Today we had capoeira in the morning.
Open Explore before lunch – during which so many students decided to work on their studio spaces!
Barbequed hamburgers and cheeseburgers from Bryan, cooked on the Crucible firetruck with a coal-fed barbeque in the back. How cool is that.
And a short documentary on Motoi Yamamoto, a Japanese artist who uses only salt in his incredible artwork.
The pace is picking up as declarations get approved and project spaces begin to form. The middle flexi-space of the warehouse has become a maze of small kid-sized studios and today the project-doers started moving in, making tables, filling the space with their research materials, and beginning their prototypes.
The Coyotes headed out to the salt flats to do research for Ben’s mini salt flat project and to gather salt samples for Clementine and Norabelle’s guidebook to salt. They have been working as a group to support each other’s projects and will continue to explore aspects of each project as they move through the Expression phase.
The Sand Leopards, in celebration of their hard work completing declarations, took an afternoon stroll to Valencia Street to visit the Pirate Store at 826 Valencia, Paxton Gate, and Tartine for treats.
Last month when documentary filmmaker Keith Wilson dropped by to show his film The Shrimp he took questions from the students about how non-fiction movies are made. Wilson’s 15-minute film follows the short life, swift capture and eventual transformation into yummy seafood of a single shrimp in Savannah, Georgia. It ends with the “hero” being eaten and returning via the city’s sewer system to the waters from which it came.
We wondered if the kids would see a connection to their salt investigations, so we posed the question: “What kind of movie would you make about salt?”
Coke clearly picked up on the back-to-the-river theme.
Kaia imagined a more extensive documentary.
Mason and Logan didn’t exactly answer the question, choosing instead to… well, make a movie: a slapstick comedy in which “Old Man Logan” barks orders at his zany sidekick Mason. They’re prepping for Hollywood!
As we move into the Expression phase of the Salt arc we’re excited to see how the previous weeks of exploration are turned into each student’s personal project. Beginning next week the Video Booth will shift focus from questions about salt to weekly updates on what the kids are doing on their projects. On this particular Brightworks movie the time has come for…
Delivering apples to the neighbors!
After a morning of climbing…
the Brightworks kids got back to work on their declarations…
with some hot lunch and a surprise visit from one of our Mendocino naturalists, Foli!
The kids have been working diligently on their proposals and the results are stunning. Each child, working in pairs or independently, has worked so hard writing to defend their projects using persuasive writing, timelines, and the board proudly displaying gorgeous handwritten or typed declarations is getting more covered every day. The bands are working hard to support each other’s process by sharing resources and information and experiences. We are so positive that this is the best Expression phase yet!
We are lucky to have such an inspired group of parents at our school, most especially when they become the experts for the day and bring their passions to school. Today, Peter the chef presented yet another amazing addition to our curriculum of learning about food and food as a building block of community: butchering a pig. We’ve found important lessons in exploring food, where it comes from, what responsibility we have to food that comes from sustainable farms. This year, Peter brought a pig that was bigger than the one butchered last year. Not only that, but the kids were able to get up close and personal with the pig and explored the animal through all five senses (tasted after cooking, of course).
Peter gave a brief anatomy lesson, using the human body as a comparison and asking the kids to feel their own muscles and bones to see where there are similarities between humans and pigs.
We talked about respect for the animal that gave its life so we could eat and how important it is to know where our food comes from so that we can be sure that the animals were treated well during their lives.
And the explorations began!
We ate porchetta, polenta, and green salad for lunch – YUM – and Peter and Bryan broke the interested kids into two groups to make sausage and proscuitto.
Lots of cutting, measuring, and math!
The experience of seeing an animal become the familiar links of sausage or pork on a plate is extremely important for kids – and adults! – to witness and be a part of, and brings incredible awareness to how food is made to the forefront of their knowledge of the world. Do you like meat because you don’t know where it comes from? Can you handle seeing the whole animal before it becomes a meal? It’s also amazing to see just how much food comes from a 140-pound pig… we’ll be using that meat for weeks.
This morning, before capoeira and Open Explore Friday, the kids lined themselves up by height – without speaking.
The Rubber Band was on setup for the chili hot lunch provided by Audrey and Cyd.
Open Explore brought more adventures and interesting explorations for all the kids, including experiments with Makey-Makey and a dancing computer game…
…typewriter poetry in handmade books…
…and more declarations being approved!
After an awesome hot lunch and park time, the kids returned for the first Market Day of the year.
After a brief explanation of how the Brightworks currency system works,
…the market opened for business.
Everyone set up stations and hawked their wares.
And all left smiling!