Guest Teacher:  Kati Nash
Reggio Inspired Blog Series

For months friends had been exploring ramps and their relationship to the objects that travel down them. After exploring with different objects in our classroom from wooden spools to water, friends began making objects with clay to roll on the ramps. Friends started by making balls and logs to roll down the ramp.
As friends explored the ramps and clay they soon  decided they should use clay to decorate the ramps. Friends worked tirelessly adding collage materials to clay and placing the clay with the utmost care onto the ramp in precise spots.
Friends brought their decorated clay to morning meeting with pride.

As friends began discussing it they soon realized that nothing was rolling down the decorated ramp and that it must be broken. Friends initiated brainstorming how to “fix” the broken ramp.
Three theories were put before the group: A.) Clay must be added to the back of the ramp. B.) The clay at the top of the ramp must be made taller. C.) All the clay must be removed. A small group of friends then went back to the atelier to test the different theories.

Through trial and error friends discovered that out of the three proposed solutions only removing the clay was a viable possibility for causing movement down the ramp. Friends plan to bring the bare ramp to morning meeting and discuss their findings.

Teachers wondered if this would lead into further investigating the texture and incline of ramps. This experience provided children with rich scientific inquiry and problem solving possibilities, along with opportunities for showing flexibility and inventiveness in thinking.

After children began exploring the texture of the decorations they made for their ramp the teachers realized the children’s ideas of texture were expanding and developing, but their ability to express their ideas of texture verbally were still limited to an unimaginative vocabulary.
Teachers decided to set up different provocations to promote further development of texture concepts. Children really became intrigued with creating their own textures using paint and a variety of small materials including rice, sprinkles, baking soda, birdseed, noodles and other items.
As children created textures they began bringing them to morning meeting to share and discuss with their friends.

Children brainstormed names for each texture and then worked tirelessly in the writing center to put pen to paper and get the names of their textures written down.
These experiences provided children with the opportunity for comparison and classification development, along with furthering their knowledge of the physical properties of objects and materials. Children also expanded their expressive vocabulary and inventiveness in thinking.