Sunday, November 11, 2012

Creativity and Cove Molding

I know I am several posts behind on our Pasta study and how that is progressing, but I wanted to share with you the creativity, problem solving and scientific inquiry that has been happening in our block area.

We placed some cut up pieces of cove molding in the block area along with some large and small marbles and a few small boxes with holes cut into them.

We lay them out in a welcoming provocation and see how the children will explore them....

 They found ways to roll the marbles from one box to the other using the molding.

They found how to angle the molding to allow the marbles to roll to the floor.

They connected the molding and made long pathways that spanned the carpet and usually went under our tables.  This caused some of them to invent ways to stop the marbles using boxes and other blocks off the shelves.  

They experimented using other surfaces in the center for their ramp ideas.

They "measured" using the marbles and created ways to contain ALL of the marbles.  One is never, never enough.

 Problems had to be figured out and solved.  The boy pictured above couldn't get his marble to roll from one box to the next.  The bottom of the box was pushing up on the molding so the molding touched the edge of the hole blocking the marble.  After inspecting the situation for awhile, he flattened the box and lifted the molding to the next hole.  Out rolled the marble!!  I was sitting right near him and could easily have lifted the box to free the marble.  Instead, I said, "what do you think the problem is?"  "why isn't your marble coming out?"  "what can you do to solve your problem?" And then I waited.  I supported him by being near him, but I did not give him suggestions.   When he figured it out he was quite proud of himself and empowered despite his recent frustration. I also made sure not to finish with a "good job" for him, but rather, "wow, you looked at it and then you solved your problem!"  He already felt good because of what he figured out.  He didn't need me to tell him he did a good job, but I wanted to make sure he realized that he was the one who solved that problem and remember how giving it a try...worked.

Children worked together trying each other's ideas and offering suggestions.  

They also explored the properties of physics balancing the marbles using various techniques.

It was a very engaging center allowing for a great deal of creativity and many possibilities.  
Cove molding can be found at your local hardware store.  Our sections are two different lengths.
I usually hunt for my marbles at dollar stores.  

This week we are continuing with this discovery process by adding PVC pipes cut in half, paper towel rolls, flexible tubing cut in half and pool noodles of various lengths also cut in half.  We also added masking tape and have only the large marbles out.  Time for some problem solving and inventing!!

Have any other suggestions for our block center that would extend this play?  Please leave a comment and share your ideas.  

No comments:

Post a Comment