I was an observer for this week’s lesson. Caley had a project prepared that involved clay tiles. I haven’t read her lesson plan, but I believe the idea was to have the students create a 1’x1’ tile composed of fragmented clay pieces. Then later, all the students’ tiles would be put together to form an outdoor installation.
A couple things I observed: first, the students didn’t confine their tangram designs to a square shape, so when it came time to transfer their design to the idea of a square clay slab, I think a few students struggled with this concept and how to translate. (Why can’t it look like a kitty? What do you mean by negative space all around?)
Third, after everyone started to understand the fundamentals, the class was almost out of time. However, by the end, almost all the students had at least rolled out a slab and begun to cut pieces.
One student didn’t begin working with clay because her design was taking too much time, and another student became very frustrated with the conceptualizing and misunderstanding I spoke of earlier and began to cry. This student gave up on her project and was distraught enough to go home.
I feel like Caley had constructed a thoughtful lesson and had prepared the work space very well. I feel that one key thing might’ve helped with a lot of the difficulty experienced by these students: a demonstration with a pre-rolled slab of using templates, tracing, cutting, and reassembling their clay design on their board.