Wednesday, September 24, 2014

An Outbreak of Literacy

You just better watch it. You never know when literacy will just break out in your classroom.

I've mentioned before that this new group of kids at my church are builders. They love blocks. I have a couple of guys that will not do anything else until they've explored with blocks.

This week, the blocks were as busy as usual. Here's what was happening at the beginning of the morning.

We also had sand and scissors with paper (among other things), so eventually all the guys drifted away from the blocks to other areas of the room. After they left, the blocks were scattered haphazardly all around the bin. (They usually leave things in disarray until clean-up time.) Mrs. Cindy was monitoring the sand. I was working with a girl at the puzzle table.

Another girl wandered around the room, pondering what to do next. I saw her walk over to the blocks. She sat down and began arranging blocks.

She pushed blocks out of the way. She looked through the assortment and chose just what she wanted.

She began to look all around the bin to find just the blocks she felt were right for her work.

I didn't move over to her, partly because I was still engaged at the puzzle table and partly because I didn't want to interrupt her concentration and thinking.

I smiled and kept snapping the pictures. She sat back and looked at the final result. Cindy walked over and talked with her briefly about it.

Quite an accomplishment. Here's the final picture rotated.

You just never know when literacy will break out. I was reminded again of why more open-ended exploration can be a powerful tool for learning. (And I was reminded how much this group of kids can teach me this year.)

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