Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Learning That Rocks

This week I watched some kids with the rocks and digital scale. I added a basket with some notepads and pencils, just in case someone wanted to record their observations.

Add a rock, then another, then another.

Keep adding rocks, one at a time.

But if you keep doing that, rocks will begin to fall off.

"I have a bowl," I said. "Would you like to use it?" Yes!

"What's this number, Mr. Scott?"

"I have some paper if you want to write anything down." Okay! Let's write down numbers.

What happens if we add the pens? (I noticed that one boy would add one pen, take it off, add it again...just to see if the numbers would be the same.)

Now note pads!

Note pads make the bowl too full. Let's add pencils, instead.

We wrote lots of numbers.

When our observations were left on the table, our friends saw what we did and decided to do it, too.

We had such fun with numbers, we even painted them.

I was reminded that kids learn about all kinds of things...at the same time. These kids were exploring numbers, weight and mass, balance, cause and effect. They learned about math and science. There was some writing in there. Relationships and cooperation were being explored. I heard lots of commentary about what was going on. Kids would come over to observe and then move on. Once a child wrote the numbers in a digital format...2s with straight lines instead of curves. We even talked about a Bible story of a man who used a stone for a pillow.

Learning of all kinds...going on at the same time. Activities for kids can encompass a variety of skills and skill levels. Letting kids explore lets them build on their own knowledge, share that knowledge with others, and gain knowledge from others.

And I said very little during the entire exploration process. (Just as it should be!)


  1. Love this idea! What great number practice. :)

  2. I've been looking for a good 2nd hand postal or food scale. I love how the "learning" just took on a life of its own! There are times like this when our center time just goes on and on because the kids are on a roll and I can't bear to stop it! Awesome!!!! Little illuminations at their best!!! ;)

  3. This seems to be a recurring theme around the blogosphere Scott. Teachers standing back and enabling the children to discover for themselves. Isn't it also great when one experience can encompass so many different developmental areas?
    Thanks for sharing.
    Greg :)

  4. Sad to think that what we as adults sometimes do and say, even with best intentions, can disrupt the natural flow of a childs discovery process. We used to try to keep the toys seperate at home, sorted into easy to find groups. It became apparent that kids don't buy into this, nor does it work. We let them just combine things and the imagintive and creative play seemed to blossom.

  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

  6. Great activity! My preschooler will love using a scale! I just added this to my math board on Pinterst!

    Criss-Cross Applesauce