Thursday, April 28, 2011

An Architecture Story

I want to share a story with our visitors:

Friedrich Froebal was a German education theorist who laid the foundation for modern education based on the recognition that children have unique needs and capabilities. He developed the concept of the “kindergarten”. Fröbel advocated the importance of free play in childhood. And created learning materials that was designed to be given to a child to provide material for the child's self-directed activity.

At the 1876 Centinnial Exhibition in Philadelphia Anna Lloyd Wright was attending the event and became fascinated with a demonstration of children playing with the Froebel materials, especially the blocks. Ms. Wright watched as the children created geometric forms and designs from small wooden blocks and thought that these blocks would be perfect for her son Frank.

Later in life Frank Lloyd Wright became one of America's most celebrated architects. And throughout his career Wright always credited the Froebel blocks as the greatest influence in forming his sense of design.

In his autobiography he cited the blocks indirectly in explaining that he learned the geometry of architecture in kindergarten play,[1] writing "For several years I sat at the little Kindergarten table-top . . . and played . . . with the cube, the sphere and the triangle—these smooth wooden maple blocks . . . All are in my fingers to this day . . ."

I wanted to share this story as a nod to our architecture theme, the value of play, the possibility of greatness, and as a tribute to our most valued possession, our block set.-Mr. Nick

Skyscrapers Around The World

One of the interests shared by all of the children is their love of skyscrapers. It was one of the main reasons that we started our architecture project. Last week a few of the children decided that they wanted to stand on chairs and draw skyscrapers on an old dry erase board that was being used to display work. I told them that this idea would be fine but they needed to do three things.

1. Use the architecture books and the Internet to find pictures of skyscrapers that they found interesting.
2. Get a clipboard and pencil and draw a sketch of the skyscraper that they were going to draw.
3. Allow me to help them find information on the skyscrapers they picked, we must know the name of the building, height, and where it is located.

Needless to say the children had no problem with these demands and beautifully crafted a mural of skyscrapers that show the different architectural styles used around the world. It was not surprising that the skyscrapers chosen are some of the most well known and visual pleasing structures in the world. And most important to the kids the biggest! -Mr. Nick

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Architecture Field Trip

A few more pictures from our trip to Helix Architecture + Design

Thursday, April 14, 2011

First Fridays Exhibit #3

I had a great time talking to visitors of the exhibit about our pre-k program and teaching young children. But the best part of this experience was seeing our pre-k children and their families reactions when they arrived at the exhibit. The families were so happy to see their children's work displayed beautifully for others to see. The kids were just confused about why their classroom materials were in a art studio. I also really enjoyed seeing our pre-k children interact and teach the young visitors in the play space.-Mr. Nick

First Fridays Exhibit #2 Documentation

On Friday April 1 SVN Pre-k held a play exhibit at Studio B during the monthly First Fridays event held in the crossroads area of KCMO. At the exhibit visitors got to view documentation of the children's learning that has happened in their architecture project.

Here are some pictures of the different types of documentation shown.

First Fridays Exhibit #1

On Friday April 1 SVN Pre-k held a play exhibit at Studio B during the monthly First Fridays event held in the crossroads area of KCMO. At the exhibit visitors got to view documentation of the children's learning that has happened in their architecture project. Also the exhibit showcased some of the learning centers that are found in our classroom. The exhibit was also a play space where visitors could work with materials found in our classroom.

Architecture Project #6

Today SVN Charter School 5th/6th grade teacher Ms. Edgar visited our classroom to tell us about her visit to the Eiffel tower. If you have been following the blog you would know that some of the children have been curious about the tower and was one of the interests that led to our architecture project.

Ms. Edgar showed the children pictures of her trip and answered their questions. Some of their questions were "How many feet long?" and "Does the tower have a foundation?"

Hoy SVN Charter School de 5 grado la Sra. maestro Edgar visitó nuestro salón de clases para hablarnos de su visita a la torre Eiffel. Si usted ha estado siguiendo el blog que se sabe que algunos de los niños han tenido curiosidad por la torre y fue uno de los intereses que llevaron a nuestro proyecto de arquitectura.

La Sra. Edgar mostró las fotos los niños de su viaje y sus respuestas a sus preguntas. Algunas de sus preguntas eran "¿Cuántos pies de largo?" y "¿La torre tiene una base?"

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

A visit to Helix Architecture

Yesterday we visited Helix Architecture + Design. Our guide for our trip was Mr. Jeff Schutzler a principal at the firm. Mr. Jeff gave us a tour of the firm which included observing the different models, looking at drawings, watching a tour of a building through a computer program and talking to the architects. We ended our tour by meeting in the conference room to watch a presentation on unique and different school designs. After the presentation the kids got to work with Mr. Jeff in brainstorming ideas for a dream school. The kids got the opportunity to draw and create their school with the help from an architect.

Thank you to the team at Helix Architecture + Design you truly extended our learning and gave us an incredible experience.