“We have to draw what we built.”

“We have to draw what we built.”


Dear Stems family and friends-

Hello and welcome to another week of adventures in the Stems room!

In this week’s blog, we will cover the following-

  • Color Exploration

  • Plan Drawing + Building + Drawing Plans

  • Word Writing + Book Making

  • Tinkering

As many of you know, we had the opportunity to host a professional development for Reggio Round Table of San Diego this past Saturday. In the Stems classroom, we shared the Stems interest of color exploration as well as how it evolved. We also shared the dots interest in making plans, plans that were created pre-and post-building.

Based on those two interests, we invited the educators to color mix to create new colors as well as name them. Another activity they were invited to do was to draw building plans for the Stems to build or build based off of the Stems drawing plans.

For a couple of assemblies this week, we shared what the educators who had visited had done with the plans- many of the Stems showed a lot of pride! They took great ownership of the plans they had made and were delighted to see that the educators had chosen to build based off of their ideas. One of the dots even suggested that if a photograph was taken of one of the Stems building plans next to one of the educators structures, that Stem should take the photograph home! We also shared the colors that the educators had mixed and created for the Stems! It was interesting to see that the colors that the educators created were brighter in comparison to the colors the Stems created as the Stems consisted mostly of tints of red, pink, and brown.

Color Exploration

Many of the Stems used the paint colors that the educators had created in their color explorations this week.


In conjunction with using the new colors that the educators had created, we’ve been observing the dots continuing to explore color via different methods.

This week in the sensory bin, we incorporated rock salt with orange and yellow dye as provocation.  On a couple of other days, some of the other materials incorporated with the dye and salt were spoons, cups, tweezers, and colorful glass gems. With these materials, we noticed a lot of different ways the Stems used the materials. Some of the dots transferred materials back and forth between containers, some used the tweezers to pick up gems or pieces of salt, and some incorporated the materials into their transformation play.

Another provocation this week was water colors and eye droppers on a transparent plastic sheet that covered/protected the light table. This provocation brought out a lot of interesting explorations and observations!

When the dots first got to the table and saw that there was simply water colors and eyedroppers set out, one of them stated- “What do we do?” That’s when he took an eyedropper filled with water color and squeezed it on the plastic. Charli saw this and began squeezing different colors in a pile- “It’s turning red! It’s turning dark green. Let’s make a color on this. Let’s make a color on this like that.”  Hank observed something that Dax had been doing and was interested, “How did you do that?!” Dax responded with, “I used all the colors and mixed them together.”  Meanwhile, Charli continued to mix colors together in a pile, “It’s turning black!” Hank replied with, “I’m getting to make my own.”

After mixing colors, they began squeezing colors up off of the light table and transferring them into a cup. After doing this for a couple of minutes, they noticed the transformation of colors and stated, “It’s turning black!”


Word Writing + Book Making

As mentioned a couple of blogs ago, the Stems have really been interested in creating books. As the dots have appeared to be interested in learning how to write specific words as well as connect different letters together to create homemade words since they have transitioned to the Stems class, they are incorporating the skill set of word writing with book making to make.. well, real-life books. 🙂

As family names are submitted, they are typed up and laminated. The dots have access to these lists of names during exploration. We have noticed that some of the ways that the dots interact with the names vary- some enjoy writing each name down in a list, some want to write a card or note for someone from their list, questions such as “Where is __’s name?” or “What name is this?” are asked, and some friends are noticing that there are similar names on various lists! 

Plan Drawing + Building + Drawing Plans

As mentioned in the introduction, the Stems took great ownership of the plans they had made and were delighted to see that the educators who had visited this past Saturday built from the plans they made. Here is an example of one of the creations-

When showing the dots the two above images and inquiring as to what they noticed, some of the comments mentioned were, “Dax’s is bigger.”  “That one is smaller (on left).”  “Dax used more blocks.” “Dax’s is taller.”

This week, we added new materials to the block area! Thank you to Sienna’s grandma for donating recycled ice-cream sticks! The dots have found multiple ways to incorporate these materials into their explorations and creations. We also added a variety of textured leather squares to the block area to support having different forms, sizes, and textures of materials for the dots to interact with. The type of paper we had in the block area was also different! We added graph paper for the dots to draw plans on if they were interested.

In regards to building plans… During small group one day, the Stems looked at building plans that their peers had created and went around looking at a variety of materials that they could utilize to build (the Unicorn Eyeballs inside and the Glubby Clubbies outdoors. The groups will switch locations next week.)


In the Tinker Tray this week, we again added a new material to the tinker tray- a thick type of plastic-like material. As mentioned previously, we’ve continued to observe some of the Stems cut/transform some of the materials in the tinker tray. For example, cutting rubber bands. The dots have used these cut rubber bands in a variety of ways- to connect different materials by wrapping it around them, to string/bead items, and to place the small pieces in the middle of the structure.

As the skill sets advance, the Stems have created more elaborate creations! These creations have then been used in storytelling and transformation play.


We have had a great week filled with storytelling, transformation, logical thinking, and lively explorations! We look forward to seeing skill sets continue to advance, hearing new ideas evolve, hearing hypotheses, as well as observe how continued/current interests deepen.

Please note: As we are a school that strongly believes in reduce, reuse, and recycle, we try to find various ways we can incorporate recycled materials into our daily explorations! If you have any loose materials that you would like to donate (i.e. loose buttons, milk caps, tin cans, wine corks, nuts/bolts, clothespins, rubber bands, craft paper, etc.) as you no longer use them, we would love to adopt them!

Have a wonderful and safe weekend!

Hugs- The Stems Educators