Wednesday, February 27, 2013

It's All About The Process

Watching the children work yesterday I thought I would share this little exchange between two of my little ones. All of the kids were working on a mixed media project consisting of: Foam trays, Tin Foil, Scotch Tape, Foil Squares and Pipe Cleaners. Scotch tape is pretty new for this group but Addie and most of the other children had worked with it the day before. As far as I know Yoli was having her first experience with the sticky stuff and she wasn’t quite sure how it worked. 

The day before, I had shown the children how to cut tape and keep it from tangling by attaching it to the table, then dangling it roll side down so that it would stay straight instead of curling up and sticking to itself. The children were delighted with the project and wanted to work with tape again. Yoli hadn’t seen the process so she wanted to know: How does tape work? 

This is how she learned...

Yoli worked with the tape for several minutes trying to adhere it to the table but it kept slipping because she had positioned it sticky side up. As she worked, she got her fingers all tangled up in it then looked confused because she noticed Addie’s tape was sticking to the table. Yoli made several unsuccessful attempts at fixing the problem by moving her fingers on top of the tape (still sticky side up). She stoped for a moment; looked at her tape then looked at Addie’s tape, and repositioned her fingers several times but the tape still did not stick to the table. 

I allowed her some time to trouble shoot in her own way. She patiently continued to work and after some time I show her how to position it properly on the table. I explained to Yoli that the sticky side of the tape is the part that keeps it from sliding off the table and that the adhesive needed to be touching the table. Yoli studied the tape for a few minutes, feeling both sides as it hung there. 

She picked up the scissors then opened then shut them, watching as the blades moved back and forth. She looked at Addie as she cut strips of tape, placed them on the table, then repositioned the roll again. She looked from Addie's workspace to her own and appeared to be confused. I asked Addie to explain how to cut the tape so Yoli would know what to do. 

Addie said “Like this Yoli.” Then she moved to the side so that Yoli could see. She snipped the dangling tape roll, put the tape on the table and repositions it again. Yoli followed her lead and sucessfully cut the tape. 

The two worked side by side and Addie offered help by repositioning Yoli’s tape when it got too tangled in the scissors. Yoli cut several strands of tape then lined them up on the table next to Addie's. The two worked on the process of cutting and repositioning tape for twenty minutes giggling as they linded up the tape strips.

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