Friday, March 20, 2009
Thank you for my eyes.
In one of my books recently, there was a line that has stuck with me all these days. I like it so much. "When the mind is calm, like still water, you can see clearly." I think this idea applies to observation in the classroom. When I am calm and present, I can really see what is happening. I had a moment of synchronicity with a child, through the environment, and it made me so happy today.
I have been observing/enjoying N's explorations with the metal insets. She works carefully and for long stretches of time with one shape, placing it in different ways on the paper and creating new shapes. Then there was a lull in the work! "Oh no!" I thought, "It's over!" Her work had been inspiring others to try new variations with the metal insets and I wanted to see if this work could be extended. I made a set of variations myself, laminated them, and placed them in a basket on the metal insets cabinet. I made them for N but wanted to see if she would find them herself and if they would move her into more in depth work with the metal insets. They were on the shelf about 20 minutes before N found them, leafed through them, came running to me- "I want to do this!" And then inscribed circles in squares, and ellipses in the circles, shaded and drew lines. To watch her relishing in the work, matched perfectly with her level of interest was incredibly satisfying to me.
My endeavors to start these kinds of explorations are not usually as overtly successful as today's. I am grateful for my eyes!