Form and Function

Tuesday the 22nd of November marked our second session. We started a little later than expected because I hadn’t realised as the moderator on Collaborate I had to enable Rhona’s sound and microphone, but after all this is a learning experience for everyone!
Rhona began the session by showing us around her studio and filling us in on her steel sculpture for Maynooth University. The children were in awe of the sheer magnitude of the project, Rhona was able to show us images of her work in progress on the slideshow application.
Rhona displayed the children’s images from last week and had the children who were absent on that day create a name tag so she was able to screenshot them and add them to her class list in a bid to get to know the children and call them by name, developing that close working bond. The children loved seeing their photographs on the big screen.
I asked the class what they could recall from our session last week and every child was excited to discuss the new and improved invention they had designed. Rhona asked the children some questions, it is important to note that when the children are excited about their work and are discussing it, it’s a little difficult for Rhona to hear on her end due to the background noise. Once this was explained to the children they were more confident to go up to the camera themselves and speak to Rhona on a 1:1 basis.
Rhona showed the class some useful inventions which the children found hilarious. One child commented how easily some of them could be made, this was great as it made creating or inventing something a realistic option. This brought us on to a discussion of how our brains work when we are learning, the children had lots of ideas about this and drew and annotated them into their book.
Next, we discussed objects that were taken and made useless. Such as wellington boots with the soles cut out, umbrellas with holes etc. Each child then took three images from an Argos catalogue and had to make them completely useless. For e.g. one took a digital camera and decided that putting cement in the lens of the camera would render it useless. While the children were making useful objects useless I was questioning them on their materials and how they would go about destroying the objects. I was particularly pleased to see children voluntarily taking themselves up to the front of the classroom to discuss their work with Rhona, something they had previously been stand offish to do, without prompt.
Just before break Rhona had asked the children to bring back some waste, some kind of packaging however as a healthy eating school we didn’t gather a lot! I think we will spend more time on this next week as we are going to collect packaging throughout the week and talk about the form and shapes they take, creating a line drawing of the waste, before creating a short story about the rubbish or waste they found.

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