February 28

Block Play

My undergraduate degree is in early childhood education (birth through seven years old) and I taught kindergarten for twelve years. I’ve experienced firsthand the value of block play. Blocks provide an opportunity to explore math concepts including shapes, mass, symmetry, patterns, and fractions. Eye hand coordination and small muscle movements are refined. Children develop awareness of space, balance, and cause and effect. As children plan and make representations of their ideas, creativity and problem solving skills blossom. Children also learn to effectively communicate their ideas and to work collaboratively and cooperatively with their peers.

As you look at the pictures of the block structures below, look for examples of balance, patterns, and symmetry. Block building is considered a STEAM activity because the children are using science, engineering, art, and math skills.




Unit blocks are divided into fractional parts.


Click here to read an article about block play from NAEYC. Block play is important work!

While a group of engineers built with blocks, another group learned how to use balance scales.

February 4

Simple Circuits

After a short lesson about batteries, my first grade scientists used a battery to make simple circuits.  For one of our circuits, we used a C battery and a section of Christmas lights. I demonstrated how to strip the ends to reveal the wires.





We also used energy sticks to create human circuits. This is such a fun science tool! The entire class held hands to complete the circuit and then we divided into small groups to experiment with them. Click here to learn more about how the energy stick works.



In our final activity, I demonstrated how to complete a circuit using a potato as your energy source.

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