Thursday, May 15, 2014

Balance While Building

           Last term the children were exploring motion and movement. While reviewing our documentation from the last term, we decided that our big idea this term would be balance. I have noticed that the children are very interested in ledges throughout our classroom and balancing various toys on those ledges. I was curious as to the different strategies the children would use while building on a thinner platform, similar to a ledge. How would they keep their materials from falling? Is the height of their structure dependent on the type of building platform? How will they choose to build?
        I introduced this idea of building on a thinner platform by tapping a thin board to two large blocks to create a low building platform. Connor and Jad sat on either side of the platform and took turns adding a block to the structure that they were building. They would add blocks until it fell over. They would then build it again. Will chose to place a one block on the platform at a time and lined them up so that they were about two inches apart. I’m curious as to why he chose to build this way? Was it because the platform was long? Would he build differently if it was a square platform instead of a rectangular one? When Nathan saw the platform, he chose to use the cars and people on it instead of the blocks. He moved them both on the board like it was a road or sidewalk. Again, I’m curious if it was because of the size and shape of the board.

            I would like to use a yard stick next and have that taped to the blocks as a building platform. I’m curious if having the platform thinner will determine how the children will choose to build. I also wonder if it will make balancing the blocks on the platform more challenging.