Friday, April 19, 2013

'Building' Teamwork

Two weeks ago I had the opportunity to spend a day at a Boston Mass school for professional development. The experience was a great learning event for me, which will influence my teaching in many ways. One specific outcome was that I saw the benefit of having more and bigger building materials in my classroom. On my visit I saw amazing block structures that were worked on for days and were part of classroom spaces. I came home and began researching some materials that might work in my space. I found a great set of materials and used my FOCUS funds (thanks FOCUS and RES families that support this effort) to purchase them!

This week the materials arrived and many classes have had a chance to try them out. The structures that students have built in twenty minutes are amazing! We have felt like it is our classroom birthday with this awesome new gift!

But the building is just a part of what these materials offer to students. The larger scale of materials means that students must work together. They collaborate on what to build, how to support a structure, and what to do when it will not stand. They all celebrate when they achieve success! Even students not directly involved in the building are supportive with words of encouragement and praise.

I once heard a remark that each day a teacher should ask what their students made that day. The tangible act of making something is an awesome learning vehicle and students remember their achievement. I hope you enjoy checking out these creations as much as students enjoyed creating them!

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