We believe in repetition. Not only because the articles and the books support it. Not only because we see what repetition does with our children. But because we know it works!
Over the course of the last two weeks the children continue to create a Happy Joe’s store. Each day one more item is added, a child who has not been a part of it joins, or a child uses a vocabulary word they hadn’t before. On Thursday, the children sat down at the front table to greet Mahi and share with her their evening events. Two of the children had been to Happy Joe’s the night before and had lots to share! One of the children, a veteran to project work, went to her cubby and came back to show us her treasures. “I asked the waitress a question about the restaurant and then we asked for all this stuff so we can learn more about it!” She shares with Mahi. The children discussed the items and the trip to Happy Joe’s. After discussions, one child decided that we had to re-create the store. The children, without any help from any adults, moved four small tables to create a restaurant setting in family living. Several three-year old children brought over the Happy Joe’s menus to the table. The nine children in the room at that point were all involved.
As the children sat down to begin to serve pizza. Two of the boys noticed something, “We can’t start this store! We need an oven like that book.” One of the boys runs over and brings the book called Pizza Man. He brings it over to his friends and flips to the picture of the ovens. “We have to make these to cook the pizza’s!” He calls over two other children and then begin to look at the picture. “We need a rectangle block because this oven is a rectangle.” Another boy agrees but says, “Not the small one. This one.” He picks up a long hollow rectangular block. The other boy tells friends, “You need a place where a big and a small pizza will fit.” Together, they decide to use rectangular unit blocks to create an oven. They then use model magic to create pizza’s and fill the oven with pizza’s for their friends. After the pizza’s are cooked, they return to the tables.
As the play starts up again in the family living area, the children use a waitress pad to begin to take orders. The children ask their customers what pizza they would like and then want to write those words down. A child rushes to the word wall and notices that we are missing several pizza names. She asks Mahi to get sentence strips and she dictates all of the words to be added. Mahi writes these words out and the children add them to the word wall using tape. This play scenario lasted 45 minutes with all nine children.