Saturday, January 22, 2011

Thinking in and out of the box (day I)

Before starting this blog I want to make sure to give credit to Teacher Tom.  It is from his blog that I had the idea for this activity, although, as you can see, he did it on boxing day (December 26) making it twice as cool as doing it in January. 

Previous to Thursday, I collected several boxes, cardboard toilet paper and paper towel tubes, and some other odds and ends. There seemed to be no limit for the possibilities of the boxes.  

Two pairs of children made side by side houses in the dishwasher boxes, adding a smaller box to the front of each "house" for more space.  In the left house was inhabited by a girl and a boy, but the girl stayed in and the boy brought her anything she asked for in the "house" and kept other children from going in.  The pair of girls who inhabited the left side were very active; they went straight to work improving their home. 

Other children had very different designs for their boxes. 

One boy pushed this box up calling it a "skyscraper" but then changing mind, calling it the "leaning tower of pizza" instead when it was accidentally propped up on another box. 

He next realized that he could move the box and use it for a basketball hoop.

Other boys wasted no time in joining the game.  

Meanwhile, other children busied themselves coloring on various types of cardboard and styrofoam.  They loved the "squeeky" sound of markers on styrofoam, and the "bumping" sound of markers on corregated cardboard. 

Little Opal colored all of the really big letters on this box. While she colored she kept saying "not O, not O, not O."  I later heard her tell her friends she was going to color O's pink and all the other letters blue- there weren't any O's though.  

Many of the colored pieces of styrofoam were especially pretty.  

While the rest of the class was coloring, Tommy up-ended one of the "house" boxes, and decided he wanted to go down the top of the chimney (box) like Santa.

"Guys! Can someone help me get in this chimney?  I can't get in it."  No one came to help, so he made a new plan.

"Miss Elizabeth, I made steps and a railing to get into the box!" Unfortunately, they fell before he ever made it to the box and a few girls....

Figured out that you could just lift up the bottom of the box and climb under.  They claimed the "chimney" as a new place to color. (Whoever said boys were better at spacial problem solving than girls?)

 The boxes underwent several different arrangements and uses.  

One group found a way to to hold on to markers and toys that kept rolling away and getting lost under boxes and other materials.  

Another child took advantage of an empty box to "read a book" that she made out of a piece of folded cardboard. 

The children could have played at this activity for hours more than they did (which is why we did it again on Friday).  To help clean up they came up with the idea of sorting the smaller pieces into boxes- styrofoam, tubes, and small boxes- an excellent system.

I will upload pictures and write about the boxes on Friday soon!

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