Their ideas are always better than mine…. always…. period…. no question!
Today was set up like any other; winter themed provocations ready and thoughtfully presented.
We have been studying snowflakes and the symmetry of 6 sided figures. Today we planned on advancing into building towers that are symmetrical; covering our engineering, math, and 3 dimensional art components.
This is where our day took on a whole new direction, and following their lead, allowed for critical learning. Before I knew what was happening they had moved the provocation to the floor with the train track, created an ‘avalanche’ and cooperatively removed the snow from their ‘village’.
They used vocabulary that was beyond their typical academic level, asking questions about snow safety, snow removal equipment, and hazardous road conditions.
The most interesting piece of today’s learning is that we live in sunny central California where it NEVER snows, and the coldest it gets is around 30 degrees. I was intrigued by how much the children knew about arctic weather many of them have never even seen or experienced.
They even built a snowman at the end to use up the left overs from the ‘spill’.
This activity lasted over an hour, with a group of about eight 4 year olds. Had I stuck to my original plan, where I required the children to build and erect symmetrical structures the plan would have lasted maybe 15 minutes.
When we allow children to lead, and show us their interests we are able to reflect on our curriculum plans and expand on child led ideas.
Tomorrow we will be learning about snow storms, blizzards, and how to prepare for an avalanche, planning to enhance their learning until they are ready to move on to a new topic.
My hope for each of you is that you would take the time to veer off the lesson plan, follow the children’s lead, and see where it takes you. I promise the standards will still be covered, the children will still learn to write, they will still begin to have a mathematical understanding, and most importantly they will develop a love of inquisitiveness along the way.