- Tom Bedard
- Early childhood education has been my life for over 30 years. I have taught all age groups from infants to 5-year-olds. I was a director for five years in the 1980s, but I returned to the classroom 22 years ago. My passion is watching the ways children explore and discover their world. In the classroom, everything starts with the reciprocal relationships between adults and children and between the children themselves. With that in mind, I plan and set up activities. But that is just the beginning. What actually happens is a flow that includes my efforts to invite, respond and support children's interface with those activities and with others in the room. Oh yeh, and along the way, the children change the activities to suit their own inventiveness and creativity. Now the processes become reciprocal with the children doing the inviting, responding and supporting. Young children are the best learners and teachers. I am truly fortunate to be a part of their journey.
Saturday, July 25, 2015
PEGBOARD PLATFORM 2
In March of 2013, I introduced the Pegboard Platform. This is an apparatus made with a piece of pegboard the corners of which are embedded in sturdy cardboard tubes.
I re-introduced the same apparatus this year in May. I did add one element to the original structure: a cardboard tube set on an incline from the platform. Sand poured into the tube emptied into a tub at the end of the table.
One of the more fascinating aspects of this apparatus is the flow pattern of the sand as it is poured over the platform. Watch.
The video clearly shows the uniform pattern of the sand. It also shows that the child with the scoop watching from below interprets it as snow falling. We are in Minnesota, after all, so the child knows snow.
The addition of the small cardboard tube created another range of play specifically around that incline. For instance:
They poured the sand down the tube.
They pushed the sand through the tube.
And at times, they plugged the tube.
There was one operation that gave me pause. The operation involves increasing the flow of sand through the tube by banging on the tube. Watch.
How do children know that hitting the tube increases the flow of sand through the tube? Is it inherent body knowledge? Is it trial-and-error? Do they simply imitate what they have seen others do?
I am always curious about what other practitioners may try to build after reading about the many different apparatus I build at my sensory table. About three weeks ago, I was pleased to get a note on my SandAndWaterTables Facebook page from Shelli at Explore Inspire EC. She invited me to look at her version of the Pegboard Platform. Check out her construction here. For me, the best thing about her apparatus is that it is different than mine. She found a totally different solution for holding the pegboard above the table.
And if you read this blog and do try to build apparatus for your sensory table, please feel free to share. Who knows who you might inspire.
Posted by Tom Bedard at 7/25/2015