Published : Friday, April 6, 2018 | 2:27 PM
To say that students in Jennifer Rogers’ class have taken to a new classroom activity called Kinder Creator would be an understatement. Armed with hammers and nails, a slew of two-by-fours, and seemingly endless bins of art supplies, these kindergartners insist on their weekly time to tinker, Rogers shares with delight. Students are greeted with a slide projected on the whiteboard asking, “What will you create today?” After donning colorful Kinder Creator aprons, they get to work with reckless abandon!
Gathering leftover wood and other supplies from various sources, Rogers introduced the unit in the fall as a way to provide a creative outlet for her students. What she didn’t anticipate was just how much the students would value this time to explore various tools, experiment with a variety of supplies, and find new uses for everyday materials.
For example, they discovered that if they rub a square of felt, what results is a colorful “fluff” that they can use for a doll’s hair. Strips of paper, rolls of colorful masking tape, and oodles of paint, rubber bands, straws, and so much more are turned into game boards, 3-D art pieces, and accessories such as glasses.
One student even created a doll-sized motorhome, complete with furnishings. And it can be loud! The classroom often resembles Santa’s workshop, so students sometimes wear headphones to drown out the fervent hammering. Other than the noise emanating from their tools, there is not typically much talking as students remain laser-focused on their projects. “For an entire hour, they are quiet as they work diligently on their creations,” Rogers muses. “They absolutely LOVE it… it’s one of their favorite parts of our schedule.”
Rogers and kindergarten assistant teacher Raleigh Young assist students when they have questions, but otherwise they just let them go! Rogers plans to continue the Kinder Creator program, which currently uses leftovers from the Upper School Wood Design class. She hopes to partner with other resources on campus to bring in additional materials.
Polytechnic School, 1030 E. California Blvd., Pasadena, (626) 396-6300 or visit www.polytechnic.org.