A playground full of snow welcomed us back from our long holiday break. We made snow angels and built snow people, dug tunnels and caves, and began construction projects – all proof of what can be created when we work together. See more photos here.
We returned to Form Drawing for our first block of the new year as a way to settle the students back into our daily school rhythm. We worked with a progression of curved forms, following the adventures of Severi, a young man who sought his fortune over low hills, through meadows, and over the wavy sea, in the Finnish fairy tale, “The Heart’s Door,” as well as the adventures of Tokoyo, a young girl who crosses a dangerously stormy sea to find her father in exile in the Japanese tale, “The Samurai Maiden.” Prior to putting the forms into our books, we worked with them in space, mimicking the journey of our characters over desks, chairs, and finger-knit waves. The students were then partnered-up to create the progressive curves out of buttons and trace them with their fingers. See more examples of their work here.
We are currently in the middle of our second math block, honing arithmetic skills by using manipulatives to work out story problems featuring the four basic operations. Acorns become turtle eggs buried in sand by mama turtles or clams to dig out and share. Magic beans can be anything we want – planks of wood to build a treehouse, curtains on windows, fruit trees to plant. We also use the beans to find the magic in geometric forms. Below the students work in a very focused way to place six beans carefully on a circle they have drawn and to outline the interlocking triangles of a six-pointed star.