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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, October 6, 2018

Dryer vent hoses embedded in a box

I dove back into my archives of pictures I took before I started using a digital camera.  I found a couple of pictures of an apparatus I built using venting hoses for dryers.  The venting hoses were made of aluminum and very flexible.  I bought them at the hardware store.  Below is a picture of one.

I embedded the venting hoses into a box that I set up vertically in the sand table.  This is a view from one side of the apparatus.

 Here is the view from the other side of the apparatus.

I embedded four different hoses in the box.  Because the aluminum tubing was flexible, I was able to weave the tubes through the box so the children had to figure out where the sand exited when they poured it into one of the tubes.

On one side, A, B and C are the holes the children poured the sand into and E and H was where the sand exited.  In the picture below A and E were connected so when a child poured sand in A the sand exited from E.

As seen from the other side, A and B were the same.  D was the fourth hole into which the children poured the sand.  B and F were connected so when a child poured sand in B it exited from F.  C from the other side was connected to G on this side.  And D from this side was connected to H on the other side.

If you understood that explanation of how the four tubes are woven inside the box, your spatial acuity is off the charts.  If you were to imagine looking through the bottom of the box, you would see a tangle of hoses filling the inside of the box.

The children, of course, had other ways to figure out the apparatus as they creatively problem solved in their own quest for spatial literacy.

P. S.  If you are attending the NAEYC annual conference and would like to join a discussion about the need for children to move to learn in the classroom and outdoors, three of my colleagues and I will be holding a three-hour session on Wednesday morning at the conference.  It is entitled Teaching with the Body in Mind.  If you come, please come up and introduce yourself. 

And that same weekend, November 17th, I will be talking about children's play at sand and water tables at the Play squared conference in southwest UK in the county of Devon.  Since I cannot be in two places at once, the play conference presentation is a recorded talk.  Check out the program to see the other conference offerings and join us if you can.

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