The day finally came for us to build our gong. We had had to postpone it twice already due to various issues. It was a cold and cloudy day, but NOT raining or snowing!! This was important as this stand is really big and had to be built outside.
My husband came and set up all of the materials and tools before the children arrived. As my class starts our day on the playground, we were able to get started as soon as children started arriving.
The children had sent home their design and measurements to my husband and he had drawn some notes on their plan, so they could see that it was truly being used. We hung it up to be used as our blueprint. He had also pre cut a few of the more difficult angled pieces.
The children helped him with the entire process.
They measured and drew the lines of where to cut the wood.
They carried it to the circular saw.
They helped to drill the holes and put in the screws/bolts.
We used some of our budding skills, such as sorting to organize our materials. Then they had to hand him the correct size; small, medium or large depending on what they were attaching.
They learned about sanding the pieces and new vocabulary such as ratchet and chuck key as they learned to change the drill attachments.
For the most part the process went very smoothly. Unfortunately the wood was damp and the weather wasn’t helping. It was also very strong wood, so the drill bits were not working well and the ratchet wrench was really hard to use. So we had to be flexible. We went inside and had snack and talked about our progress so far, while my husband ran to the hardware store and bought some new bits, etc. I also, by a lark, found a ratchet attachment for the drill in the array of tools the school owns which was terrific. During our inside playtime, children took turns going out in smaller groups to finish the stand. By the time our day was over, we had a working gong stand! Of course we all lined up to give it a try. It sounded amazing.
I will give a nice shout out to my husband here who did come back on the weekend, disassemble the gong stand and rebuild it actually getting everything really tight and positioning it in our music area on the playground-on his birthday no less!
Also, before we started building, we wrote a letter to the teacher who had been given the gong. The current fours class was her last class as three year olds last year. They told her what we were doing in the letter and invited her to come back and see it when it is finished. She wrote back to them expressing her excitement. She is coming this Wednesday to our final project share along with the parents of the students.