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Friday, March 29, 2013

Collaborative Marble Mazes and Marble Runs

The kids were very excited to work together on large scale marble mazes and a marble run.  They chose to make a marble run out of paper tubes and cardboard and two marble mazes, one with legos and one with a giant geoboard and rubber bands.  The teamwork and problem solving were amazing!  We had to work through the process of talking about their plan as a team, and learning to listen to each others ideas.

The provocation- Giant geoboard, rubber bands, lego board, legos, and marbles
When the kids started making the marble run, they decided they wanted to make it zig-zag back and forth.  Then they went to work!

Teamwork!
Testing it out with a marble to see if what they have so far will work
What they have so far!  
The kids still have some problems with the marble run that they will try to fix after Spring Break.  They are excited to figure out ways to fix these problems!  I love hearing their conversations as they figure things out!  I wish I was better at getting quotes!  That is a part of documenting that I am still working on!
When the kids started working on the geoboard and lego mazes, they figured out right away that they needed to create a barrier all the way around the outer boarder.  They would test out their mazes by having someone lift them up and move them up and down while someone else would move or place new rubber bands and legos on the boards!  I loved listening to all of them think out loud to each other!





The rest will have to wait until after spring break!  We will keep these experiences available for them to explore.  The kids have been asking a lot of weather related questions and they found the first flower of spring in our natural play area! This may guide our learning when we get back!


6 comments:

  1. So pleased I found your blog Darla! Like you I am on a similar journey with my preschool children and we are caught up in a flurry of marble madness. The problem solving and precision required to create marble runs is quite amazing! Essentially they are all about physics and I never realised how complex the are. Young children's problem solving skills continue to amaze me on a daily basis. Isn't our work inspiring!!!
    I love your geoboard and Lego mazes - never thought of that - thank you so much for sharing

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    1. Thank you so much Bianca! I am enjoying this journey so much! The more I let go and let the kids take charge of their learning, the more amazed I am at how much they are capable of! One of my biggest hurdles is that I have to bite my tongue so that I don't jump in right away to give them advice or show them a "better" way! They can figure it out if I give them the chance! They have proved it over and over. We do have an amazing job, don't we? Thank you so much for your feedback!
      Darla

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  2. I just want to say that I adore your blog. Your commitment to emergent curriculum and project-based learning, your commitment to the power of documentation and reflective practice... really wonderful. Keep up the good work!

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  3. Thank you so much! I really appreciate your feedback and I am totally honored that you read my blog. I will be visiting yours often! Thank you!!!
    Darla

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  4. Hello again Darla, I just wanted to stop by and thank you for sharing your awesome ideas! Your giant geo board inspired us to create our own marble maze using wood, nails and twine. As ours was made by 3 and 4 yr olds the precision and perfection of nails in straight lines was never going to happen but I feel this added to the authenticity of their creation. They wrapped twine around the nails and created tracks for their maze...but the most remarkable moment came when a group of children worked together to cooperate and manouever their ping pong ball around the maze. Quite simply it was a fantastic learning experience. Thank you so much!

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    1. Hi Bianca!
      I wanted to have my kindergartners hammer in the nails so much, but I did not think my school would let me! Part of me thinks I should have just done it! You are so lucky! I always feel that the more kid-did it is, the better! I am so glad that our geoboard maze inspired you!!! I love the idea of using twine or yarn! We may have to try that!
      Thanks!
      Darla

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