Small World Reflections
“Is there something we can do that connects with the child? Is there something the child likes to do that would allow us to reciprocate with the child? Is there something that the child would like to do with other children?
….Just to find a door into that relationship…once you are in that room, once you’re in through another window, you can open the door from the inside.”
Dr. Junlie Li
Harvard Graduate School of Education
Reading this quotation made us think of small world. It is clearly "something the child likes to do that would allow us to reciprocate with the child." Spending time with the children as they develop their environments and scenarios gives us a "door into that relationship." Teachers support the children's ideas by adding materials and by encouraging them to create new materials for themselves.
We also find opportunities to address cooperation, collaboration, and problem solving. How do they share and distribute materials? This week, one child asked another child for something that child was using. The child said ,"no." This allowed to discuss appropriate responses to being disappointed or having to wait for treasured items.
We also challenge their thinking by introducing new materials to small world. This week the Pikachus and the "bubble gums" (small colorful manipulative that snap together) were not available, so the children had to switch gears from their usual way of constructing their small world. The Tucker room children have been working on ways to connect the different rooms for their dream house, so in KW we asked them if they could find new ways to connect their buildings and rooms. It was challenging to build a structure with very small blocks that "don't stick together" (Luke) to create shelters and houses. Seon built a house with four rooms, (a playroom, a bedroom, a living room, and a kitchen) that were connected. Hugh and Finlay made a house together that had different rooms. Michael made a house for his dinosaur. Luke built an outdoor park for his panda. Cape made a lion enclosure out of bamboo sticks. The children met the challenge by cooperating together on how to built a structure that will stand and be functional. They helped each others figure out how to stack those tiny blocks.
Adding our Materials Work
Sewing is always one of children's favorite activity. We have been interested in making blankets and accessories to add to our small world materials.
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