Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Foam City

Today, during Choosing Time, 3 of the students built Foam City. Two grade 2 boys worked with one of our grade 1 girls. I was so impressed with their great teamwork!!! They spent a good 30 minutes discussing, planning, and creating. Then they came and asked me to take pictures. We decided that their structure deserved a blog post. Just check out what they built!

There is a story about the city. And here it is, right out of the mouth of one of the creators, "A long time ago in a land far, far away there was a person who accidentally broke the city's dam and the city flooded. A few hundred years later, the people turned it into a city kind of like Venice. There is a magical, invisible portal that allows you to go from the Foam City in Rome to the Construction Worker Town in Egypt."

And what is Construction Worker Town? It is the  lego structure on the red base beside the Foam City. It was built by one of the grade 1 boys and added to the city. The creator says "It is pretty dangerous on the small platform. If it breaks the whole town will probably break. The town is in a pretty dry place in Egypt." Check it out!

This kind of collaborative, creative play is at the heart of why I believe so strongly in giving the students Choosing Time. During Choosing Time, students are able to use their imaginations and create so many wonderful things. They have chances to try a wide variety of activities or create their own! They are able to practice social skills in real life situations but with an adult easily at hand to help when needed.

It is often during Choosing Time that I get to really see a child's personality come out and when I get to have conversations that help me understand the student more. I so enjoy seeing aspects of a child's personality that don't really come out during math or science time but which shine when the child is given the freedom to be creative on their own terms. It is wonderful! The play we do at Choosing Time is quite possibly the most important learning time each week. And, lucky for me, it is also the favourite time for most of the class!!!!

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