My mother’s puzzlement

Originally posted on Granted, and…:
My mother is an extraordinary person. Yesterday, while I made lunch for my son, father, and her, she was playing her weekly game of tennis – at age 90 – for an hour and a half. Two days previously she had hosted 6 for dinner. She is a force of nature. As…

Architectural Voices – Part I

In documenting our architecture project, I’ve struggled with how much to interrogate the children about their buildings. Tell me about your building? What’s this? What’s that for? All of the questioning gets a little tedious for both of us and the buildings themselves speak so strongly on their own that I wonder about the need…

Versions of Risk, Versions of Reggio

Last week, Teacher Tom posted this article about climbing.  In it, he shares photos of some of the amazing climbing contraptions that his students build in their outdoor play space.  Some of them took my breath away; a plank balanced on a swing – wow!  Now there’s something that could cost a public school teacher…

The little girl in the pink shoes

An apology to everyone who reads this blog for its Kindergarten content… your regularly scheduled blog will return in the next post! There’s a meme/post flying around Facebook lately, featuring a demure-looking little girl in a poofy tutu, pink tights, and ballet slippers. She’s adorable and the message accompanying the photo is very well-intentioned. Boiled…

Something you’re great at

I worry about our dance parties.  Do we have too many of them? Is there such a thing as too much dancing? I worry about our artwork too.  Clay, paint, wire, beads, pastels, collage, photography, murals… how much art is enough? And the dramatic play – goodness, that never stops. Then there are the marching…

High-Y-Nest

Kids are fascinating creatures.  They are perplexing and curious, bewildering and bewitching.  Frequently, when I document a conversation or an event, I look back at it and think: “What was that all about?”  It’s often not immediately clear; it may never be clear. Yesterday, when we went into the greenspace, N.I. perched himself in the…

Big and Tall

Someday my students (and my co-teachers, let’s be frank) are going to reminisce about the year they had (or worked with) that crazy teacher who did all the weird stuff.  There sometimes comes a moment when I’m in the middle of one of these projects when I think to myself: this is a little nuts. …

Guns and their cupcake cousins

Some teacher friends and I have been talking about guns for a long time.  It’s an open question for us, one we’ve struggled with over the years. I’m not a gun person.  As a child I fired a hunting rifle a couple of times – meh… it’s not really my thing.  I don’t pretend to…

Some kinds of help

Our architecture project continues and we’re moving towards building scale models of our 3-D sketches.  This has been a challenging part of the process for us as it requires more adult helping than I would usually be comfortable providing.  While the children are able to take on some parts of the process, they are often…

Art, Perspectives, Flipped

How did that happen?  Where did it come from? Those questions are so important when we’re teaching from an inquiry stance but tracing things back is sometimes hard.  Ideas are so organic that we can struggle to identify where the ignition point was. This was not one of those times. When our partner architect talked…