Monday, March 11, 2013

Tracing Bridges

Pictures of bridges were sitting on the light table and children came over to look at them. They recognized the bridges as well as the water under the bridges. They then covered the pictures with tracing paper. They looked out for features of the bridges and traced them. The children copied the straight lines they saw and some made them stretch across their paper. Others recognized the general shape of the bridge and used their tracing paper to color in and around the area of the bridge. Some children noticed shapes within the bridge and used their pencils and crayons to color inside of these shapes.
Throughout our past few explorations the children have been paying attention to details over and under bridges as they made their representations. I would like to explore this concept of representing the over and under concept of bridges while also moving from drawing into creating three dimensional representations. The kindergarten class is also exploring building and has been thinking about how to build objects that can be used to go over and under. In our next step we will be working with the kindergarteners to create three-dimensional representations of bridges by using blocks. They will be working together to explore how they can build a bridge that something could go over and under.

Boats and Cars

On March 6, in the block area, the children started their exploration of moving the cars and the boats movements on and across the water.  For this activity, the teacher used the water table, small cars, small boats and wood blocks as bridge. The children walked to the blocks and were very excited especially when they saw the cars and the boats. The children were curious when they saw boats and cars together next to the water table. Some children took the cars and they turned the wheels with their hands before they started moving it back and forth over the bridge.  Some children worked in groups and they decided to move the bridge and make it lower. They put half of the bridge in the water to make it low. They took the cars put them on the top of the bridge moved them down to the water table. Some children took the boats and they moved them very slowly on the water and across the bridge. The children were very engaged and they enjoyed moving the cars and the boats on and over the bridge, but they were confused about how they could move the cars on the high bridge without falling down in the water. Next week, based on the teacher observation, the children will have the opportunity to build high bridges using different kinds of blocks. The kindergartens children will come visit the toddlers’ room and help them build high bridges. 

Bridges on the Feltboard

     I positioned a picture of various bridges in the middle, top part of the felt board. Earlier, I cut representations of the bridges in the picture out of felt and then cut them into pieces. My intention is to have the children explore the pieces to see if they could create the bridges pictured.

     Lucie starts to build her bridge high on the board after watching Olivia create hers. When I ask her how the cars are gong to get cross with the bridge so high, she moves her bridge to the middle of the board. Soon Lucie and Olivia realize they can build a more elaborate bridge if they work together.
     Jack becomes quite engaged once I make  simple bridges on the felt board , then add the cars and animals. He quickly begins to tell me all about the cars and how they are going to cross the bridge  with the animals.  Jack even  built roads with strips of felt as they fell off.

     Myles was no as engaged in this activity but was the only one to figure out the same color pieces went together.  As he picked up the small piece he held it up and said “brown”. Then he picked up the other brown piece and added to the felt board saying “I build a brown bridge.”   

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Bridge Projected On Our Wall!

An image of a bridge was projected on the wall and that area of the wall was covered in paper. The children were invited to use markers and draw on the paper. When drawing they were interested in adding new details on and under the bridge. When drawing on top of the bridge they drew items such as family members, cars, and animals. When adding details under the bridge there was an interest in drawing straight lines. In the picture there were pillars holding up bridge and the lines children added seemed to resemble these pillars. Some children added details to make the bridge more functional, like making pathways leading to the bridge. Since they were drawing collaboratively children shared their ideas and sometimes their ideas caught the interest of others. After working together the paper was covered in marks. It was interesting to see the circular shapes at the top of the picture, which corresponded to the circular architecture of the bridge. Also, under the bridge was mostly decorated with lines, which were reminiscent of the pillars. The children seem to be showing an awareness of design within a bridge.

I would like to build on the children’s ideas of bridges by taking a closer look at bridge design. With each activity I see the children thinking more about the shapes they use when drawing their representations of bridges. As a next step I would like to provide each child with a picture of a bridge and a piece of tracing paper. I would like the children to think more about what types of shapes are utilized in bridge design and how these shapes come together. Since the children are showing a growing awareness of bridge design I wonder if they will be able to re-create certain features of the bridge in their own drawing on the tracing paper.