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5-Day: Digging Deeper into Construction

Last week, the 5-Day class explored ideas of construction. This week, we dove a little deeper. We started by creating a construction web. During meeting, we asked ourselves, "What is construction?" The children came up with ideas about houses, buildings, bridges, and stores. When asked about materials, they talked about wood, bricks and stone. The conversation carried on with ideas of tools needed as well as machines to dig, carry and lift. The children learned of the roles of an architect and general contractor. We talked about how many different people and jobs were involved in even the simplest construction. Then, we took a closer look at some steps involved in the construction process.

We decided that the first step is to have an idea. Each child created a literacy response to the book, If I Built a House. They came up with creative ideas and spaces they would put in the house they designed. The next step in construction is to devise a plan for building. The class made blueprints, used rulers and graph paper to plan rooms, and used clipboards in dramatic play as they sawed, hammered, and played at the work tables.

Design was another step the class examined. Using foam shapes for boats, the children cut and colored sails and masts. When the boats failed to float, we went back to the drawing board! Questions arose, such as: is the mast too tall or too small, is the sail too big or not big enough, is the mast in the right place? The children engaged in lots of problem solving as well as trial and error conversations.

In the block area, new foam blocks that look like bricks and cinderblocks were added. The children had a great time devising all sorts of buildings, homes, and even a dance floor! These were multi-media creations, as they incorporated plastic architectural blocks and wooden blocks into their play.

The class also demonstrated their letter knowledge by using rectangles and curves to create different letter shapes. Showtime also served as a way of learning how the same materials can be used in different ways and that it's important to listen and learn from other ideas.

Next week, we hope to work in small groups to collaboratively plan, design, and build with the boxes and recyclables you have sent in. Thank you for your donations; keep sending them in! The more materials we have, the better!

Thank you for coming to the parent conferences. It was wonderful connecting with everyone and sharing thoughts and concerns.

Kristi and Cathy


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