Welcome to Our Materials Playgroup
How fun it was to meet new friends and have new experiences! At our first playgroup, we gathered around natural clay. Some friends were hesitant to touch the clay at first, but almost everyone became involved. Many of us commented that the clay felt cold. We grabbed chunks of clay off of the block and worked to change it. We rolled the clay into coils and balls, and we pinched and poked it. We stepped on the clay and touched it with our feet. We flattened the sides of a ball by dropping the clay repeatedly. And, we worked to put the hunk of clay back together.
Then the room was open for exploration. In our workshop, friends rolled balls through tubes and tunnels. We were curious about where the balls went, and we noticed the sounds they made as they moved in the tubes. Other friends poured materials and put them into containers. We also made sounds with the containers.
We made marks with tape. Many friends "stuck" with tape: unrolling, cutting, ripping, and sticking it on reclaimed posters and themselves.
Many friends were "focused" on the bin of eyeglass lenses. We looked through the lenses, made comparisons and sorted them. We also enjoyed scooping and stirring the lenses. We noticed that friends were satisfied with both the sight and sound of this experience.
Our color collection box was open and friends created designs on the wall.
We would like to share an article with you about constructivist learning and productive questioning: Productive Questions: Tools for Supporting Constructivist Learning, by Mary Lee Martens. We will be talking about how we can guide our children's play in ways that support and extend their learning.
See you next time!
UpCycle CRC exhibited at Alexandria's Earth Day Celebration at Ben Brenman Park. The theme was: Water: Every Drop Counts! We brought three experiences -- and our neck tie fashion -- to the celebration.
One exploration we had there was a water wall made of two reclaimed pallets hinged together. Our challenge was to move water down the wall through containers, hoses and other reusable materials.
Visitors also made music with water, exploring the sounds they could make by rubbing their fingertips on the rims of wine glasses filled with water. Most people had never tried making music with glasses, and they were eager to try it out. It took persistence, and those who stuck with it were delighted by their success. We noticed that the vibration of the glass created waves in the water, which resulted in the sound being created in the air.
We also displayed rain chains that were made by kindergarten and first graders at Maury Elementary School in our after school program. Rain chains are systems that channel and direct water to a specified location. Earth Day visitors poured water through the rain chains to test their effectiveness.