Block Center �Importance of Block Play �Setting Up Your Center �Materials �Examples of Block Centers �Teacher’s Role �Observing Students �Activities �Resources
Importance �Children negotiate for materials �Children exchange ideas with each other �Children develop small muscles �Children develop hand eye coordination �Children develop math concepts �Children use imagination and creativity
Setting Up Your Center � Away from a line of traffic, ideal location is in the corner � Defined by shelves that are labeled � Ample space, open floor space � Near noisy areas (e. g. dramatic play) � Over carpet � Blocks and props neatly arranged for student accessibility � Enough blocks and accessories (means there are sufficient blocks/ accessories for at least 2 children to build large structures) � At least 2 types of blocks � Blocks and Accessories organized by type
Materials � Hardwood unit blocks (390 pieces) � Hollow blocks � People � Animals � Road signs � Transportation vehicles � Books relating to transportation � Paper and pencil(to draw what they � � � � made) Dollhouse with furniture Paper towel rolls Fabric (make tents and houses) Tiles, rugs Pulleys and string Vinyl rain gutters (use as ramps) Popsicle sticks Film canister Craft sticks Blankets Streamers Feathers Clay � Astronauts and space shuttles � Construction hats, goggles, and tools � Items made by the children � Tree blocks � Floor map of city � Globe � Magazines, postcards with buildings � Castle blocks � Cardboard boxes � Driftwood � Styrofoam � Old blueprints � Tape measure � Wallpaper scraps � String � Shells � Pebbles � Rubber tubing � Yardstick � Plastic trees � Play money � Telephone wire
Examples of Block Centers
Promoting Literacy and Writing http: //www. pre-kpages. com/
Ideas to Promote Literacy/Writing (perpetualpreschooler. com, http: //teacherlingo. com/blogs/preschoolknowledge/archive/2009/08/10/how-to-incorporateliteracy-in-the-block-center. aspx) Add books about buildings and construction along with notepads, rulers, pencils and "scrolls" of butcher paper to your block area. � Children can measure and "record" information about what they have built. � Add "floor plans" cut from architectural magazines. � Make a book of buildings (barns, skyscrapers, strip malls, houses, apartments, etc) with your class from pictures in magazines. Cut out and paste to "construction" paper to keep in the block area. � From letters with blocks � Children design their own house, make blue prints and build a house using their plans � Books to enhance: � ◦ How A House is Built by Gail Gibbons ◦ Building a House by Byron Barton ◦ C is For Construction: Big Trucks and Diggers From A to Z by Caterpillar ◦ The Construction Alphabet Book by Jerry Pallotta ◦ Tonka Construction Zone by Charles Hofer ◦ B is for Bulldozer: A Construction ABC by June Sobel ◦ Digger Man by Andrea Zimmerman ◦ Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel by V. Burton
Teacher’s Role �Play with children �Help them solve problems �Show them pictures and discuss �Add new accessories �Ask questions and wait for a response �Talk to students about their structures
Observing Students What stage of block play does the child display? � Is the child aware of different shapes and sizes and is able to return it to the proper place? � Does the child talk about structures and respond to questions? � What props and materials does the child use in building? � � These observations will help you determine when to intervene and what to say to support or extend children’s learning. � Understanding what stage of block play the child has achieved will help with planning to facilitate further learning.
Stages of Play �Carrying (from The Creative Curriculum® for Preschoolers) Blocks ◦ Child is learning about blocks: the properties of them and what they can do with them �Piling Blocks and Making Roads ◦ Child builds vertically or horizontally �Connecting Blocks to Create Structures ◦ Bridging and enclosures �Making Elaborate Constructions ◦ Names what they built, symbolize actual structures
NV Pre-K Standards (NV Pre-K Guidebook) �Goals of Pre-K Mathematics ◦ Develop an understanding of number and number sense ◦ Develop knowledge of spatial concepts ◦ Develop understanding of patterns and relationships ◦ Develop knowledge of sequence and temporal awareness ◦ Develop the ability to use mathematical knowledge to sort, classify, represent, communicate and solve problems
NV Pre-K Standards (NV Pre-K Guide Book) Numbers, Number Sense, and Computation � Children begin to use numbers to show quantity (Pre-K Standard 1. 0) Teachers may see children begin to: ◦ Combine and separate groups of objects. ◦ Count to 10. ◦ Estimate the amount of objects and check for accuracy by counting Activity: Blocks Box Sort-. Children are given a set of blocks and they must sort them based on some attribute. Other objects can be used to sort as well.
