The children have created a game together, which they are playing in many different settings. The game usually involves the phrase, “ready, set, go!,” some sort of simultaneous movement such as running, then gathering back together, waiting, looking back and forth at each other, and naturally taking turns being the one to shout joyously, “ready, set, go!” We are observing so much joy and excitement in the children around this discovery of cooperative, collaborative play.
The kids are interested in our homemade geoboard, and Lincoln has the idea that it could be a city. They all take turns adding different rubber bands, making shapes and strings of “lights”.
The city becomes a space ship, and Cal realizes the rubberbands can be ‘sound makers’
In this experience we worked with chalk and water on black paper. Some chose to pour the water over the paper, others spread it over the chalk using paintbrushes to smear and blur the lines.
Some pictures from an ongoing exploration of geography.
We observed children exploring various strategies for creative expression–using one finger, multiple fingers, one hand, two hands, experimenting with small movements and large movements, straight lines, and wiggly lines, circles and spirals.
Amelia and Eddie want to run meeting, but so does Kai. How do we decide who gets to run meeting? We discuss the issue for a few minutes. Various proposals are brought up. The person who helped us negotiate the proposal was Jia, a 5 year old. She was able to see that since Amelia and Kai couldn’t make a decision that someone else should sit in their place until we come up with a system that works for everyone. Amelia and Kai were willing to be flexible and move on so the meeting could take place. Eventually, we agree on the proposal: “Neither Kai nor Amelia will run meeting today and we will put running meeting on the issues list.”
“How do you get them to stay together?” “You have to use tape. See, like this. ”
At our daily meeting, we ask each child if they have an idea for a plan to do that day. This is the foundation of our Emergent Curriculum. Today, a student said she wanted to make binoculars and many other students showed interest as well.
“Look! I can see!”
A conflicted erupted around Legos. After their initial reactions, Jamie and Sean realized they were interested building similar things, and Sean suggested “What if we work together?”. This strategy worked really well, and after a time Jamie told Sean, “You’re my best friend.”
A short while later, another student, Ken, began playing with some blocks that Jamie had been using but left unattended for a time. James, now holding a truck, wanted them back but Ken said “No.” Jamie suggested, “You can load your pieces onto my truck. We can work together.” This transformed the situation and the kids played successfully together.
It is amazing to watch kids of different ages learn from each other, and figure out strategies of collaboration to get what they really want: connection.