Diary 23.02.2017

Date: Tháng Ba 6, 2017 Author: Casa Hà Nội Categories: Nhật ký Casa Hanoi

Building Blocks, Building Friendship
Thursday, 23rd February 2016

“Lightning McQueen… auto!” exclaimed Huy Hoang and Dang Minh as they carried a few recycled wooden blocks to the mat. A few minutes later, “build a house,” said Huy Hoang as he pointed to the shelf to ask for some bricks from Ms Sheila. Dang Minh and Huy Hoang were elated to have received a bag of bricks. The two sat together and build different structures using the bricks and recycled wooden blocks. After working at the ‘Practical Life Area’ Max joined Huy Hoang and Dang Minh. The latter observed the two and eventually got some blocks for him to build.

The three children spoke in Vietnamese, negotiating blocks and the design of their buildings. Max, Huy Hoang and Dang Minh were quite engaged in their chosen activity. Their play ended beautifully and they helped each other to tidy up the blocks.

A few minutes later, Naomi and Mia laid a mat and took the tray of blocks. They helped each other to build a structure that looked like a house. “It’s a princess house. These are beds for the princess,” explained Mia as Ms Sheila joined them in. Naomi and Mia played cooperatively engaging in a dialogue about princesses.

Block play is a great opportunity for children to learn. Through playing blocks with their peers, they learn to problem solve, to negotiate and to take turns. Take for example this morning, when Huy Hoang grabbed a few blocks from Max which upset the latter. They were observed speaking with each other and eventually distributed the blocks and started building again. Block play helps to develop mathematical and spatial awareness. You see in the photo Huy Hoang and Max looking closely at their construction, examining different angles of the building. It is also a great opportunity for children to develop social and language skills. They learn to express their ideas and listen to each others’ opinion and suggestions,
“The current research shows that block play is fundamental for later cognitive success for learning math and numbers. In a research study, “Block Play Performance among Preschoolers as a Predictor of Later School Achievement in Mathematics”, published in the Journal of Research in Early Childhood Education, the researchers proved that children who play with blocks when they are three, four and fives years of age will do better in math, especially Algebra in middle school.” (http://www.claytonearlylearning.org)

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