Thursday, September 3, 2015

Group Block Building

Today we practiced a lot of skills at our group meeting time. 

We had a platform in the middle of the rug that the children were gathered around.

Each child waited for their name to be called (mostly in groups of 3 or 4) and they sneaked through our secret entrance into the block area to choose two blocks to add to a group structure. 

My goals were for children to practice patience, turn taking and to create something as a team.

As I watched and guided the activity I realized that there were so many more skills being practiced. 

We talked about what we thought the structure reminded us of.
 Most children agreed with each other that it was either a maze or a city.

Making space and taking turns through our secret entrance.

I learned a lot about a few personalities when I realized many children were choosing only certain blocks from certain shelves, while a few were more interested in finding something unique to add.

As the city continued to become more complex, children needed to be more aware of other blocks that were already in place. 

Several children knocked over blocks which started a chain reaction of other blocks. Some children took the time to set other people's blocks back where they were. Only a couple children almost became upset when they knocked a block over or when something they had placed was knocked over. Some interesting observations about their social emotional development.

Some children reached very carefully through blocks to try and retrieve those that had been knocked, while others were unaware and knocked several more over in the process. Lots of observations about spatial awareness.

We talked about when you work together as a team on something, than everybody has to decide together when is the right time to knock it all over. We took a vote and destruction hit the city along with laughter and giggles.

Clean up and sorting. The children all worked together to deliver and sort the blocks on to their proper shelves. They continued to manage squeezing through the secret entrance. Not only were we managing our bodies and focus in a small busy space, we were practicing to put things away where they belong. 

Blocks are one of the items in the classroom that can be frustrating and overwhelming for children to clean up, but suddenly it was fun.

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