Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Layer on Layer

group painting (Brick by Brick)

I found this picture in my photo roll. Our class made a group painting. The process is always interesting to watch. Kids begin by painting definite shapes, designs, or images. They work in different parts of the paper, keeping their painting distinct and separate.

But then at some point, it happens. A swipe goes across the page. Or someone just begins to paint all over the paper. But then paint begins to spread all over the paper. Swirls and lines and colors blend. The overall painting changes and morphs as layer on layer build.

I've been thinking about this year. I've had many different experiences this year. I've tried new things and renewed some old interests. At first the things seemed to be distinct and separate. But as I look back on them now, they swirls together and create layers of experience and growth. Some patterns and designs have emerged. Others are still indistinct. But my year of YES has yielded an interesting layered life at this point.

I think kids learn in the same way. Especially in the younger years, kids learn all kinds of things. We think of them as distinct (literacy, math, social skills, physical skills). But really they overlap and integrate. Since learning is integrated, my teaching should be, too. I cannot just teach words or numbers. I cannot focus on the body without thinking about the brain, too. Teaching and learning are building and creating, layer on layer.

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