Saturday, June 12, 2010

Grab a good book...

Kelley and I would like to invite you to read along with us. The school now owns all of the suggested reading material and it will be available to you in our BHCP library very soon.

The reading has been very inspiring and enlightening.

In Shoe and Meter the narrator expresses, "Children produce many theories and hypothesis for interpreting reality but often remain unexpressed because they aren't listened to." This book is about a small group of 5-year-olds who wish to have a new table made identical to the one in their studio. The students expressed their desire for the table and the teachers listened. A carpenter was invited to come. And the children took on the job of providing the carpenter with measurements. The book documents their journey of how they came to their results, ultimately a new table. The story is very interesting. One might ask, why didn't the teacher jump in and tell them what tool to use and how to use it. But, here the children are encouraged to be problem solvers, collaborators, thinkers, experimenters, theorizers and more. For the students and teachers, it is about the process of solving a problem. It is how they came to have the matching table not about the matching table.

The Little Ones of Silent Movies is very insightful. The children in this book are very young. They are not speaking yet. However, they, like all children are very expressive. The teachers study the children to understand their interests. The teachers collaborate to discuss their observations. They discover that there is a common interest among them. The teachers continue to plan to create situations involving fish. The teachers continue to study their expressions and reactions. These children and their relationships are the stars of the Silent Movies.

The Black Rubber Column offers a very interesting journey. In February the children recognize the columns in their school as needing identities and diversity. They spend time creating "clothes for columns". The children were very interested by some rubber and cutting shapes from the rubber. They worked and reworked ideas, learning with each success and mistake. The ideas they expressed and experimented with were documented and discussed. The columns were on display in May. While the result is beautiful, the really important part of this story is the process that the children experienced to arrive at the objective.