Saturday, March 6, 2010

Working with wood and tools

I'd love to have a shelf in the classroom devoted exclusively to materials related to tools and wood working. It's so hard to resist when I go to the hardware store and there is a tool that looks like it's made for small hands. I've had my partner make us some materials based on the function of some tools and hardware and they are really popular in the classroom. The control of error is really clear, the materials require lots of concentration and careful work with the hands, and since there are usually a number of screws to put in or take out, repetition is built into the material. And although you can't see it in the picture, each set of blocks has a builder's triangle chiseled out on one side so that the children know how to join the blocks so that all the screws will fit.

If you like this kind of thing too, there is a fantastic little book called "Children Can Build" by Susan Scheibenzuber from Laughing Star Montessori complete with presentations to be given on a little classroom workbench for projects using wood and real tools. It includes presentations such as:

Sawing Sticks
Sawing Foam Core
Using a Hand Drill
Using a Sanding Block
Using a Vise

I dream that one day we'll have our own workbench too!

In the meantime, this is what we have:

Using a Philips screw driver to join two blocks of wood:

Using a Flathead screw driver to join two blocks of wood:

Using a hex key to join two blocks of wood together (Warning- this is a dangerous one to teach the children when most of your furniture comes from Ikea):

Putting two blocks together using bolts, washers and wing nuts:

Not pictured because they are yet to be put on the shelf:

Hammering into a block of wood and removing the nails.

Polishing wood with linseed oil.


Amy said...

Those are all wonderful! I have always wanted to have woodworking out for my daughter but other than the nuts and bolts, I couldn't come up with anything. I will check out the book too. Thanks!

Unknown said...

Don't forget sandpaper, and a broom!

Anonymous said...

i'm a former minw student, and i'm LOVING your blog! thanks for giving me great ideas during my first year of teaching!

sarah s.

angel said...

Thank you! Thank you! My son loves anything to do with tools.