Sunday, January 19, 2014

Thinking Creatively With Macaroni!

While we certainly want children to have and use concrete skills like knowing color words or numerals, we also hope they think creatively and problem solve. One of the ways we can encourage and celebrate creative thought is to let children play with sorting. They will surprise you with their thinking.

I like to take out the macaroni that we dyed together (see last week's post) and ask children how they would like to sort it. Usually I show how to sort by color and then I ask them to think of different ways.

The child took the curly macaroni in hand. 

I encourage children to describe what they are doing to encourage expressive language and use of important school language like "in a line" or "first," "next," and so on.
This preschooler used directions words and phrases like "in a line" and "use them all."
While encouraging school language, we can also celebrate unique ways of sorting. This child thought about shape.

Notice that the child is still sorting using shape. He is also talking about the idea of "below."
Finally, the shell macaroni shapes are added to the sort.
When finished with shape sorting, the child was asked to think about a different way to sort the macaroni. This is important. We should encourage children to consider new ways of thinking. When asked to sort in "Bennett's way" (use children's names for added motivation!), look at what this young child did:

The child wanted to make "groups."

Notice the idea of numeracy in these groups. One straight macaroni, one curly macaroni, and two shells are used in each group. He described his color choices of as he picked matching shells and yellow curly macaroni.
This is a wonderful example of personal creative thought. We need to encourage and celebrate this type of unique sorting!

No comments:

Post a Comment