Monday, 12 August 2013

The Composition of Wind

One of the projects described at Boulder Journey School Summer Conference 2013 was entitled The Composition of Sound and was a part of the process ofincluding more music within the daily lives of preschoolers.

In the project the children learned about creating sound, personifying wind, representing ideas and composing/directing music.

This was not a new project, it had been done at the preschool before, so the documentaion of the previous project was shared with the children in order to stimulate ideas and reflections.
I like the idea of children not ALWAYS having to start from scratch, of being able to benefit from the learning processes of other children. I also like the idea that the children reading the documentaion of previous years will get the sense of value... that the adults value our ideas enough to keep them and share them with other... that maybe it encourages the children to voice their ideas with the knowledge that maybe they too will be shared in the future...

The children realised that they could create a wind choir - as they could rpoduce sound with their own mouths (and of course as you breathe out to make sound, out comes air like a small wind).

As with all the projects at Boulder Journey School the teachers are partners WITH the children, they learn and explore TOGETHER. This is why it is so important that teachers come to each project with fresh eyes... that does not mean you abandon your own knowledge and experience (that should of course be used wisely) - but it does mean you need to be open enough to see something new, or to enjoy the process as if it was the first time - it is about GENUINE enthusiasm for what you are doing WITH the children.

By using the observations made of the children and listening to their thoughts it enables the teachers to plan and research the appropriate journey of discovery - which can go in any direction (which a teacher needs to be prepared for - and not disappointed if it doesn't go in the direction that you originally thought it would).

The teachers at BJS turned to technology to locate sounds of wind for the children to listen to - and as they listened they labled the wind types and were then given the opportunity to draw representations of wind. The teachers made a mobile of the names of the wind - to document the names in an attractive manner and also harnassing wind as part of the documentation display.
a great variety of wind names

While the children were drawing their representations of the wind they were also able to listen to the wind sounds.
I took notes of the children's drawings and this is how they drew the wind, and how they named the wind

Their representations of the wind were projected onto the wall and the children were able to share their ideas and to reflect upon them... having the image on the OH allowed the children to move their drawings which enable their peers to better understand the movment of the wind represented.

At the same time the children were working on their wind choir... learning how to compose music to create a thunderstorm. Each child created their own wind sound and they took it in turns to conduct the wind choir...
... the children needed to explain their hand signals - what meant stop, what meant start, what meant quiet and what meant loud etc... - as they took it in turns they expanded on the hands signals - learning and inspiring each other.

They then progressed to a stop-motion film animating their wind drawings together with their wind choir music -
- using the skills of the studio specialist and the technology specialist to expand the project.

another detail of the wind mobile

In this project the class teacher had the support of the music specialist, the technology specialist and the studio specialist. The idea of the specialist is to not only support teachers to provide richer experiences and stimulate their own thinking about projects from different angles, but also to enable the whole school to be an entity and not just a series of classrooms.

It shows that not only children benefit from collaboration, but as teachers we also benefit from collaborating with our colleagues to deepen our understanding of the children, their learning and alternative methods to support their interest. This allows for the 100 languages, as we approach a project from not with just one vision but many - allowing the project journey to follow its own path at the same time as experiencing many things on route...

other images connected with wind...

using fan to blow various threads on a frame

an upright wind-tunnel with a variety of objects to see how far they travel...
and finally a short film of a fan blowing ribbons - and it is to LISTEN and not jsut watch as wind makes a noise... at least the making of wind by this fan - and as it MOVES things...

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