A Spontaneous Collaboration
I had recently been asked by JonArno Lawson, the children's book author, to contribute some classroom activities to compliment his book Sidewalk Flowers. Sidewalk Flowers is one of my favourite children's books as the story so genuinely reflects how children engage with the outdoor environment. The child notices flowers growing in-between the cracks in the sidewalks and begins collecting a bouquet of wildflowers as he walks along with his father. The book is wordless and so the story is brought to life with minimal pops of colour through the beautiful illustrations of Sydney Smith.
It was my aim to contribute a very broad and open ended activity and, to that end, I thought dried, pressed flowers would be a great way of preserving the flowers as loose parts future exploration, play, and child-directed learning. I shared the post on my Facebook Group, The Conscious Classroom and a discussion ensued. Here is what unfolded...
Sidewalk Flowers Resource List:
Classroom Activities for Sidewalk Flowers:
How to Dry and Press Flowers as Loose Parts:
Cultural Customs Around Flowers:
Flowers as Seen Under a Microscope:
Sidewalk Flowers & Invasive Species:
Light Tables, Wall Screens, & Alternative Projection Surfaces:
Paola Lopez also shared this post. Thank you for your collaborative input. Please go to Hanywithscissors page on Facebook to view. The link can be found here below.
"I am not standing alone. All of my relations are here with me and guiding me."
Willie Ermine, Cree Philosopher/Educator/Researcher
A Preamble to Journal (ism) ~Diana Fedora Tucci
I would like to welcome you to this new space, which will house all of my future blog posts.
Many of you have asked what my blog address is and I've always felt that it was somehow a disconnected part of this site so, I am happy to report that it has finally found it's new home here. A few years ago, I launched my first video blog channel on Youtube where I experimented with different formats and avenues around how 'broadcast journal-ism' could be utilized for sharing information and connecting with a community of people. I would like this newly created space to reflect the philosophy of learning that I follow in my own practice and that is one of fostering a culture of many drafts and retakes and, as always, I welcome your respectful input and feedback. The format of this new space will explore many avenues of expression and engagement including video and writing and follow a very broad framework of high ceilings, low floors and wide walls so that the expression of what is being conveyed is relative to the mode of delivery.
I also wanted to include here a bit about the idea of the Slow Movement through which my philosophy of life is aligned. The concept of slow journaling is something I have been following for years around the wonderful work of Shari Tishman and her team at Project Zero and the Out of Eden Learn project. Slow journaling is practiced by audiences because it invites them to linger in a story or a scene and inhabit it for a while. It meets in the moments of the unexpected and gets into the nuances and granularity of a story that all unfolds in its own "proper time".
This idea of the spirit of the journal harkens me back to my Forest School training when Jon Cree, the then Chair of the Forest School Association in the UK was speaking to our group about just that, the spirit of journalling and how it aligned with Forest School ethos. He took notice of the line-less pages of my art journal on which I was note-taking and spoke about how the use of blank pages opened a window for multiple entry points into how Forest School ethos was metaphorically viewed (on paper). Instead of being restricted to just writing in-between the lines, my reflective vantage point came into play through the meaning making that was made visible to me from my own drawings, sketching, scribblings, flows, diagrams, arrows, artifacts, labels, and my everywhere writing. I think my art background had something to do with this insight as I use art as a thinking strategy for sense making around complex issues. In fact, it's heartening to now look back at my Forest School journal and witness these multifarious ways of expression which broadened my sense of knowing. In retrospect, I can clearly recall many moments of my training through the shapes of the marks on my journal pages.
So what does it mean to meet in a space of difference? With all the planning, preparing, and expectations we wait for what is unknown.
"To meet in spaces of difference requires hospitality and openness to the other. We think about an encounter as a moment of meeting, where things and forces and human and nonhuman beings come together in spaces of difference. In this meeting we decide how to respond-whether to follow, join with, intervene, provoke, perhaps work against. Something is set in motion in the encounter. An encounter emphasizes the collective and the relational, not the individual experience." (Pacini-ketchabaw, Kind, Kocher, 2017, p. 34)
So it is with hospitality and openness that I invite you to participate in these encounters as moments of meeting within this space and I extend an invitation to you to invite me into your space for collaboration be it near or far.
Slow Looking: The Art and Practice of Learning Through Observation
Encounters With Materials in Early Childhood Education
Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences