May 27, 2013

Cardboard City Installation

Practice makes process!

After each student made a building for our cardboard cityscape I wanted to go a step further. I decided to have them make a street plan. We used masking tape to create our streets. I was all ready to go, bring the kids in the hallway to start the installation, when I got the news. The teacher said today was not the day to do a special project.

Plan B. I had to come up with something fast. So we pushed the tables aside and practiced IN the classroom. This was the best thing to ever happen! We spent an hour city planning. I taught the students how to step back and critique their art work. We revised as we went. At one point a student said, "I think the city is just a bunch of streets right now. We need a CENTER!" How brilliant. So the kids went back to work, ripping up the tape and made a center. Other students suggested we connect the dead ends to make driving around the city easier. Another observation was that a highway cut through the city making it divided. The interesting thing is a HIGHWAY divided our city too! When the highway came and cut right through our city it was one of the many signs that our city was in a downward spiral.

excuse the poor quality of my iPhone photos!
It's all I had:) 

more dead ends!

Working together!
This class is 80% boys.
They were in heaven. 

To me, this project was one TINY step of getting out of our own city's downward spiral. A community that invests in the arts, invests in it's future. We have nothing left to attract people to our former glorious city. Unless, we created an up and coming place for artists, food and culture. It's a big idea, but the fact that the students valued a CENTER to their city really gave me hope. I can't wait to see how they decide to place the buildings both residential, governmental and commercial! I hope we have some time for conversation around how to layout our buildings.

COMING THIS WEEK. . .  Our CARDBOARD CITYSCAPE installation displayed in the main lobby.

Whew! Then I'm off to my best friend's wedding in Santa Monica (which is on the other side of the country for me.) It will be a whirl wind week here. 


Phyl said...

Just a quick comment for now, because I'm supposed to be at the gym and not on my iPad ;) but anyhow, WOW! This is the kind of higher level thinking that gets pushed aside when everyone spends all their time giving, scoring, and worrying about assessments. What a fabulous and meaningful experience for your students! Again, WOW!

Unknown said...

First oh my gosh Phyl your new picture is so beautiful!!!! Did your hubby take it? Thanks for your kind and thoughtful comment... We are both on the same page. I try to do things like this as much as I can. It keeps me excited about teaching and gets the kids excited about coming to school to do big projects like this.

Phyl said...

Yes, Erica, thanks! My husband took the photo a week or two ago when we visited Ben in Boston. But I had to line up the camera, set the exposure, etc. but he still cropped it funny in camera. It is actually a pic of me and Ben but I cropped out my poor baby for my profile. I figured it was about time to use a photo that looks like me now, not a year or two ago. (Bangs gone!)

On the same page about what's important in education - yes!