On days when my kids seem to just play the "see how many blocks we can take off the shelf" game, I'm not going to lie... I feel frustrated. But then there are those days when a student or two or three take the time to remove each block, one at a time, and intricately place it in its spot. That's what one of my boys, I'll call him "Stewart", did today. It got me thinking about good block play, the kind where students really ARE thinking critically. Stewart tried five or six ways before he got the "slides" in his city to stand up properly. He wasn't frustrated, but he WAS patient, and he was most definitely persistent. He didn't back down from his goals. He just kept right on working. The neat thing is that Stewart has been making block buildings with this same type of structure for several weeks now, but every time he makes them they get more and more elaborate. Today he was left relatively unbothered by the other students, and I could really tell he was in the "zone."
Not sure where my train of thought is going. I was just impressed by this little boy today. It made me glad that my siblings and I played with blocks into early middle school. You're never too old to make that wooden block structure just a little more intricate.
The spring class trip to the zoo last year brought about many zoos in the block center. This one was my favorite. The arches at the entryway. The different animals each in their areas. The spectators sitting by watching. You can't tell me these kids weren't thinking more here than they were during their guided reading group.
Of course, ramps never get old.