NV Pre-K Standards (NV Pre-K Guide Book) Patterns, Functions, and Algebra � Children begin to recognize patterns and relationships in the environment(Pre-K Standard 2. 0) Teachers may see children begin to: ◦ Sort objects by size, shape and color. . ◦ Recognize and replicate simple patterns. ◦ Compare sets of objects. Determine which has more or less. Activity: Provide blocks of different shapes or colors. Create a pattern for children to repeat such as “square, rectangle, square, rectangle” or “red, blue, red, blue. ” Ask children to create new patterns for you to repeat.
NV Pre-K Standards (NV Pre-K Guide Book) Measurement Children begin to make comparisons and measure (Pre-K Standard 3. 0) Teachers may see children begin to: ◦ Compare objects by size to determine smaller and larger Activity: Children can create towers using the blocks. The children can then measure the structures to determine which one is larger and smaller.
NV Pre-K Standards (NV Pre-K Guide Book) Spatial Relationships and Geometry Children begin to investigate positions and locations(Pre-K Standard 4. 0) Teachers may see children begin to: ◦ Identify circle, triangles, and squares ◦ Identify positions such as in front, behind, next to, up, down, inside, outside, or on top Activity: I Spy a Block: Place a variety of blocks in the middle of the floor. Encourage children’s observation skills by describing blocks for them to find. Use characteristics that help children focus on shape, color, or size. Example: “I spy a triangle block. Where is it? ”
NV Pre-K Standards(NV Pre-K Guide Book) Data Analysis Children begin to collect, organize, and use information. (Pre-K Standard 5. 0) Teachers may see children begin to: ◦ Identify and sort data Activity: Students will create maps of the classrooms. They can use blocks to represent the parts of the classroom.
Ideas �Making a house �Block city �Hamster maze �Roll die- get the number of blocks �Measure how tall the tower is �Humpty Dumpty’s wall �Have two children face each other with something obstructing their view of each other. The children will build matching structures using their words to direct the other student.
Ideas for Blocks Outline(perpetualpreschool. com) the shapes so kids can � Take a picture of each child. match the block to the shape. Glue it onto cardboard or � Use wrapping paper to wrap poster board. Cover with clear boxes to get new blocks. Contact paper. Cut out each. � Take a picture of each child in These classroom paper dolls your classroom with a digital can be added to the block area. camera. You may want to take a full body picture and a face � We had blocks with pointed picture of each child because tops made to resemble a you will attach both pictures to house. Each child got to a toilet tissue tube. Place each decorate their own house. We child's tube in the block area then took pictures of each for children to use at block child and applied their picture play. You may also take digital to the house along with their pictures of familiar buildings in address. We then added them the community and attach to the block area with some these to boxes and place them cars. They had a whole in the block area for excellent neighborhood with all their visuals. friends and drove their cars to visit them. �
Block Mats Materials: a large sheet of oak tag, assorted blocks, pencils, crayons, or washable markers The child will select as many blocks as he wants and lay them any way he chooses on the oak tag and trace around them. The oak tag is labeled with the artists name and placed in the block area. Other children are encouraged to select a block mat and match the blocks to the shapes traced.
Resources �ALL ABOUT THE ECERS-R �The Creative Curriculum® for Preschoolers �http: //www. pre-kpages. com/ �http: //teacherlingo. com/blogs/prescho olknowledge/archive/2009/08/10/howto-incorporate-literacy-in-the-blockcenter. aspx �http: //www. perpetualpreschool. com/
Books � How a House is Built by Gail Gibbons � The Construction Alphabet Book by Jerry Pallotta � Block Play by Sharon Mac. Donald � The Block Book By E. , Hirsch � Building Structures with Young Children by Ingrid Chalufour � Building a House by Bryon Barton