Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Spheres, Cubes and Pyramids

Children are brilliant!

If we provide them with rich experiences, tangible connections between aspects of our curriculum and seamless instruction they will consistently step-up to plate.

The brilliant part of all this is that even when instruction is less than stellar they still pull all of their experiences together and make sense of things.

In one of my doctoral classes we are reading this book. One passage reads:

"From a student's perspective, school work should ideally have a cohesive, cumulative quality in which specific activities and their goals can be seen to form part of a greater whole, as part of a purposeful educational journey" (p.114).

An aspect of our curriculum is, of course, adherence to the state & city standards. In mathematics a geometry strand involves shapes.

And I applaud the myriad ways this is supported by the fine educators at our school.

In art the students are exploring spheres using balloons, glue and yarn (see above). Next they will create cylinders out of clay while they continue to examine the difference between 2D and 3D shapes.

In Physical Education (not gym as our P.E. teacher likes to stress) the students are playing with spheres, cubes and pyramids.

I applaud these educators for allowing our students to use multiple intelligences to deepen their understanding and enjoy "a purposeful educational journey".

11 comments:

willow said...

You impress me as being one of those mentioned fine educators.

Dumdad said...

And it makes learning so much more fun!

Nf1andprek-whisper said...

how did you get that header of curious george I love it, I also love the idea of a theme spheres, cones and cubes I am loving it!!!!! I have a few cool pyramid books and projects if you want titles.
http://nf1andpre-kwhsiper.blogspot.com

Gary said...

Thank you Willow.

It does Dumdad, for everyone. Teachers need to keep it interesting for themselves too.

NF1 - Yes, please pass along those book titles. In addition to this we are studying attributes and sorting. The CG header was taken from a larger picture that I found whilst searching the net. Then I cropped it down on my iMac to fit the space available. Sometimes this works, sometimes it does not. But how cute is he!

Arielle Lee Bair said...

I wish I was in your class!:)

Barbara said...

I hope you will one day write a book about your experiences in the classroom.

But for now, I love the integrated approach to learning. And I especially love the fact that you make learning fun for the children.

I echo Arielle's sentiments!

Pauline said...

In the best of all worlds, cross curriculum studies would be de rigueur in every school. Ours tries but with the emphasis on standardized testing, much hands on experience like you describe gets shunted aside as the students go up the grade levels.

Mona said...

Learn while you play, is the best way to learn they say! :)

Arielle Lee Bair said...

Gary - just wanted to drop by again to say THANK YOU for supporting my current cause. I can't tell you how much I appreciate it and how kind you are. It's a really important, little known cause and I will make you proud at the walk in June. :) Thanks so much again!

Gary said...

Arielle - Good luck with the walk! I hope you reach your goal.

Barbara - From your lips (hands? Keyboard?)... I would love to write a book about my experiences as a teacher. I think a case study methodology where I highlight individual students would be a good apporach. Maybe when I am finished with my dissertation (I have my last class in the fall and then the fun begins!)

Pauline - So true. I even see a difference in how the day gets integrated from preschool to kindergarten. The pressures only build as the students/grades advance. Too bad we can't incorporate some of Dewey's educational principles into school again instead of all this obsessive testing AND teaching kids how to take tests instead of actually learning something of value. Makes me crazy how things have gotten so out of hand.

Mona - It's like Mary Poppins sings "In every job that must be done there is an element of fun!"

Sebastien Millon said...

That reminds me of the big umbrella like thing we used to use in gym where we would all hide under it. One of my favorite magical experiences. I don't remember what the point was, but it was awesome.

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