Showing posts from February, 2017

Leaving Behind the Given: Searching for a room that isn't there anymore

CeeCee's parents came to school with a question she had been asking at home; Where is the Meadow room? Her (now first grade) brother was in the Meadow room when he was in preschool. But where did it go? CeeCee wanted to know because she is in the Rainbow room, and the Meadow room would be next. But if it's not there anymore, would there be a classroom for her? This is a really knotty problem. Where does something go when it's gone? The four walls that held the Meadow room still exist. Yet somehow the Meadow room isn't there. The problem encompasses time, because brothers and sisters used to be in the Meadow room, and children will be going somewhere next. The Meadow room is a permanent thing in our ideas about preschool, yet it has slipped out of the physical space. That is how we started looking for the Meadow room.

When Hermann Weyl wrote that, he was talking about asking questions in physics and mathematics that are beyond the 'given'. As near as I can under…

Magical Thinking and Alternative Facts

 The 3 and 4 year old children made up a game of 'powers' in which two children stand on a carpet square and then 'psh psh psh' their powers at each other. Other children sit to the side and often draw the action and cheer. After they had been playing this game for a while, we teachers began to wonder how to take the thinking further.

We came up with some questions; What color are your powers? What sound do they make? Could I borrow your powers? We encouraged each child to make a mask, cape and a pocket to hold their powers.

"Real animals don’t have any powers. Stories have powers. Yeah, in stories they have powers. Not any kind of real animals can’t do stuff. Can’t do stuff that powers can do, no. We play stuff but it’s not powers."
Anna Hart, you have powers, don’t you?
Hart "No. I have pretend powers. Just when I freeze stuff, and when it’s dark. It only comes out when I’m mad, or scared."

The back and forth between magical thinking and theory making …