Monday brought clouds and rain, but also brought a hands-off approach to the kids choosing what they wanted to do with their school days. We sat down in bands and made plans for what each of the kids wanted to do for the day, and off they went to do and make and create. I hope you aren’t stunned when I say that the noise level was low and everyone was focused and engaged in their activities of choice.
Many kids continued to build the frame for Kid City.
Others made advertising posters for the play that they’re working on.
Or discussed the next moves.
Gever brought in two huge boxes of fabric scraps when he picked up the Juki (the super-powered industrial sewing machine that can sew through multiple layers of heavy canvas or take your finger off, whichever is more appropriate). The fabric came in handy today – the kids made costumes or draped themselves in material.
Working on Choose-Your-Own-Adventure and game coding.
Making and creating.
Today was a day filled with different kinds of challenges. Isaac came to school with a pair of blacked-out goggles on as an experiment with blindness, which prompted other kids to blindfold themselves. Later in the day they worked on a building challenge to create a structure that could hold the weight of the three collaborators. At the end of the day, everyone (almost everyone!) wrote a sentence or two about what they learned today.
Experimenting with blindness.
Someone wrote, “I learned how to take advantage of a blind Isaac.” In general, though, all the kids were extremely helpful and respectful of Isaac’s challenge. They were at first in disbelief at his blindness, asking “Can you really not see?” before they realized that they had to help him out for the day to be a success.
The beginnings of a strong structure. Lola said, “I holded on to the wood really tight and it almost slipped. It slipped when people were drilling.”
“I learned not to drill with one hand,” Coke said.
Challenges for the day included steadying the structure you were working on so that you could make strong joints.
Kaia said, “I learned how to build a strong and steady structure. I learned not to touch the nail after it’s been drilled cause you’ll get burned like I did today.”
Norabelle said, “I made little foxes and I built a house with it.”
Bruno said, “I learned to make something really strong.”
Logan explained, “I liked making a half raft out of wood. I mean I’m half done with it. I’m really no close to the raft because I only have one paddle down. It is 1 foot thick and 5 inches.”
Some of the boys made small floating rafts with the lightest materials they could find in the supply boxes.
“I learned that Scratch is really complicated,” Henry wrote. He’s been working on learning gaming software for his project.
Hooray! The structure was strong and sturdy enough to hold the weight of Mackenzie, Josh, and Chane! This is really important, as buildings in Kid City have to be strong enough to hold three adults’ weight as well. We talked about all the strong shapes in their structure.
Natasha said, “Finally I had a chance to use the drills. I never knew that I was so strong and could build strong stuff.”
Gever, Ben, Connor, and Isaac returned from Home Depot in San Rafael with a truckload of building materials for Kid City.
Sofia said, “I stayed home from the park.” But she unloaded 2x4s by herself!
Ben wrote in best-guess spelling, “Never coa in farnt,” (Never saw in front of someone).
Zada wrote, “I learned how to make a good declaration.” Gever approved many declarations this afternoon with a red OK.
Audrey said, “I read a lot and I used building magnets. I worked on my declaration and I finished it. I want to open a clothing store. First I’m gonna sell accessories, and then I’ll sell other things.” During aftercare, she and Clementine put on a play about twins running away to NYC to go to acting and karate school.
One student wrote, “I had good teechers to help me doow good thigs.” An example of curriculum prep at Brightworks: Josh painting his feet. I love this school.
We’d like to call this day a huge surprising foray into the next phase of the Cities arc, Expression. The collaborators had planned the whole day of being in the space with intriguing activities to capture the kids’ interest, but the whole plan was scrapped and it instead became a sneak peek of Expression as the kids directed their own projects based on their interests of the day.
Instead of joining in role-playing to facilitate discussion about the rules of boundaries and listening to each other if asked to stop, the kids made plays of their own and performed them for each other.
They learned the goats were heading down to Southern California to their new home, looked at pictures of the farm, and talked to their owner about their new environment.
Construction began on a second story to the cardboard hut.
Some watched Charlie Chaplin’s “City Lights.” Here, Aidan is demonstrating the kind of dancing that happened in the film.
A few requested a second go-around of mayonnaise making, since they missed it the first time.
Henry wrote and directed play based on the boundaries discussion from the morning. The kids did more than a few rehearsals, created sets, and had a dedicated stage crew helping out!
Construction came to a conclusion as the second story was finished. Who knew a cardboard hut could have two stories?
It was an incredible day of creation of all kinds – and we can’t wait to see what the kids will imagine and create next week! Happy Friday.