Despite the shimmering curtain of snow, the prediction of inches, possible ice for a topping, it’s hard to let go of the last few days of 2020. There was happiness and joy in 2020 even though the year did not resemble any other year in my life.
I’ve been thinking about science.
systematic knowledge of the physical or material world gained through observation and experimentation (Dictionary.com link)
Even more surprising were synonyms for science: art, technique, method, discipline.
One area of observation for over five years has been my study of grandchildren and it continues to amaze me on a regular basis. The joy. The excitement. The fun. The surprises.
Once upon a time . . .
When I was young, building toys were Lincoln Logs or Tinker Toys. I vaguely remember a wagon with alphabet blocks that also could have been used for building stacks. But inside toys seemed limited unless other toys were repurposed.
But what if toys had NOT evolved?
How would we build a triceratops like the one in the picture? How would we form the base? Outline the body parts? And how would they stick together?
Magnetic blocks come in a variety of sizes and shapes and are great fun to explore what makes them stick together, or not! Often they are tricky and require more than one person when building elaborate structures. Fun. Choice. Variety of sizes. Variety of shapes. Variety of colors.
Has the science of building toys changed?
A Tradition: Gingerbread Houses
Where did gingerbread come from? When did gingerbread houses appear in history? Where? Why? When, where and why did they appear in your family history? How has history impacted your view of gingerbread houses?
Traditional or Modern Gingerbread House?
Do you bake your own? Use graham crackers? Use pop tarts? Does the “house material” matter if the goal is to BUILD the house? Do you actually eat the house? Or does it become a centerpiece?
Here’s a Mario Brothers castle created from a kit. Does it match your picture of a gingerbread house? Why or why not?
Has the “science of gingerbread houses” changed?
I love to find books, articles, blogs and research that I agree with or that support my own beliefs and reaffirms what I value in education. I’ve written about some of those in blog posts However, I’m super skeptical when anyone claims to have the ONE and only one best way to do anything. Those quick, easy solutions may sound wonderful but often are rushed, incomplete and based on assumptions that need further study. Here are two from this week.
“The Critical Story of the “Science of Reading” and Why Its Narrow Plotline Is Putting Our Children and Schools at Risk” link NCTE.org by Dorothy Suskind
So many important points in each of those four parts. Always more than one side to any story.
#DisruptTexts attack (https://disrupttexts.org/ )
Asks for a systematic, thoughtful review of which resources are and are not included in classrooms. Has never banned books. Has never advocated banning books.
Is it okay for students to still be reading the same “required texts” that we had to read – 40 to 50 years ago? Who should decide what books students read? How much input should students have?
When does SCIENCE truly inform instruction? (observation and experimentation)
Thank you, Two Writing Teachers, for this weekly forum. See you in 2021. Check out the writers and readers here.