Among the many happenings in the classroom, the construction area has been a real highlight these past few days. The children worked together to build two neighboring structures, a house for Ribbit (our friendly classroom frog) and another structure that is debatably a house, apartment building, or castle (depends on who you ask!). A few concepts arose based on their conversations and play...
Neighbors: The children talked about how the two structures are neighbors because they are built one next to the other. During our Morning Meeting discussion, Hugh proposed that we try to connect the two structures and so a road was built to connect the two buildings.
Meausurement: Height- The children discussed making the structure as tall as St. John’s. They brought over stools and stood on the large hollow blocks in order to stack the blocks higher and higher. Comparison- Curiosity arose whether the structure was taller than Melanie and they considered how tall they had to build the structure in order to be taller than her.
Stability and Balance: As blocks were stacked on blocks, concentration and attention was paid to successfully build a stable structure with materials that are different weights and shapes.
Cooperative and Collaborative Play: The children worked together to bring their individual visions to fruition. It is quite amazing to observe how the children seem to have this underlying sense of agreement and understanding for how things should happen and who should do what. There is no single visionary, the children each contribute their own ideas to the building of the structure and they discuss and work together to compromise and make decisions.
Participation: We created a system for everyone to participate in the community clean up by assigning jobs for stackers, passers, and shelves. The stackers stack the blocks for the passers to hand off to the shelvers who place the blocks on the shelves. The system was effective and included all the children while giving them each a sense of purpose and accomplishment when the task was completed!