The construction area of the Brown Room is a rather popular place to be. There have been times where we have 8-9 children at a time working together to create a structure or design out of the materials there. This area of our classroom has a rich variety of materials - blocks, hollow blocks, paper, cardboard, corrugated cardboard, metal, rubber, concrete, fabric, jute, wood, fur, bells, carpet, plastic, etc. In fact, there is so much work happening here, that we had to make more space in the classroom for it (you may have noticed that the nugget has been removed. Additionally, the work in this area is not limited to the materials there, in that space - the entire room is intended to flow together. e.g. If the children need to draw something, they are welcome to find those materials and move around.
One element/tool/language that had not been incorporated in this area of the classroom was light. As you will have seen in the blog from mid-December, we introduced the light table, spotlights, and rope light. We have also used a projector to project images such as the school, blue door, and bell tower. This week though, we introduced the overhead projector in the construction area.
Their first reactions were mostly about the shadows that the light created. They danced, collected materials to build with, and even had the skeleton move infant of the shadow screen!
“It’s a shadow.” - Gracie, 3.2 years
“This is a shadow monster.” - Pierce, 3.4 years
As they worked, they began to notice that the shadows could be created both in front of the screen and by adding materials to the overhead glass. This is a complex connection, and a unique perspective that the overhead presents. For example, when you move a material to the right on top of the overhead, it moves to the left on the screen. There is quite a bit of cognitive conflict as they attempt to create specific designs and shadows for their structures and play.
Color added an element of excitement and creativity when they discovered that the pink vinyl was transparent.
The children used a variety of materials to create their structures and set ups. Each day that they work in the space, they begin to incorporate new and different materials and/or the materials take on a new life to represent new things.