block area ideas

Discussion in 'Preschool' started by WaProvider, Feb 25, 2012.

  1. WaProvider

    WaProvider Fanatic

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    Feb 25, 2012

    Here we are at the change of seasons, and the change of themes. My group is always very busy....now is not really an exception....however, their interest lies where mine DOES NOT! For those of you experimenting with the emergent plan....you may know how this is a challenge.

    I love the science and even the art area. I do like my teacher directed time, a bit too much for the fact that I am aiming for more emergent callings. My group, though, has chosen the BLOCK AREA as their interest. I have NEVER, EVER done a block related time.....and the block area isn't a place I would spend my time if I were a child.

    SOOOOOOOOOOO I look to you all.....please, someone......tell me how much you love your block areas. Tell me how you think you could work the block area into a content area for what you discussing now. Please help me to gain an appreciation for this ECE room core area.....then maybe I can join my boys in their appreciation!
     
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  3. mrgrinch09

    mrgrinch09 Comrade

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    Feb 25, 2012

    I always put photos, of structures the children can build, in the block area that are related to our current theme.

    The past few weeks we were talking about insects, spiders, and bugs. So, I put pictures of structures that bugs would build: spider webs, bee hives, ant colony tunnels, etc...

    This upcoming week it's all about space. So, the pictures in the block area are space shuttles, satellites, NASA related gadgets, etc...

    The children come to block area sometimes without any idea about what they would like to build, so the pictures can be sort of a jumping off point for their building.
     
  4. WaProvider

    WaProvider Fanatic

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    Feb 25, 2012

    Oh, I like that! Thanks mrgrinch....
     
  5. Froreal3

    Froreal3 Companion

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    Feb 25, 2012

    Ooo, the block area is fun. I would start off by watching what they build in that area ad go from that. Are they doing bridges, farms, or towers? Younger ones often do towers, so you can introduce real life towers (Eiffel, Empire State Building, Sears, Leaning Tower etc) for social studies/community awareness.

    For math, what about something about squares, rectangles, triangles, and other shapes they find in that area? Are your blocks different colors? They can sort the blocks by these attributes.

    Literacy: I'm sure there are books about blocks or buildings out there.
     
  6. mrgrinch09

    mrgrinch09 Comrade

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  7. mrgrinch09

    mrgrinch09 Comrade

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  8. Tasha

    Tasha Phenom

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  9. forkids

    forkids Cohort

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    Feb 26, 2012

    Later this month when we talk about St. Patrick's Day I'm going to encourage students to build leprachaun traps - they come up with some really imaginative structures. I love it when they explain to me how the trap will work - budding enigneers!

    Signs is another way to tie the block area in to your theme. Either make or put materials for them to make signs for their buildings. Ex: February I do a post office theme so Post office sign. January them was Dr. office/hospital so those signs. Also pics of these buildings from the neighborhood or from Google images.

    When I do a transportation unit I put a road atlas, toy vehicles, pictures of bridges, etc. I also put out the bridge pics. when we read the Three Billy Goats Gruff.

    I'll try to post more ideas later.
     
  10. scmom

    scmom Enthusiast

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    Feb 26, 2012

    For someone who has pretty much every type of block available, I am being brain dead but here are some ideas -

    -have them draw and label their structures after they are done or - in reverse - make plans then build
    -have architectural plans to show them
    -work in math by counting, measuring, patterning, etc.
    -work in literacy by having them make signs, make up stories, retell a story you have read by building the scenes
    -a parent brought in an "I Spy" book that had a scene of building blocks with a lot of little toys and stuff - the kids loved making their own I Spy scenes
    -with the above creations we would play games - find the toy that starts with /b/ etc.
    -mix it up - we are talking about animals this week so we mixed the animals with the tree blocks and fake grass to make environments for the animals
    -trace unit blocks on butcher paper and kids have to match them up
    -take pictures of what they create and challenge them to recreate them
    -mix in natural elements - rocks, sticks, etc.
    -let them mix different types of blocks together
    -do you have Magnatiles - my kids LOVE these
    -read one of my favorite books, Roxaboxen, and have the kids recreate the scenes including buying desert glass (floral or mosaic glass), etc., sticks, blocks, stones, signs

    I think maybe just accepting what they are interested in doing, relaxing, and going along for the ride. They are learning a lot of skills inately from the blocks and you don't have to force it. You can actually document a lot of learning by just sitting and watching and listening. Yes, I love boys and blocks.
     
  11. Tasha

    Tasha Phenom

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    Feb 26, 2012

    I remember seeing somewhere taking a full body picture of the kids and people at school (teachers, staff) and taping them to the blocks and covering with contact paper to extend the blocks.
     
  12. Blue

    Blue Aficionado

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    Feb 26, 2012

    I have used blocks as measuring tools. Johnny is 17 blocks high. The triange is 3 blocks on one side, two on another.
     

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