About Me

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Early childhood education has been my life for over 40 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, September 3, 2016

Rocking chair waterfall

Last week I wrote about an apparatus I made from the arm pieces of a bentwood rocking chair.

The apparatus was suppose to be a water ramp, but it ended up to be rocking chair car ramp.

Because the wood of the rocking chair had so many nice curves to it, I was determined to make something from it for the water table.  I decided to try the curved piece at the bottom of the rocker with its nice, gentle curve.  The section of the rocker I cut is highlighted below.

I had a 12" x 36" piece of black HDPE 100 plastic left over from the car ramp apparatus.  Because the plastic sheet was bendable, I was able to screw it onto the two curved rocker pieces.

Parents in our program are always bringing in interesting things for me to build with.  Go figure.  A couple of years ago, a parent in our program brought in a really interesting piece: a deposit container for toner from a copy machine.  The picture below shows the schematic for where the deposit fits in the copier.

I decided that it was time to use it and that it just might be a good top piece for the new water apparatus.  I cut 2.5" holes with a hole saw attachment for the drill and then drilled multiple 1/4" holes in the bottom of the deposit.

Using duct tape, I then secured the deposit container to the the new water apparatus.

To install the new apparatus onto the table, I taped a white, wooden tray across the width of the table for a base.  To the tray, I taped a crate.  I could then affix the apparatus to the crate using duct tape.  I also taped the apparatus to the lip of the table near the bottom of the apparatus. 
In the picture above, one of the boys poured water into the top of the apparatus and the water came rushing out the bottom holes down the apparatus and into the black tub next to the table.

I had the hardest time figuring out what to call this new apparatus until I saw these two boys pour water simultaneously creating what looked like a waterfall.  Viola, a rocking chair waterfall.

Waterfall from Thomas Bedard on Vimeo.

Could you tell I was impressed?  I may build and set up the contraptions, but the children are the masters at giving them life.