A marble run
A house for the frogs
Yes, building has become a daily part of our day. Actually it is how we start our day. Yes I am probably crazy for doing this. Especially since I much prefer the little or no chaos to any chaos, but I have started to let go a little bit and I am enjoying it more and more. I'll admit sometimes it is the highlight of my day.
The favorite building materials. Something I can best describe as a treehouse.
The attribute pattern blocks. Students decided they were easier to use when sorted.
Also rulers, yard sticks, and wooden blocks have been used plenty.
I have done the traditional or more popular morning approaches with morning work. Each year it is a little different with sentence work or math exercises. I tried the no morning task approach too where students got to come in and socialize. It had its up and downs.
This year I start with morning work yet not in the traditional sense. Some days it is getting a head start on an art project I know we won't have time to completely finish. Another day it might be choose a spot to read when we get new books in the room. Another day it might be make as many words as you can out of a larger word. Another write sentences about a recent event to put on our class blog. Then after since I have such a difference between when students arrive...it can be 45 minute difference...I give them three options everyday- read, work on their journals, or build. Build is again and again the most popular option and I am loving the result.
Why chose build?
It lets students be creative and problem solve with each other.
It provides a daily opportunity for students to work as a group. They come up with the task and the process.
It is student led.
I have a class with many who like to be leaders. It helps give students the opportunity to lead and follow.
It creates problems but also opportunities to talk them out and figure out different solutions.
Here are some of our more recent creations.
Both of these are islands. Just within these building processes there had to be a solution to where to use the dark blue pieces (It is where the deep water is. They figured out deep water is not always far from shore).
They had to figure out the best place to put a house, how to do it, and who was going to do it.
They had to decide if there was going to be a bridge and where to put it to connect to another island.
As a teacher I love watching this daily process. I'm always amazed at what students come up with.