Why is this my classroom picture of the year? The reason is that this picture represents so many layers of thought and concentration by this child. He has failed to balance his structure once, but tries a second time to see if it will stand. The picture captures the moment he cautiously lets go to see if it will stand this second time. You can see his whole body is poised in expectation. He is also gauging the structure's stability moment by moment as he lets go. The amount of concentration is immediate, fluid and total.
Why did the child take these mundane loose parts---a plastic coffee container, a cardboard tube, a plastic measuring cup---and decide to build a structure? Whatever the reason, it was quite generative. Over the course of four weeks this child continued to build using a small variety of loose parts in multiple attempts to build various balanced structures. Here is a sampling.