Busy as Bees in a Hive!
The past month in the Hive has been full of inquiry! The children have been learning through play and experiential learning around their areas of interest. Two significant lines of investigation have come from their play. These include 'Space' and 'manipulation of materials to create change' (clay, box construction, and colour mixing).
We have worked through problems as they arise in real-life situations. For example, when working with clay to replicate planets in space, the children had to find materials and tools that they could manipulate to create the space scene they planned.
“This box won’t go round,” Oscar.
“How will we make the Saturn ring?” Tom.
“It won’t stick, so we need something stronger,” Arlo.
“We could use playdough,” Amelie.
“Or clay,” Aaren.
“Let’s try clay,” Tom.
“It works,” Aaren.
“You can roll it,” Mila.
“And push bits in,” Noah.
“It dries out if you leave it,” Oscar.
The process of exploration and collaboration in the program was essential as all educators allowed the children time to work it out for themselves rather than just asking them to carry out the task using specific materials.
Time to explore and experiment and work with others was vital as they could experience ‘failure’ and use it to try new ways, be creative, and feel a strong sense of pride when they eventually worked out how to do something.
Manipulating Objects to create change
Box construction and construction
“My robot now stands up. It needed tape at the bottom,” Oscar.
“This tower has a strong base and a small top. It’s not heavy up there,” Zahli.
Is it strong? “Yes, because it’s not too heavy now.” Zahli.
“It’s sticky and lumpy”, Alice.
“It mixes up”, Walter.
“We wanted rainbow”, Mila
“It’s just brown”, Rafi.
“And purple”, Cassie.
“All the colours make it brown. Some bits are white still” Tom.
“Let’s add blue”, Oscar.
“It doesn’t work”, Aaren.
“Maybe just two colours”, Aaren.
The children predicted that adding all the colours together would make rainbow slime! They naturally discovered through independent inquiry that it made the colour brown. The children acquired this knowledge by ‘doing’. This activity was carefully planned with educators after the children had a theory that they could make rainbow-coloured slime. Journaling this process in our Morning Meeting book allowed us to chart our discussions and allowed educators to plan for further learning.
“The long one makes bigger bubbles,” Seb.
“Wow, this one is sooo little,” Walter.
“I can make so many bubbles by pushing hard," Noah.
“If you add water, it won’t work," Mila.
“How is that one orange?” Seb.
“Awwww WOW," Spencer.
“That one is ginormous,” Tom.
“Hey, it works. It’s not even a bubble wand,” Arlo. (We hand-made some different bubble wands ourselves. Arlo uses the cotton wheel with wire).
“The wind moves it," Alice.
Art and manipulation for cause and effect
“It’s still got colour all over it”, Rafi.
“The water moves off the colour”, Aaren.
“If you put too much (watercolour), it’s just wet”, Seb.
“It goes light red when you mix the white and red”, Luca.
“It will make a rainbow when we add all the colours”, Tom.
“I made green. It’s blue and yellow,” Maisie.
“Mine is blue. It made bubbles,” Cassie.
Experiential learning in the Hive allows children to collaborate with others and work out their own strategy with support, rather than follow instructions or formulas to arrive at an answer. Throughout this reflection, you will note that the children’s conversations with one another provide time for them to observe, explore and notice. Educators do not tell them how things should be done; we listen to them and question when the time is right.
This year our education team has been working with consultant Kirsty Liljedren to do some action research. We have all noted that listening deeply to the children has enabled us to see their creative thinking and that they are learning that there are multiple ways we can arrive at solutions.
Head of Early Childhood