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Funding provided by the Government of Ontario.

Today a large group of children were very interested in building structures in the blocks.  They worked in very small groups but it got to the point were the structures were so big they had to work together to integrate them.  You can see where this happened in the bottom right corner of the photograph.

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The attention to detail, the length of their attention span, and their ability to work together and co-operate on this project was really remarkable.  When young children are interested and challenged in their thinking they are very willing to put out the effort.

Looking at the stages of block play, I could see many of the developmental stages represented here.  There were examples of:

  • horizontal towers and vertical rows (stage 2),
  • bridging where the child uses a block to span a space (stage 3)
  • enclosures (stage 4)
  • representation, where the structure is named in relation to its function (stage 6)

It is not enough to simply observe children. The teacher should be able to clearly identify what is being observed and the significance of this observation on the child’s developmental profile.  What does this observation tell me about how this child is thinking?  What skills are demonstrated through this observation?  What should I do to move the thinking and the skill level forward?

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