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Observation of Children Building with Blocks

Literal Level of the Block Experience

Take an observation of an interaction or experience
What happened on a literal level?
Children are building blocks together, Blocks kept falling (didn’t give up – kept trying)
What were the children doing? (enjoy the time together – being successful and building something together)
Collaborating with peer, team work,
Jumped up and down to see adult enter the room (perhaps excited to show what was created)
Child used block as a slide at the beginning putting smaller block down an angled block towards the floor
(showing compassion towards each other)
(felt happy/content)
Want to engage in activity and explore with the materials – (making connections to friends as well as materials – building relationships)
Discovery of how blocks move.  How to manipulate it and see what changes?  Process of learning – shape, location that might look, feel, balance better – 
Seems like they had previous experience with blocks and were intentional about how they were using them and what they could do? 
What happens if you look closer and observe with curiosity (looking for the questions instead of the answers)                                                       What were they thinking? 
What theories were they testing?  Maybe schema theory – an interest in transporting
What are YOU curious about?
Wondering if they were thinking about building a specific creation or were they interested In the properties of balance, size, shape?
What type of previous exp. might they have had with blocks
Were they considering their roles as part of a group in play (some sitters, stayed, others were retrievers,….)
Making connections to how the world really works – using a block to go down the ramp – also building itself –
Creating a huge structure – larger than me – maybe how other buildings around me are created.  
Really competent and capable – journey of her travelling getting to childcare (crane, building, trains, structures) – environments/materials used in child care allow them to reflect on understanding their own world and observations
Mimicking their envir. (above, slides, etc.)
What were they feeling?
What were YOU feeling?
What might this tell you about who this child (or you are) is as a person?  Holds her and says she loves you – gives loving care to child – she is bringing blocks - belonging?
Enjoyed but also (confused) – didn’t know how to balance – trial and error. 
Curious about their curiosity – try multiple strategies even though the strategies were working, manipulation of materials – stuck in one idea that’s successful and then stop 
Ch. Show interests in what others are doing – 
Wondering their exploration – what they are trying to building - 
How does this connect to the relationship between . . .?  - above – lots of examples connection/relationship between…….
How do we make sense of all this?  Personal reflective piece - 
How does this connect to the theories and ideas taught in class and from your previous knowledge and lived experiences?       - schema theory, re-questioning stages of play, learned about relationship based care 
Act… (offer now…?   Change now? Do now?)
What does all of the above call you to offer the children? 
What materials do they need to continue their investigation? 
What materials may inspire their thinking? 
What experiences may enhance the relationships? 
And why is this what it calls you to offer?
Different sized and shapes of blocks – coloured blocks – include with sensory experiences – thinking not restricted to one type of block – 
Add some different materials – loose parts – recycled materials – 
Use blocks with paint to dip in and make impressions – blocks as different elements
Not just that type of blocks – textures, colours, different offerings…..
Playing together – educator can engage in experience. 
Transporting schema – offer baskets to ch. To see if that changes the way they transport blocks back and forth. 
Offer oppo. For playing with balance

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