Friday, July 30, 2010

Jumping Off Each Other's Ideas

I put out some airplanes with the wooden blocks. "I" and "J2" were ready to jump into this activity. They immediately built an airport, a long rectangular structure with lots of open space in the middle for taking off and landing. The airport also had a handy gate that opened on the side. Planes could land in the field beside the airport and taxi into the airport.

"J2" had a plane that kept having trouble landing. In fact, it endured several spectacular crashes and would limp into the airport for repairs. After a couple of crash incidents, "I" decided that the airport needed a repair shop. So he created a circular area at the back of the airport. "J2" would take his plane to the repair area for a while and then would take to the skies again. Soon the plane could land with a few bumps, but no more crashes.

Here's the completed airport in action.

This is a good shot of the repair area.
See the wedges on this end? That's to help take-off.
You can see the gates in this one.

I was intrigued by this interplay. Together the boys decided to create an airport. One boy peppered his play with crashes. The other boy took that idea and jumped to the need for a repair area. The first boy began using the new area as part of his play. They did not discuss what should happen or how to expand their own play. They just listened to the other's ideas and adapted their own play to accommodate or fit the evolving ideas.

Preschool teachers seem to be the same. Someone posts an idea on a blog; another tries it and builds on it; someone else expands it; another takes it in a whole new direction. And together we all benefit. So many parts of the adult world compete and defend when it comes to ideas. I'm glad I can be a part of a community who shares willingly, helps unselfishly, and celebrates together. Thanks for the gifts you share with me each week.


  1. I think sharing ideas is one of the best parts of being in this field. It motivates and inspires all of us to be reflective and creative:) Thank you for this post Scott.

  2. You are so right Scott we can all learn so much from children and their attitudes and interactions!
    I have never had the pleasure of meeting ANY of the people that I have so tightly connected with in the 'world wide blogosphere', yet I now consider so many of you my friends. It just goes to show we are a pretty unique community of which I am so happy to be a part of.
    Thank you for this lovely post 'my friend'!
    Donna :) :)

  3. What a great post Scott :). Thank you for being a part of the community and sharing as well.

  4. And thank you, Scott! The phrase, "standing on the shoulders of giants" comes to mind. I share your gratefulness for the online teacher community I'm a part of, who are so willing to share, support, and inspire one another. My contract calls for me to get a certain amount of continuing education each year. My employers (my parent community) recently spontaneously decided to just give me the budget for that as a bonus because the felt I'm learning more through blogging and interacting with other teachers than I ever did from the classes and conferences I'd grudgingly attended in the past.

  5. Scott,
    Love this! Thanks for all of your ideas--especially the ones that I've used and my kids and I have built on, as well. It's the sharing that makes our profession special. We practice what we preach!