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The Importance of Block Play March 31, 2012

Filed under: Learning Stories,Uncategorized — mrsmarshallkd @ 4:42 pm

I have been having a little fun with the Blog lately, I hope you don’t mind!  I guess March Break gave me just the inspiration I needed.  Sunday nights I will continue to give you the “heads up” on your child’s week, but these extras hopefully give you insight into your child’s days.

This entry is about the importance of Block Play, and how it fits into our Kindergarten curriculum. The quotes all come from the book The Block Book by Elisabeth Hirsch.  It is published by The NAEYC. The page numbers are in parenthesis after the quotes.

Science: “Invention and discovery are part of scientific thinking.  A successful scientist has a creative mind, and creates new forms through finding relationships among established ideas. In block building, the material is fluid, providing for infinite possibilities for a child to develop ideas and improvise or create at will (p. 32)

Math: A child’s artistry in- and feeling for- block building is closely related to the true mathematician’s view of mathematics as a creative art.  The aesthetic pleasure which an adult mathematician experiences when he contemplates shape and form and their properties is similar to the pleasure and joy the child experiences when he builds (p. 33).

Social Studies: The relationships with other people, children and adults, is the basis of social studies. In social studies, we deal with people and their relationships to each other through time and space (p. 68)

Dramatic Play: One of the most profound means available to children for constructing and reconstructing, formulating knowledge is through play…Play is the visible language of childhood wherein we see and hear the total functioning, revealing his or her concerns, conflicts, information and misinformation, ambivalences, wishes, hopes, pleasures, and questions. (p. 69)

 

 

My personal observations about block play in our class this year:  Some of us enjoy the structure and some of us enjoy the accessories.  By this I mean some of us enjoy building many structures, while some of us prefer the “add ons” the little things that add to the animation of the structure.  We all enjoy the block area, but some of us enjoy it more.  Some enjoy the building and some enjoy telling others what to build.  Some enjoy the process and some enjoy the end product.  It is creative and functional.  It is trial and error.  It is balance and gravity.  It just is the block area.

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Black and White in a Colour Filled World March 29, 2012

Filed under: Learning Stories,Uncategorized — mrsmarshallkd @ 12:03 am

It all started with a book.  We were noticing all of the colours around us.  Then someone thought, “What would it be like if we didn’t have any colour?”

 

-We couldn’t see anything.                                                                                                                                                                                                     -It would be just like the old movies.                                                                                                                                                                     -We would never want to play outside.                                                                                                                                                                 -The planet would be all white and black.                                                                                                                                                                -We couldn’t see the sun.                                                                                                                                                                                         -It would be like a haunted house.                                                                                                                                                                           -It would be like night time all of the time.

 

 

That thinking led us to our exploration with white and black.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What if the only colours we had were white and black?

-It’s weird, white didn’t work very well.                                                           -It was like we were in a black and white world.                                          -White wasn’t really good.                                                                                   -Black and white paint made grey.                                                                    -BORING! I missed the other colours!

 

 

     Some of us enjoyed working in black and white, but some of us still  missed colours:

Those in favour of Black and White liked them because they were, “my favouritist colours”, “I like the way the white lights are on my Christmas tree.”  “I like watching old movies”.

Those in favour of all of the colours liked them because,”All of the colours stand out and look bright”, “It’s nice to use more”, “I like all of the coloured lights on my Christmas tree”, and “Rainbows include leprechauns.”

 

What I loved about this exercise was the way it made us re-think some ideas.  How do you make a sky with only white and black?  What do you do when white doesn’t show up on paper (“When white won’t work, just use yellow!”)? Can you make a picture with only white and black?  It gave us an opportunity to see the world from a different perspective.

 

 

 

 

 

Blueprints March 27, 2012

Filed under: Learning Stories — mrsmarshallkd @ 9:26 pm

Here is a little taste of what we have been working on in our classroom, and what has led to our interest in building and design.  We are going to begin investigating the concepts behind these in the next few weeks.

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First, you need a straight edge to draw a horizon line.

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Then you need to draw a long rectangle on top of the line.

 

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Then you need some tall rectangles on the sides, and some small rectangles for the soldiers to hide behind.

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Some more balustrades.

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Every castle needs a few flags!

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Final touches.

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The gate into the castle.

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Once the blueprints are made, the building can begin.

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The more designs, the more castles.

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Each castle needs a knight, with a shield and sword, of course!

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More detail to the blueprint, more detail to the castle.

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Soon, our castles become vertical.