I’ve been reading Teacher Tom’s blog almost every day for about a month. He’s an inspiring educator, and I just love reading his descriptions of play based curriculum. Almost two weeks ago I got together with my Friday Art Homeschool group, and a very playful learning experience happened! One of my youngest students is a 6 year old boy, that tends to finish more quickly than the rest, and is ready to try something else. I take a lot of photos of the kids and their creations, and he asked me if he could take a photo of his fabric collage.
He took about five and showed them to me. I showed him how to zero in on the artwork and have less table showing and more art. He tried again, and liked the result. Other students were still working on their fabric collages, and he ended up roaming around and taking a bunch of pictures. We are fortunate to have the use of a wonderful space (the Port Angeles Boys and Girl’s Club) all to ourselves during the school day and he got some really interesting pictures. I heard him say, “I want this one to be blurry.” His mom noticed that he was shooting unusual angles too. He was planning and thinking about how to use the camera in interesting ways which he hadn’t been instructed in. He was so excited and incredibly engaged!
Luckily as this is my own program, and not one where I’m employed by someone else, I could allow him this time to experiment and explore. It really reinforced my ideas about child centered learning. When I looked through the photos I found some very interesting pictures.
I have to admit there were about twenty of his feet and the ground, so I saved the best one and deleted the rest.
He continued to use the camera during our break between activities. Later that day everyone else wanted to take photos of their artwork, so the whole group got in on the action.
I am lucky to have been given a great digital camera. I wish I had about ten of them so that my students could all roam around looking for interesting things to take photos of! I’m sure we’d all love to play around with images! Just heard today about a new open source program called GIMP, so perhaps this idea could really blossom for the fall.