Construction + Building = Cooperative Play and Problem Solving
A new building material was introduced today much to everyone’s delight: translucent color blocks. Exploring how the new blocks clicked together provided lots of opportunities for cooperative play and creative problem solving. The dialogue and photographs speak for themselves:
Rawls: It’s getting taller and taller. It’s a hotel where I live. It keeps falling.
Ellie handed Rawls a brick: Here Rawls.
Rawls: It can go in my building. Look, it’s a hotel. It's getting taller and taller.
Ford: I’m making a hotel, too. But a tiny one.
Charlton: And I’m making Darth Vader’s ship.
Ramsey to Charlton: Could I build with you?
Charlton: Sure. Darth Vader flies here.
Ford to Charlton: Maybe these could go somewhere.
Charlton: Maybe right here. We also need these.
Seon and Emma both enjoyed creating intricate designs on the brick. Emma chose to create a multi-colored design and showed it off to her friends saying, "I did it!" Meanwhile, Seon showed a preference for yellow bricks for her design.
Ellie carried on her work with Magna-tiles begun yesterday with Emma. Today, she invited Ramsey to help. Ramsay added "window blocks" to the creation.
Ellie: Need help building house for Aunties. Need help.
Karen: I wonder who could help you.
Ellie held the magna-tiles up to the light: Wonder. Rainbow colors. Help me Ramsey.
Later the morning, some of the children moved onto building with the train tracks. Ramsey began the work. Soon after, he was joined by several friends who were curious about what he was working on so intently.
Ramsey: I’m building a long train track. I build this track here and this track here and this track here. This track not staying in, Karen.
Karen: I wonder how you could fix that.
Ramsey: Maybe I can get this track (Ramsey picked up another piece of track and switched it out for the one that would not stay). Now it staying in! (Ramsey looked thoughtfully at the box of track pieces for a bit of time). I can build another track.
Charlton approached Ramsey: What are you building?
Ramsey: I’m making a big train track.
Charlton examined Ramsey’s train track: It’s not connected.
Ramsey: It’s going to be okay.
Charlton: Ramsey, if you use this we can put on the police car. Vroom and it goes over the bridge.
Ramsey: And the train is going backwards. I build trains with my momma.
Rawls joined Ramsey and Charlton in the construction area and suggested: You need a big, dark tunnel.
Charlton handed Rawls an arch-shaped block: You can build a new one if you want. You can use this one, Rawls.
Ford entered the block area and began looking at what his friends were creating.
Ford: I’m looking at Charlton.
Karen: Would you like to play with him?
Ford: No, I just watching him.
Charlton: Ford maybe could play with trains. Where’s the red train?
Rawls handed the red train to Charlton: There it is. You can have it.
Ford: Can I have it, Rawls?
Rawls: I was having it first.
Ford: I have it when you done?
Rawls: Here you go.
The spirit of cooperation, teamwork and problem-solving carried on as we cleaned up the classroom to prepare for snack.
Charlton: I need help.
Karen: That basket looks heavy. Could you ask a friend?
Charlton looked around and saw Seon nearby, “Seon, you help me?”