On our first backwards day, we learned about persistence, teamwork, and engineering. Joslin, Leigh, Charlie, Will, Lou Lou and Jack were working with the animal figurines in the mulch. They were trying to get the animals to stand but they wouldn’t. Toni asked, “Could they stand in another area of the outside classroom?” Someone suggested, “The sand!” And it was off to the sand box. It began with positioning the animals in the sand, which did stand nicely, and a few children were interested in adding embellishments to the scenery of the animal story. They picked up branches and sticks that were scattered around the sandbox, and poked them into the sand around the animals. Then they positioned a tall branch so it was standing up; and the children were determined to get it to stand on its own. While Toniann held the branch in place, Josi persisted in trying to get it to stand up in the sand. Charlie joined her and tried to do the same. Josi tried different methods, finally making a mound of dirt around the base of the branch.
Josi: I’m trying to get it to work.
Charlie: Help, help. My stick is falling down!
Austin and Louise came over to help. Austin began using his foot to shovel sand onto the pile.
Austin: I use my foot because I don’t want to get my hands dirty.
Together, the group made the mound bigger until the branch stood up and was stable. But then it began to lean.
Josi: It kind of broke.
When it really started to fall, the group worked together to get it upright and piled more sand around the base. Will arrived with a shovel to help. Austin grabbed a bucket and used it to shovel sand. Together, they got the branch stable again.
Josi: We have been working so hard. More up!
Austin: We need more for make it straighter.
Josi: Let’s do another stick. Let’s do one of the big ones!
Austin: The bucket works great. It’s getting bigger!
They got it to stand! And then worked through the process again to get a second one to stand. What a beautiful work day in the outdoor classroom!
by Lisa & Rachael
Pieces of Tucker Room experiences.