Saturday, April 20, 2013

Ramps and Pathways

My camera seems to have lost its usual spot in my classroom, and I haven't been taking pictures. I finally resorted to taking a few on my decade old flip phone, in order to document a bit of what we've been doing around here lately. 
Ramps and Pathways is a book I've heard of. I hadn't even seen the cover until I google searched it just now, but I've heard wonderful things about its principles. 

What I did was simply supply my students with a variety of different types of blocks, tubes, and tunnels. I added a container full of balls, marbles, and things that roll. 

On the first day in large group, I put a cardboard gutter on the floor. Then I sat a marble on it. 

Me: "Hmm. I really wish I could get this marble on the other side of my gutter." 
Students: "Push it!" 
Me: "Oh, I could push it. Yes! That works! It got to the other side." 
Me: "I wonder if I could get it to the other side without using my hands." 
Student: "Blow it!"
Me: "I hadn't thought of that! Yes, we could blow it. Will you come try that? It worked!" 
Me: "I wonder if there is another way to do it?" 
Student: "You could hold one end up." 
Me: "That's another idea. Will you come try that and see if it works? Wow! It made it to the other side! I think we just made a ramp. I wish we didn't have to keep holding this up with our hands though. I wish it would stay." 
Student: "You could put something under it!" 

So, of course, we put something under it. And that is all I modeled or discussed with them in large group. 

So far they haven't used the blocks much to hold the ramps up though. They like this shelf as a launching point instead. 

They've found the bookshelf bottom across from it to make a good goal for catching the balls as they roll. 
After school on Friday I added one of these. I wonder what they'll do with it. 

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