Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Pattern Blocks

We used to have a math program (which shall remain unnamed) that featured a scripted curriculum.

It included work with pattern blocks. I can't remember exactly what it asked teachers and kids to do, but I do remember it assessed students by asking students to use them to cover shapes, like doing a puzzle. I can remember feeling the curriculum was really more about students following teacher directions than really working with their imaginations. I'm so glad we replaced that math program.

I'm working on report cards now and the kindergartners have the opportunity to spend some time with classroom materials on an unscripted basis, with plenty of time to follow their imaginations.

Here's what Jack had been working on:










Believe me, this is light years beyond the "script" we used to follow.

2 comments:

Lynola said...

I love those pattern blocks, as a teacher and just as a person. When I host after school care in my classroom, the 7th and 8th graders still like making (unscripted) patterns and designs.

Dan Gurney said...

Lynola,

Same here. They are quite fun to play with. Same with regular blocks, too. I think both kinds of blocks (and blocks in general) provide really important experiences with solving problems in more than one way. They also promote social development: sharing, learning from one another, working together.