Session Six: Rhythms & Patterns

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Following Joanna’s approach to the teaching of phonics I want to look how and if visual language can be explored in a similar way to sound. The process of this exploration will enable me to better understand how the children learn, think and process things. Repeat patterns and rhythms supports how children learn. How can I use this in visual terms? How close is the connection of audio repetition to visual repetition? As children’s inner ability to choose colour is often refreshingly simple but visually strong I had chosen to look at patterns using colour and letters. We have been recording many of the sounds the children have been demonstrating for me and each week I play back their sounds to them.

I arrived with a selection of coloured rectangles all equal in size. I asked each child to pick two colours and to make sure that one of the colours was the same as the child on their left to ensure a more gradual change in the rhythm of the pattern. The logistics on the day proved I should have done a little more of the drafting of calculations before hand as my approach demanded a lot of patience from the children. We potentially could have had chaos and this is where I noticed the change in the children since I had started working with them. They are better able to understand instructions and wait for their turn.

The children drew on the small rectangles and again their drawings depicted their families. Joanna has mentioned that even their preferred play themes revolve around the home and family. In last weeks session I realized how important Joanna’s presence is to the children. Though engrossed in their work Joanna stepped outside the door for 5 minutes whilst another teacher stepped in. The children noticed immediately and some seemed a little anxious until she returned. It is moments like these that I am reminded at how young the children are and how recent the transition to the school environment is for them.

Once the repeat coloured pattern was complete I asked the children to create similar patterns with their names. Some of the children grasped this concept more easily than others. As the session drew to a close sunlight flooded the room and saturated it with colour from our under the table pieces. The children asked to be able to take this colourful light into their classroom.

Some of the sessions offer potential ideas for art works in themselves but many are an exploration of an idea or something I’d like to learn more about.Throughout this session we took many photographs with a child’s camera I had borrowed from my son with many unusual settings for us to experiment with. Working with the children is almost like being on the pages of my sketch books figuring out where an idea or piece is going to go. It’s wonderfully exciting. Tá sceitimini orm!

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