Exploration Thursday came about after watching my class explore all the new materials in the beginning of the year.
I knew then that I wanted it to become part of our regular math centers. I believe that all kids learn best from self directed learning and hands on exploration.
A lot of these activities have been mentioned in part 4, Buddy Games Wednesday, so first I will start with the new ones.
Cool crazy connectors
cool crazy connectors and thought they might do the trick!
Magz-Bricks magnetic blocks were another early winter purchase. My class, like all others, is fascinated by magnets. I could not resist trying these out!
So far they make a lot of small structures, but I am curious to see if anyone will try the descending tower that is pictured in the directions. I bought another set to add to the mix after vacation - maybe they will be able to attempt it now!
geometric shape building set.
I noticed that once they were able to physically build a sphere and a cube they all suddenly knew how to identify them correctly. We had used a variety of songs, videos and hands on projects. But it took physically assembling them to help them understand solid versus flat.
Now they use them to make helicopters and flowers as well as 3d shapes! Notice the cube at the base!
these blocks last year when I found out I was headed back to Kindergarten
I was so surprised to see that I don't have a lot of pictures of unifix cubes in use. We have two shoeboxes of these as well and they are able to build the coolest things with them! Apparently I just never get a picture of it! My favorite is when they make objects that can move and spin.
These next few centers are also part of Motor Skill Monday and Buddy Games Wednesday. They are wonderful activities for exploration, so they make another appearance every Thursday as well.
Straws and connectors
I cannot see myself returning to a time when I select what activities my students will work on. I know that as an adult, I never enjoy workshop days where all the events are planned in detail in advance.
I truly appreciate those workshops where we are able to select the activities we will participate in. If I as an adult prefer that style of learning, shouldn't my students be allowed to learn in that way as well?
How do you introduce new materials to allow for exploration in your classroom?