Welcome back Roots families! Have you ever heard the educators at Dot To Dot say “That is a new language the children are using”? I wanted to take a moment to clarify what we mean when we say that. Children use many languages to express what they are thinking or feeling. Our goal is to provide opportunities for them to express themselves in as many languages possibly. This allows us to see deeper meaning in their learning, and also gives everyone in the class a way to express themselves.
Children repeat experiences many times to process how things works and often that means they might explore some of the same ideas through multiple different languages. In order to help the Dots grow we pay close attention to the many languages they use in their day. This week’s blog we will be looking at
- The BOX (boxes are important)
- Block area
Clay is a language that helps to build fine motor skills, cognitive development, language skills, and social emotional development. They are squeezing, planning, building, and discussing ideas. It is open ended and a relaxing tool that helps to build self confidence. We have repeating patterns of building houses, animals, and noticing the different textures the clay takes.
Ms.Amy is working with the class in small groups to help build the basic skill set of working with clay. This will be a continuous project in the Roots class.
Boxes, boxes boxes! We love boxes! Cardboard boxes in the Roots have played an important role in leading to new explorations and a language they use in many different ways. At the beginning of the year they sat in them, enclosing themselves, leading us deeper into schemas. We watched and listened as they went on a journey of language processing, organizing their new environment, and layering the different facets of their life. With the addition of a corrugated cardboard box they are using tools, and group effort to see inside the material. It has grown into an inquiry of “how does this thing work?” Which is also happening outside on the slide and in loose parts everyday.
Finally, one of the many areas of the classroom that we have been observing the Roots work in is the building area. We have been watching and documenting how the Roots use the materials in this area: how they position the blocks, what loose parts they incorporate, how they build on each other’s ideas and what they say about their structures. You can see some of the photo documentation on the wall in the block area as well as in a basket on the shelf by the building area. One thing that surprised us is how some of the Roots are using the photo documentation itself as loose parts to incorporate into the structures that they build.
Recently we also saw two of the Roots taking time to observe and pretend to write about what someone is building, possibly taking some “documentation notes” of their own. We have also used our observations in this area to bring in new images to expand ideas and encourage new discussions. You may have seen the “Roots Inspiration book” in the classroom. When you look through the images they may seem random, from tunnels, bridges and trains to a variety of artwork by contemporary artists. But actually every image in the book was inspired by observations and/or discussions with the Roots. We are curious which of the images they will be drawn to and how these images will spark new creations and interesting discussions in the weeks to come.
Have a wonderful long weekend!