With a re-vamping of the art studio, the teachers at the ECEC have decided to have discussions about how to use the space. We all met on the 21st to talk about it and organize the materials. Leaving that discussion, we have decided on exploring a material in depth with our children. The goal for this semester is for each classroom to investigate clay. Each classroom will share space with another classroom to collaborate and see what we can share with one another.
On the 17th, my classroom joined Ms. Finklestein's classroom out in the art studio. This was our first venture together and we were curious to see how things would pan out.
Before the children thought about pinching/poking/molding/fusing, they started pounding. It was not what I expected. There was something about pounding the clay that was therapeutic in a way. Each child had their own strategy, but was curious about the other children around them and how they were doing it.
A week later I prepared the clay another way. I put a huge block of it on the table and brought the children to it. The children in my classroom made it out first, stared at it a moment, and then went right to it. I thought this action would have them focus on the action o their fingers and therefore inspire them to inch/poke/squeeze, but it did not. There was still a focus on collecting and squishing it into a larger pile. There was less pounding though.
I am curious to see a lot of things. I am wondering what ways to display the clay will inspire different strategies to work with it. I am wondering how working with another classroom will develop collaboration and shared ideas between the children (and teachers). I am wondering what skills the children will develop through investigation, rather than being shown.