Monday, March 2, 2015

Building Strategies Learning Group Summary Weeks 1-7

In the first semester, the children demonstrated interest in building.  They built with materials of all sizes and shapes, including wooden blocks, mirror blocks, cubes, Legos, Magnatiles and natural materials.   We were glad to see the children had discovered the many building materials in our classroom. We could tell they were intrigued by the materials, so we thought that we would like to focus on the process of building with the children for the second semester.
We began by just offering a simple exploration of wood blocks.  We placed a selection of different size wood blocks at a table in the art area.  We decided to move the blocks from the floor in the block area to a table because the space is so large and there are so many other materials around that could distract the children from the blocks.

We noticed the children began their explorations with stacking the blocks.  The blocks were of various sizes and shapes.  We heard words like “tower,” “tall,” “fell down” and “triangle.”  The children became enthusiastic when they could knock down the structures they had built. We heard a lot of children exclaim, “Uh Oh!”

Next, we thought we would give the children inspiration for their stacking by providing them with pictures of famous structures from around the world.  They looked at black and white photographs of the Eiffel Tower, Empire State Building, Renaissance Center, Sears Tower and the Great Wall of China.  The children were intrigued by the photographs and we encouraged them to build what they saw in the photographs.