Aki laid out a long train of interconnected blocks with one facing upward at the front end. He sat at this block and explained without a question, “This is a limousine, Mr. Sam." I then asked what was special to Aki about his limousine. He replied, “It has to be long to hold a lot of people--there are no taxis that hold that many people.” Aki then proceeded to invite Sonia and Juliette onto his limo as “passengers”.
Just a few feet away, Louis had used other waffle blocks to create what he called a “Picture Maker”. He proceeded to demonstrate its use by climbing on top of the object and peering into a square hole. Dismounting and touching the lower section, Louie explained, “This part is for my pets." Sonia showed interest in Louis' creation as well, and Louis seemed eager to explain the details to her.
When his father entered the Garden, Louis expressed concern about abandoning his work. In response, I took a moment to show Louis the pictures and notes I had taken thus far. This prompted Louis to demonstrate yet another piece of the contraption, which he explained as "a fire for camping". Finally, Louis was ready to walk away, perhaps content with the idea that his work had been saved forever.
I find it informative and important for my practice to document moments like these. In my experience, honoring students’ work by photographing, observing, and reflecting upon it is the most powerful way of bridging the social-emotional and intellectual components of their work. In the instance of today’s waffle block building, I noticed Aki and Louis both responding to my documentation process in ways which either revealed or granted new meaning to their work: Aki immediately began putting his work into words, and Louis accepted the inevitable end of his work. In the coming months at Amazing Magic Beans, I would like to continue exploring and explaining the Eagles’ work with you all in this way. Please feel to free to extend their work in conversations with me!
Thank you for reading,