Wednesday, September 24, 2014

A Little Bit of Magic to Start the Day

By Stephanie Bartlett
Although I greet each morning with anticipation, rarely does the day begin with magic. We normally begin our day with about 15 minutes of activities that target fine motor development or skill competencies and then move on to the rest of our day. Until today.  One of the activities I had left out was a container of loose metal pieces and magnets for sorting, patterning and fine motor development.  When the group began to grow, I started to pay attention.
 “We need a screw driver thing.”
“We need wood.”
“How can we make a door?” 
“Can I help?”
“Here, hold this.”
 “We need instructions.”
“I can draw instructions. My mom is a designer.”
“I’m good at this. Here, let’s do it like this.”

 Now, if we are going to look at the seven strands of creativity, these students were touching on many of them without even trying. Collaborative Development, Experimentational Development, Analytical Development, Generative Development were all evident as students figured out what to make, how to assemble the materials and what to do when the first idea didn't work.  I sat listening and watching in awe wondering at what point the work of transforming my practice had arrived at a point where students were generating sophisticated ideas and creating on their own...in September!! 
So far, I think it is the culture I am co-creating with my students. I speak regularly to them about drawing plans and using the writing materials in every centre to explain their thinking. It must also be the predisposition that many of the students bring to the class, and the materials and tools in the maker space that are readily available for such explorations. Regardless of the reasons behind the magic, today I was spellbound and the feeling lingers on.  I got to know my students and their interests just a little bit more today and will sprinkle this magic liberally as the year gets going!
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