I Play With Blocks
More than ever, block play is a critical component in the work of young children. As we look toward incorporating more STEM experiences at all age levels, the need to allow young children to explore and learn through block play is increasingly important.
I had the wonderful opportunity to visit City and Country School as part of a professional development course took at Bank Street College in New York City. If you are looking for block inspiration, this is the place to be! They are dedicated to supporting the experience and process of block building both indoors and out. This video shares some great highlights of the ways in which they value and integrate block play into their curriculum.
When reflecting on my visit again, and considering the ways in which seeing these children at work validates and ignites my passion for play experiences, I began to consider how seeing these children at work might impact the experiences for children in my classroom. In other words, in what specific ways can we support #innovatingplay by opening up the worlds of play between children? We live too far outside of the city to visit, but through technology, we have a window into their world that provides a virtual learning and growing experience.
I then considered ways that we can help children to document their own play, transfer concepts, and share their experiences. Below you will find the link to my Building and Engineering Hyperdoc using Google Slides. This is meant to be a document that can be revisited and edited throughout the year, as a class and by individual children. It can be used as part of a free play mini-lesson (see I Play with a Purpose and a Plan) or math lesson, as a source of closure and reflection, and as a starting point for documenting and extending block building experiences. It is also a great framework for sharing by using the #innovatingplay hashtag for your class Twitter account.
You can make a copy and edit the slides as they will work for your students. Remember to watch the videos, you must be in presenting mode. This will be a year-long ongoing project for us. It lends itself to working within whole group, small group, and individual block building experiences. I would love for you to try it and share how it goes!
It is an exiting time to be playing and learning together! Let's keep #innovatingplay!
Hear & Soul,
Note: In addition to my classroom images, some images collected for the Block Building Hyperdoc were collected from here.