|The beginning stages of the marble runs.|
|At the beginning stages of the marble runs.|
Rather than tell the students they must use the blocks in the ways we are suggesting, we allow the children to control their own play. If they wish to build marble runs every day we allow them to continue to build upon their own created schema.
What we have noticed throughout the year is the marble runs are becoming more complex and they students are trying new things.
|Adding sides to make sure the marble stays on the track.|
|Beginning to add sides and tunnels.|
|Beginning to add drops and turns.|
At first they created marble runs and their idea was to have the marble follow along a wooden path to the end. The students quickly realized that the marble kept falling off the track, until one of the kiddos suggested they put up some sides to prevent the marble from falling off. This lead to many marble runs being created in the following weeks. As the children experimented with longer and shorter tracks, one day one of our kiddos decided to add a circular track at the end.
As the students shared their work with the entire class during one of our class meetings, this in turn sparked more interest to include other children in their play. We have noticed that the marble runs consistently have a small core group of children with a variety of others coming and going at various times throughout the day and weeks.
|Making it more elaborate.|
|Adding places to catch the ball at the end.|
|Creating jumps in the middle and traps at the end.|
|Creating bridges to cross and tunnels to go through.|
|Often video tapping the marble to look back at the designs for later.|
|Playing with a variety of different inclines.|
|A failed attempt leads to more talk and adjustments.|
|The beginning of the play.|
|It quickly turned into this.|
|Using the real world to help us build.|
|The scientific model in Kindergarten.|
|Here the boys are drawing and writing about |
the road going over the bridge and also being curvy.
|Here you can see how the children changed|
the slope of the ramp to get the car to roll through the hole.
|Now they want to see if the marble or car will go up the ramp|
into the can.
Marble runs are still continuing to be built on a regular basis within our classroom. Allowing for the children to determine what they want to test is the key to engaged learning. Just before the break we began to see the kiddos planning and testing to see if by changing the incline plane the marble and car would go through a hole to land on the other side of a tunnel.
Children are Capable, Creative, and Communicators when we allow them to choose their own learning.