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Notes from the Classroom

Notes from the Classroom

Emergent Curriculum and Learning in Action

In our classrooms, we use the children’s interests to create curriculum and embed core learning standards into the activities. As an example, in one of our four’s classes the children have made a robot out of boxes which will be used to teach addition in a really fun way. For the moment, the children are enjoying using the robot’s two tubes to shoot objects down and create groupings. After spring break, the plan is to introduce the concept of “one more” by placing a certain number of objects into one tube and one into the other. The children will predict the total number objects that will be collected and counted out, by holding up a number card, and eventually, writing the prediction onto paper. This will be followed by addition with objects using other single digit quantities.

The robot idea stemmed from this class’ community study and an interest in police officers. The assistant teacher, Alex Redmond, wanted to create a robot adding machine. The children were given a large box and a shoe box and asked how their robot police officer should look. The children decided that the shoe box should be the head and therefore go on top. From there, they connected the boxes with tape. The assistant teacher added the tubes (used for addition) to the front of the robot. The group discussed what else the robot needed, and they decided to add arms which lead to adding hands, but not just any kind of hand, they added claw hands made of popsicle sticks. Next, the children made the robot colorful before deciding that it needed wheels which they cut out and taped to the sides. One boy wanted to add a badge and so, a badge was created and placed on while two other students worked on the robot’s face. This was truly a small group collaborative effort.

Stay tuned for photographs of the children using the robot...

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