Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Personal Interests

Students often have little time during school to pursue their own interests. For example, this young man is fascinated with the sport of boxing. Along with creating this drawing of Rocky Balboa from an image he saved on his laptop, he also designed costumes in the Fashion Design Center for a movie idea called "The Knockout." I am not sure if he would have had the opportunity to explore those ideas elsewhere. 

This 4th grade girl has had a hard time finding her artistic voice in my room because she was more fascinated with collecting small, shiny objects from the floor. After opening the Sewing Center it seems she has finally found her niche and is now putting her detailed attention into her sewing projects.


It is always a pleasure to see children combine forces to create something that could not happen on their own. 

These three first grade students experiment with items from the collage center to create three-dimensional trees.  The girl on the right is sharing what she has learned so far about cutting and attaching the various parts of the sculpture.

These fifth grade girls were inspired to create a quilt for their homeroom teacher's new baby. None of them have sewed a quilt before, but they each share their ideas about how it can be done. They discuss the arrangement of the pattern to make sure that it is balanced well and unified. 

In the choice based classroom students learn to appreciate the skills and experience of others. They grow in independence (learning how to do it by themselves) and dependence (knowing when to ask for help from a peer). These second grade girls sit in close proximity as they try weaving for the first time. 

This group of 5th grade boys have been creating a 3D paper stadium for a number of weeks. The three of them (one is off finding materials) seemed to be rather unproductive at first because two would sit around while one would work on a portion of the project. I encouraged them to delegate jobs to one another and find ways to work around each other so that they could make progress more quickly. 

It is also interesting to see how "friend groups"interact in the studio setting. There are four pairs of girls creating similar 3D spaces (a resort...???). Even though they are in separate friend groups they are constantly commenting on each other's ideas and helping each other solve problems.