Stones

The wood fairies turned this bear into stone out of mischief or is it an elephant on its side?). The beauty of river rocks…

Ship them off to Siberia…

Once in a while, a class discussion finds itself on thin ice. Literature opens doors to far away realms and so a perfectly sensible children’s story about the pitfalls of being a young entrepreneur presented us with the line “…better still all such children should be shipped to Siberia”. The protagonist morosely utters these words…

National Anthems…

In preparation for a special assembly last Friday I asked my class to practice singing the national anthem. I have been told I am terribly old-fashioned when it comes to protocol, but nothing gives me greater joy than teaching a new generation how to stand correctly, with right hand placed over the heart, facing the flag….

The Starry Night, Turbulence and Pattern Recognition…

 “When I meet God, I am going to ask him two questions: why relativity? And why turbulence? I really believe he will have an answer for the first.” –  Werner Heisenberg Today’s class involved a close study of Van Gogh’s brush strokes. We used crayons to replicate The Starry Night with varying levels of success….

Beyond stupidity…​

I do not know why I continue to be surprised or shocked by the tremendous stupidity of humans. Case in point the 22-year old who decided to set up a Facebook page to  “Shoot at Hurricane Irma”  because guns are apparently always the answer. “Let’s show Irma that we shoot first” was the slogan and…

Shostakovich’s String Quartet No 8 and Abstraction.

I wish to approach truth as closely as is possible, and therefore I abstract everything until I arrive at the fundamental quality of objects  – Piet Mondriaan Today we explored Mondriaan’s Composition II in Red, Blue, and Yellow. I really did not want to tell the children what primary colors are but let them discover them…

La Playa (The Sandbox)

When the temperatures are soaring there is only one thing to do and that is head to the beach. I finally figured out how to carry out Paula’s instructions of blurring the background, foreground and focusing on the midground, a few months late but better than never 🙂   At the Sea-Side by Robert Louise…

Scorching Temperatures

It has been ridiculously hot in the Bay Area, with temperatures touching 106 degrees Fahrenheit (41degrees Celsius) today. I knew it was serious when an emergency text appeared on my phone accompanied with useful information on how to stay out of the heat. Is this Global warming? as long as you are living in an air-conditioned…

Cubes and rotation

Teaching mental rotation is hard enough but to teach it to7-year-olds who constantly confuse their right hand from their left one falls into its own category. I decided to make a physical cube and had the students use rulers to measure out and make the net for their cubes on graph paper. Those who chose…

What is Portugal?

Today I have a list of questions/statements I listened to in my class. “What is Portugal?” (after a discussion on Vasco de Gama) “…Then India is a peninsula?” (after explaining what a peninsula is and pointing to Florida as an example) “Nothing has to be something because if nothing is nothing, what is the point of nothing?”…

Overheard Conversations…

Once in a while, I encounter conversations that capture my attention. In an upscale kitchen and dining store, a young sales lady is unobtrusively observing customers and offering suggestions. A well-dressed man in his 40’s walks in holding a box of glassware and the following conversation ensues. gentleman: “Excuse me, is Maria here? I am here…

Treasures

The room I teach in required some cleaning and the graveyard of insects was not very attractive. Hoping I didn’t find a rodent or its carcass I moved a heavy bookcase aside, and as I did this a familiar sound met my ears. It is a sound that both children and absent minded professors greet…