Pine Class News

March 20

Curriculum Transition

After the Lenape Museum, we are in a bit of a transition with our integrated curriculum and project time. In the final third of the year, we will be studying how Brooklyn is connected to the rest of New York State. We will start this study soon.

For now, exploration time is opened up again, to all topics and interests. This week children made potions and airplanes, some returned to sewing, and some used their exploration time to help us tidy and re-organize.

Unit Blocks and Woodworking

It is remarkable how our children ask questions through materials. The mess of tape covering the unit blocks in the first picture was a clear sign to us that the children are shifting their thinking about construction. When we probed a bit, Zohar responded, "We wanted to make rockets that you could actually move." How can we make rockets that actually move - was the question, and the answer was tape. This marks a developmental transition; throughout first grade and most of second grade, children did not show much interest in making mobile, or permanent constructions.

This is also an excellent example of how adult's curation of materials can open or close children's minds to questions and possibilities. Unfortunately, our woodworking table is not currently stocked with the materials children would need to make "rockets that you could actually move", so the children instead sought to solve their problem with the unit blocks and tape. Not the most appropriate materials, but still a way forward.

The picture on the far right shows the first attempt using materials at the woodworking bench. We have planned to get some more wood scraps to fuel construction at the wood working bench this week. If you have any wood working experience, please feel free to join us any morning between 8:45 - 10:30.

Last thought, the developments shown in the pictures above pose an interesting question for adults - Which of our rules inhibit children's learning? We might have had a rule stating, "No tape on unit blocks." Many classrooms problem do. Some teachers even say, "The blue tape is off limits to children." If we had said those things, then the children might have had an even more difficult time expressing their interest in this new type of construction.

Instead our rule that is applicable to the tape on unit blocks is "We take care of the commons." So, now we just need to locate a gallon of "Goo Gone" and support the children to remove the tape from unit blocks before the transition to their new projects at the wood working bench!

Please sign up for conferences

We are excited to review your child's growth with you and set some intentions for the last third of the year.

Lenape Museum make Up

For those of you who did not get to visit the Lenape museum, we will attempt to reconfigure it on Wednesday, April 6, between 6 and 7 pm.