At our center, each of our staff members has a goal or two which they study over the course of a year. We also have a program goal that all of our staff studies and a team goal that is studied by the lead teacher and the assistant teacher. Kara (my assistant) and I have been studying ramps over the course of the last year. We read the book, Ramps and Pathways: A Constructivist Approach to Physics with Young Children (click the link for more information or to order!). We have decided that after reading the text that we would use the ten principles of teaching indicated in the book. Over the next ten months, we plan to use each of the ten principles and prepare lesson plans to support these principles. We plan to follow the children’s lead but our lesson plan will offer us ideas to help support the children and ways to bring all children in to the block area to learn more about ramps and physics.
The children began to experiment with the items. Kara and I decided that maybe the text would help facilitate some ideas. So, we brought the book in and offered it to the children. This book sky-rocketed an extreme excitement for building structures in the block center. This past week was our first week of investigations where we let the children explore the given materials. The children will be given the opportunity to explore the items over the course of this month.
Pictures include the children creating a structure (found in the book) to hold their ramp work. The children spent an hour and a half creating the structure, sketching their work before clean-up so that we could recreate in the afternoon, and discussing what would make the tower work better next time.