Wednesday, January 7, 2009
Busy Giving Lessons I Didn't Even Notice When The Telephone Wires Went Up
Two of the older boys in my class have been working on building a city off and on now for several weeks. As soon as they entered the classroom they became very occupied with their project. I let them continue without asking them to explain what they were currently working on. During the first two hours of the morning several children came to me asking who had the tape. I gave each of them the same answer - Jack has it.
Just before I rang the bell for a group lesson, I heard the two boys discussing their method of measuring distances. Both thought that the other's counting was wrong. I stepped over to see what the concern was. It was then that I saw the carefully constructed telephone "wires" running across a long piece of cardboard which had been colored to look like a dirt and pavement covered landscape.
One of the boys was counting too quickly and was making an error in his total. What they were counting was the length of the cardboard as they wanted to divide it by the number of "poles" to see if they were equally spaced in their placement. One of the "poles" was leaning in at one end and they felt this was caused by wrong placement. That it was either placed too far away from the last one or too close. I watched as one of them measured the distance again. Their measuring instrument was a coffee stir stick. Several of these had been used for the "poles." Finally, their two totals matched. The board was 5 1/2 stir sticks long. They adjusted the placement of one of the poles and seemed satisfied. The distance between each seemed almost perfect.
Next I asked how they had made the holes for the "poles" as they were so perfectly round. "We used a push pin from the continent work," Dylan answered. The "wire" was made from tape.
I was very impressed. Shortly after I took a few photos they dismantled the construction. I had not asked them to. They were simply done. I mentioned the dismantling to Patti who wisely answered, "It's about process not product."
I was glad I took the photos.