Last week the thing all teachers love happened in our class. Playing led to a discovery and everything that happened after was guided by the students curiosity, but it involved SO much learning! It all started with these K'nex that are on a shelf in our classroom:
One morning during free play the peas discovered that they could build "spinners" with the K'nex.
As four and five year olds do, they became very enthusiastic and curious about how to build more, more, MORE spinners!
"How fast can they spin?" They wanted to know.
"Wait, is there anything else in our class that we could spin?!?"
Yes! They quickly put their heads together and realized that snap cubes also spin!
"Wait!" they said. "We have an idea!" We got an ipad out and used a stopwatch timer to time the spinners.
They would say, "1,2,3, SPIN!"
They said, "Let's look up things that spin!" I said, "That's called research." :)
While Ms. Angela and I oversaw the spinning taking place all over the room, the peas started doing something on their own. They had gone to the art table and were drawing their spinners. "That's called making a design!" Ms. Angela and I told them.
I got this book and read it to them.
After reading the story we decided they needed a challenge. The peas came up with the questions themselves.
Then we put the ipad, the K'nex and snap cubes at a center and let them go crazy.
They continued to draw their designs.
And time their spinners.
And create new fabulous designs.
They told us, "Take a picture!" a million times, so we took a picture of each pea's spinner. "Wait! We have another idea!" they told us. "Let's make a SPINNER BOOK!" So we did.
And then they came up with my favorite part of the spinner extravaganza. They decided they wanted pictures of the spinners actually spinning. I took the first one and they were thrilled with how the blurred pictures came out, so all future spinners were photographed while spinning.
We rounded off the spinning project by listing things that spin. These little minds are always working! Angela and I were amazed by how many things they came up with!
And, so far, this is not the end of spinning. We may still be spinning crazy in Pre-K 1. But we sure are learning. :)