This year's group of block builders have been building up combining the unit blocks and our few hollow blocks. They carried objects from all over the room and then decorated the block towers. We have had ramps with cars racing down and then lots of different objects rolling. The Kinders compared how far the objects rolled, built a three sided wall to stop the object and negotiated on design concepts. Lots of math work but also lots of self regulation was growing alongside their play as the Kinders listened to each other, took turns, compromised or let go of their designed. As the group begins to demonstrate improved self regulation across the curriculum, I know that the block centre has made a significant contribution to this growth.
It has been a lot of fun to watch them at work, but I've been waiting for enclosures all year. Finally last week William, one of our regular builders, took a few double longs and build a room and sat inside it, delighted with his design. Each day he returned to renovate--increase the wall height and then expand the enclosure. This week he had a building team, Tristen and Ryder O. Together, they created low enclosures with unit blocks and then used our small supply of hollow blocks to build a higher wall on one side. I am so grateful that our custodian, Tony, agreed to allow the block structures to stay overnight and clean around them. Leaving the structures up is so important to the builders. They can revisit their designs, draw them, take digital photos of them and re-design.
Today I received some money from our hot lunch program and combined with the PAC money we received in October it was just enough to purchase four more long hollow blocks. The building crew cheered when I told them. We have marked the much anticipated delivery date on our class calendar and I can't wait to see the changes. I know that if I could have only one learning centre in Kindergarten it would be blocks. Even better imagine a block room! I know what the impact on self regulation (and other academic areas) would be if we had a block room like many European schools where primary students in K/3 could build--tremendous growth in self regulation!
If you teach primary and your students need to work on self regulation then I can't emphasis enough the value of access to a block centre.