Programming made Easy.

It all started with the book,  Road Builders by B.G. Hennessy. 

The interest was obvious and undeniable.  I love when its that easy to know what to set up and put out for the toddlers to play with. As they read the book over and over, they wanted to know more.  They wanted details.  They noticed that some workers had hard hats and some did not.  They noticed that Buddy the Boss had a map and made a plan for the new road.  They learned the names of construction vehicles.

 The toddlers were interested in construction in  the fall and they were still interested in the spring.  The interest was not always intense but it was consistent.  

We put construction things out in a construction area.  It was a big space so they could do what they needed to do.  We gave them large and small dump trucks.  Blocks and loose parts for loading.  Orange cones.  A few helmets.  Ramps.  

One day I took a few things away and added in some different things.  Interest renewed and quickened.

New maps!  I taped three or four to each table.  I put our a felt marker on each.

I gathered all of the match box size construction vehicles I could find and put them out.

I borrowed some hollow blocks from the 3-5's.  

Look at the math that is happening here.  He figures out that the block fits better one way than the other.  

I figured out that these hollow blocks in the hands of the toddlers is a form of risk taking.  They are heavy and they have to use a lot of muscle power to move and stack them.

We try to observe and follow the children's lead in terms of programming in our room.  We have found this to be effective.  They show interest in something,  and we facilitate their learning by providing the means for them to play and work out their interest. 

One day I took four toddlers on a walk with a group of 3-5's.  We went by a campus directory map.  Guess what?  The toddlers were so excited to see the map!  They had learned about maps from the Road Builders book and were able to apply that knowledge in a very real and practical way.  

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