Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Things Turning and Going Around

Things turning and going around…. zoetropes, spinners,  and now Ferris wheels.

We were inspired by the preschool’s interest in Ferris wheels. We sketched and observed  Anna's small Ferris wheel. 

Kaiya: Poppy, I don't think the people look safe in your picture. I think they will fall out.

Poppy: They have seat belts on.

The children tried to make a Ferris wheel using recycled materials and other items from the studio. 

N:  I only have one wheel. The stand supports the axle but the wheel can’t move.

We tried to figure out what made Anna's Ferris wheel move.

Reese: A crank powers Anna’s.

Drew: It all starts with the stand connected to the axle, the wheel is put on the axle, and the crank helps it turn.

Nolan: In a real Ferris wheel there is not a crank. There is a motor. The explosion causes the axle to turn.

Tom: How would a motor move it? How would it move on both sides if each side is pulling? There would be no movement.  It would be like a tug of war.

Oliver: It is the same way a car motor works.

Lukas, Emerson, Reese and Lorenzo wanted to create a  Ferris wheel out of wood. 

The pre-school wanted to make a Ferris wheel large enough for a child to ride in but the Kindergarten was concerned about getting hurt. They thought it might be good to make one for their stuffed animals to try.

We assembled all of the tools and started the work. Clay stepped in and gave us a hand.

Pippin asked if we wanted to do some of the work in his wood workshop. He had a conversation with the boys. They discussed the things that our class had learned from representing the Ferris wheel with recyclable materials.

  • The wheel needs to turn.
  • It needs an axle.
  • The Ferris wheel needs to balance and be sturdy.
  • There needs to be two wheels.

Pippin brought a large circular piece of wood and asked the boys to think about the wood like a pizza. We had observed as a class that the seats were evenly spaced. 

Lukas: We cut the pizza evenly and then nail the spokes there.

It is always our intention to let the children lead the work, theorize, test, reflect and theorize again....the cycle of learning. 

It became apparent that the theories the children wanted to test would require a working Ferris wheel using materials that would sustain failed attempts to make it turn, move and hold riders. As an educator at Sabot, I am constantly weighing and considering my involvement and the support I provide to the children. 

Am I in there way? Am I talking when I should be listening? How can I scaffold a decision without interjecting my own intentions and thoughts? How can I keep the process and learning moving forward and energized?

1 comment:

  1. I was just thinking that the messy home I bemoan is actually a workshop... The girls are always using supplies, tools, and putting them together to create. Reading this has helped me alter my perspective and rejoice at the skills and hunger for learning they have cultivated at Sabot.