Setting the Stage
Unapologetically I believe in the importance of play in the classroom. Our young students learn best through exciting, hands-on experiences. So, when possible, I love intentionally crafting play and wonder into our day.
We gathered on the main Construction Floor (our classroom carpet) to hear from the Site Foreman. He explained to us his problem and we decided we could help him! As we worked, we heard the sounds of trucks, diggers, and saws with this music from Youtube.
What Our Morning Looked Like
Once we accepted the challenge, we split into construction teams (by table). Each different construction site had a task for us to complete. We took along our tool box and pencil, so we could record our work as we went. Each task was inside of a tool box or tool case that I swiped from my Mom (Thanks, Mom!). It made it so much more exciting to have to open up and dump each of the tool bags! Two of our construction sites were lego-based centers.
We also had to reassemble the school’s plumbing at another construction site. I purchased two 5-foot 1/2 inch PVC pipe poles from Lowes and cut them into 3 inch pieces. This gave me 40 individual pieces (enough for 20 compound words). I then picked-up 20 couplings or joints to connect the two parts of each compound word. (The couplings came in packs of 10, so I picked-up two packs.)
I decided to use labels for the pipes and the legos, because I want to use these materials for other activities. The pipes and connectors will be perfect for teaching conjunctions and the legos will be great for indoor recess.
At another construction site, we were commissioned to design our own towers. Using the sand-timer provided, we “played” with wooden blocks to build a fabulous tower. After the timer ran out, we had to use our tower to write an awesome 1st grade sentence!
Now I’ll admit – this was DEFINITELY a challenge for my friends but a very good one. It required the whole work time and really made us think about what we’ve learned about nouns, verbs, and adjectives!
Reflecting on Our Learning
From walking into the construction zone to debriefing the crew about the day’s building, we conquered Compound Words in two hours. This is a day where I did not meet with reading groups, but it was totally worth it. Honestly, I’ll never have to touch Compound Words again, my 1st graders own them and they have such a positive memory to attach to the content…a definite win-win in my book!
Being Real – How Much Did It Cost?
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