My students need blocks to practice counting and spatial awareness.
I am a founding pre-k teacher at a charter school in a high poverty area. For many of my students, this is the first opportunity they have to create something from their imagination. Right now, I have a block area that has very few blocks and limits the creative possibilities for my students.
My students are very active.
They love to run and build. Every day, they decide who is going to be Superman, Spiderman or the Green Lantern. They would love to create their own Gotham City or Metropolis. The charter school where they attend is focused on infusing arts into the core curriculum and setting very high standards for academic achievement. Students know that school is vital to their academic career, but right now, they really just want to play.
Through block play, children are able to practice many skills. They are able to count and sort blocks. Children can practice writing through creating signs for their play. Children build vocabulary through talking about what they have created. Block play is also essential to developing cognitive skills that will lead students to be problem solvers and critical thinkers. Students test cause and effect through seeing how high blocks can stack. Students develop a sense of innovation through putting blocks together in new ways (one day, the blocks are a house, the next day the blocks are a fire station). Finally, block play helps students develop social skills. They need to cooperate to co-create a structure. They also learn how to pretend play together.
Block play is an essential part of an early childhood experience because it allows me to teach so many things through play.
Right now, my children are missing this valuable opportunity because they don't have the blocks they need. My block area is under used.
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