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Monday, April 23, 2012

Them Who Play With Heat

What thoughts run through your mind as you view these two photos?

Shock? Disbelief? 

Four years ago, I attended a Margie Carter and Deb Curtis conference. During one of our meetings a photo similar to this was shown to the group. As each of us responded in disbelief, we listened to the leader and as she asked us "Why?" Of course, most of us responded with "they are children." And yet, as teachers we expect a child to sit at a table for possibly 30 minutes, listen quietly to stories, "use their words", write letters, carry on a conversation, cut with scissors, stay in a line and be able to dress him/herself among other things.  And yet, we make a child eat food off plastic plates, make them drink out of sippy cups and use spoons. 

When children are provided opportunities to use "real" tools and materials of high quality, they feel respected and taken seriously.  When they are trusted and shown how to use and care for these tools and materials, children live up to the responsibility of using them and as a result bring more focus and intention to their work.  Lately in the art area, watching the mounting frustration as children tried desperately to build taller structures by using Elmer's glue, we felt the children were ready for the challenge of using a glue gun.  Children were shown how to squeeze the trigger using their pointer finger; then placing the glue gun back on the table, before placing the object on the glue.  Again, using the pointer finger and a light touch, children were able to secure the object onto their structure. Children were encouraged to look through materials and to decide the placement of objects before applying the glue. 

NOW, what are your thoughts?

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