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Children Are 'Speaking' to Us Through Their Construction Work: Are We 'Listening'?

by Nancy Rosenow
May/June 2011
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Article Link: http://www.childcareexchange.com/article/children-are-speaking-to-us-through-their-construction-work-are-we-listening/5019963/

Three four-year-old children work in the Construction Area of an urban preschool. Each creates with small wooden unit blocks. A casual observer might believe that the children are all engaged in exactly the same kind of activity, but their perceptive teachers know otherwise. As they intently watch each child, teachers Mark and Linda come to understand that three very different types of learning (and communicating) are taking place:

Kayla carefully selects four blocks and places them on the ground to form a rectangle. She then scans the block shelf, picks out a small round cylinder and ‘dips’ it into the open space in the middle of the rectangle. “You have to go in,” she whispers to herself. “You have to jump in.”

A few feet away from Kayla, Maria places a small square block on the ground, then begins stacking similar blocks on top of it, creating a tower that grows taller and taller. After six blocks, the whole structure begins to sway, then falls over. Maria tries again and again, each time with the same result. On her fifth attempt, Maria lays flat two large rectangular blocks side by side, then places two similar-sized blocks on top of them. She then begins ...

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