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!)