Making Our Thinking Visible
Based on our ongoing interest in the concept of home, we construct and reconstruct cardboard boxes to make our thinking visible. When we see a cardboard box, we see the opportunity of the box, like a blank canvas, that is just waiting to be transferred into something close to our imagination. Cardboard boxes inspire our creativity and imagination as we transform and reinvent them into something else.
When asked about the details of his home, Brooks explains while pointing to the gaps on the box, "The cars can fit inside here". Being presented with various objects and materials to use in unlimited ways provides us with endless opportunities to be creative and imaginative.
Sometimes we encounter challenges in working with the materials. At the same time the opportunity to work with challenges offers us to rethink, redesign, take them apart, move them around or put back together in countless ways. Tinkering takes time. It involves the process of iteration - when something doesn't work, we are encouraged to try another strategy or use different materials or tools.
Elie, being resourceful, resorts to tapes to connect the parts together to become her home. When we tinker. we are learning about the properties of materials and the capabilities of tools.
Learning how to manipulate tools, understand the properties of materials, and identify unique solutions to challenges are valuable experiences in early STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education.
During our everyday experiences in early years we can develop our skills to later use to solve design challenges. These skills include
In addition to the concept of homes for us, we too consider the many ways homes are being presented to others around us. For instance, the nest is a home for birds which Felix has worked on by constructing natural materials like grass, dry leaves, and feathers. We do ask ourselves whether "do all birds build nests?".
In Hudson's eyes, his relationship with the birds is built whenever he catches a glimpse of birds outdoors singing or flying, thinks of some food i.e. worms, berries, pinecones, for the birds to have as meals.
Hudson acknowledges how birds, just like us humans, also need a home. The home he creates is a reflection of things that he enjoys working with, perhaps this is his own way of sharing and showing kindness to the birds.
Transferring our understanding from three-dimensional projects onto two-dimensional representation develops our perceptive. By drawing we gain a deeper understanding of our work, our abilities to notice and depict substantial details.
This drawing process requires the cognitive transition from the perception of the three-dimensional objects to its two-dimensional drawings. An ability to solve problems is evidently captured through our constructions and drawings.
Our works continue outdoors which further involves relativity and estimation - e.g. size or required function of pieces to be included in a structure and apply concepts of spatial relation and configuration (e.g. near/far, up/down).
As we are digging during outdoor time, we find a worm. Our immediate thoughts and desire is to create a home for the worm to be comfortable in. Luna creates a home with leaves and dirt to ensure the worm will remain comfortable. Hudson is filled with joy and excitement. He understands the importance of giving the worm space and treating the worm with kindness.
Yoyo poses this important question to us to think about, "What happens if there is no earthworms?". We discuss about the roles of earthworms in fertilizing our soil ground. This interest may bring us to another possibility of composting with our very own worm compost bin.
We dedicate our interest to learn how to make some handmade bunny soaps. We add pastel food coloring as well as various scents such as lavender, citrus, or mint essential oils to be part of our soaps. This is a great addition to our Easter bag!
Having chocolate Easter nests by melting chocolate and adding shredded wheat prior to placing Easter mini chocolate eggs on top of it. They're gone within seconds with our chocolatey smiles around our faces.
Another skill we've learned as part of decorating our Easter eggs is handling a hot glue gun in a safe way. This ability requires focus and of course, an adult's supervision throughout, to ensure our confidence level increases with safety.
In between our inquiry projects we spend some time to wiggle and jiggle. Sometimes we learn stretches and moves which keep us giggling too!
As much as we believe in collecting and extending our thoughts, we would like to invite a home project to draw individuals' home on an A4 size paper and bring along on Monday, April 10, to further share. Some ideas to ponder upon
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