An Accidental Collaboration

With great curiosity infants use their arms to bring objects to their mouths and bang them on the floor. In this videative, a teacher motivates a group of infants to further explore their surroundings. Two infants sit on Mylar sheets with paintbrushes and jars of paint nearby. Watch how the teacher encourages Sean (blond hair, seated to the left), to explore the objects around him without using his mouth. She first models the use of a paintbrush by brushing some green paint on the Mylar nearby Sean.


Drawing "Circles Within Circles"

Jed is visiting a preschool classroom, hoping to videotape some of the children’s investigations. Three-year-old Christopher wants to draw and invites Jed to come draw with him. A series of subtle but careful choices allow Jed to become Christopher’s learning partner. We see how Jed skillfully reads Christopher’s interests in order to co-construct an understanding of drawing “circles inside circles.” "Inside" can be treated as a relative term. Drawing a surrounding outside circle makes the smaller one inside.


Writing the Word Cat

Early childhood educators who believe in the value of an emergent curriculum often find it difficult to interweave state early learning standards with the interests of the children. However, as the teacher in this video illustrates, this goal can be attained through recognition of opportunities that arise during children’s daily experiences. (In this videative, the words that appear in red indicate the Ohio Early Learning Standards that are depicted in the video clips.)


Tyler Uses a Chainsaw

Pretend play fosters creativity by encouraging young children to invent and manipulate symbols. The creative use of symbols during play supports later forms of symbolic thinking including language development and mathematics. In this Videative, three-year-old Tyler exhibits amazing powers of observation as he reenacts the actions of his father using a chainsaw to cut down tree branches. Using only a plastic tent stake, a bicycle pump, and his knack for creating buzzing sounds with his lips, Tyler convinces us that pretend-play draws on sophisticated processes of symbolization.


Symmetrical Structures

This videative is one of a series of three about a five-year-old’s experiences with Learning Material Workshop Blocks; the other two videatives are titled "Counting Blocks in a Mirror" and "A Hole Problem Solved." We can gain great insight into the ways in which children think through watching their play with blocks. In this videative, five-year-old Ria decides to use symmetry to determine the shape of her block structure. Interestingly, she is able to build her symmetrical structure starting either on the right side or starting on the left side.


A Hole Problem Solved

This videative is one of three about a five-year-old child’s experiences with Learning Material Workshop Blocks; the other two videatives are titled "Counting Blocks in a Mirror" and "Symmetrical Structures." Block building provides children with opportunities to think about potential solutions to interesting and varied problems. In this videative, Ria builds a "spaghetti-maker" by putting dowels through the holes in a pair of cubes.


Counting Blocks in a Mirror

This videative is one of three about a five-year-old’s math experiences with Learning Material Workshop Blocks; the other two videatives are titled “A Hole Problem Solved” and “Symmetrical Structures.” Sometimes we arrange materials in such a way that they almost “beg” to be counted. Try placing a strip of polished Mylar on a table covered with blocks. With the added reflection, the number in a stack of blocks is instantly “doubled.”


Pumpkin Seeds and Checkers: A Math Conundrum

Teachers appreciate that children understand mathematical concepts best when the children are given an authentic problem to solve and time to invent their own mathematical strategies. In this videative, kindergarten children have an authentic need to know the total number of pumpkin seeds that come from four Halloween pumpkins. And on another day, they need to know how many checkers they have yet to make for the checkerboards they are giving as gifts.


Duck, Duck, Goose!

Games are a natural and fun way to learn and contribute to young children’s social development. The familiar rules of group games allow them to be initiated easily and played in various settings, often across age groups. When young children participate in group games, they invariably negotiate changes in the rules and in the process come to understand fairness and the perspective of others.


Pretend You Like Me

Children sometimes encounter resistance when attempting to join an ongoing pretend play episode. The negotiated features of collaborative pretend play (roles, props, scripts) are vulnerable to the introduction of a new participant. Naturally, children are cautiously protective of established play interactions. To their credit, many children learn to treat this initial resistance as an opportunity to invent clever strategies for gaining entry into the play.



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