I love an original and inventive idea. Sometimes I feel that teachers have become too afraid to experiment and try new methods. I hope to read a lot more of this type of thinking from our teachers:
Children generally don’t respond well to having their toys taken away, but if those toys are replaced with cardboard boxes, it turns out kids don’t mind so much.
That’s what Ohio preschool teacher Pete Kaser learned when he removed all the toys and learning tools from his classroom and replaced them with raw materials, such as boxes and egg cartons, NBC4 reports.
“The children were actually not asking for their toys back or where the toys were at all, which is kind of shocking,” Kaser, who teaches at Wellington in Columbus, told the Huffington Post.
Instead, the kids started exploring the materials and working together to build a variety of creations they dreamed up on their own. They’ve since created an igloo, a pirate ship, a rocket ship, a hotel and houses with makeshift kitchens. Subject matter from previous lessons even came into play when the children fashioned a didgeridoo out of a cardboard tube after learning about the wind instruments while studying Australia.
“I just spent so many years looking at all my teaching materials and thinking that so much of them have a preassigned value to them,” Kaser said. “I wasn’t getting the imagination out of the children that I wanted.”
A toy phone, for example, is going to look like a toy phone and function as a toy phone to most children, Kaser explained. The same goes for a cash register, or a train. But if you ask a child what he or she sees with a cardboard box, you might get 10 different answers and thus, more creativity, he argued.
Kaser said he plans to continue with the box experiment until the children no longer show interest, but so far, he said, the students are still engaged. In addition, several of the shyer children have come out of their shells and taken to leading some of the projects.
Click on this link to watch the video.
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Click on the link to read the Phonics debate.
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