"One can never consent to creep when one feels the impulse to soar." ---Helen Keller

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Building Structures Part 2

Here is the next installment to Building Structures.

By just allowing the primary students to have that time to build, experiment, and then share is great engineering. The way the teacher used the science and math vocabulary to reinforce their knowledge was worthy of noting. However, the story continued with the scientific inquiry natually unfolding.

The teacher noticed that the students were preoccupied with only building straight up. She put their focus into a question. "How tall can we build?"

She took their drawings and photographs she had taken of their structures during center time, and asked for predictions. Their responses included numbers or height in relation to something (as tall as the door). She recorded all of their ideas. They worked in groups at the center to build each day. At the end of their build time, she helped them measure their towers. They recorded the number of blocks and then compared heights.

In one of their sharing sessions, the students were able to see that the tallest towers had more blocks. In another session, they discussed which type of blocks (cardboard vs unit blocks) made the tallest towers.

By encouraging the students to talk about their findings and use evidence from their work to support it, the kindergarteners were addressing many scientific skills. They had many aspects such as collecting and recording data modeled for them. Sounds like a great idea!!!

When the interest finally waned, they held an open house to share all of their findings. I would think parents would have quite impressed.

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