze out of masking tape…
…with warnings of peril ahead.
They flew across Google Earth.
What an amazing first day.
And we get to do it again tomorrow!