Okay, so everywhere I look for early childhood ideas (books, blogs, etc.), I see light exploration. I was told that it’s such an important thing to explore because it’s a “magical material”; it can make shadows, it can make things glow, it can change the appearance of something, it can be reflected, it just is really cool!
I decided, I just HAD to have one. I dreamt up great images of children gathering around in wonder, engaging in deep, thoughtful, and scientific conversations, embarking on discovery after discovery - what, did I think I was going to change the world by presenting a light table?
|Our light table - we change where we put it everyday.. this is just where it is put when we are not using it (for now)|
I was fortunate enough to have one donated to me through a wonderful organization, Donors Choose, and I received it just before we went on our long winter break. I decided to not break it out before we left; I waited until our return to school (resisting the HUGE temptation of breaking it open and discovering the magic for myself).
|These are the materials for the kids to work with - any ideas? We are not just limited to this, just thought it would be a good starting point|
A small group of students were invited to choose the light table as a place to go during center time on Monday, and 3 or 4 children have been visiting at this time every day since. The problem is, I thought that I would have all of these great things for the kids to do and thought provoking questions to ask, and when the time came - I just drew a complete blank!
|One student was particularly interested - he just couldn't get close enough!|
It was really “cool” to the children right away, when they first had the opportunity to explore the new material in our classroom. We started just with shapes, and the kids took to them differently. Some wanted to hoard the pretty shapes, holding as many as they could while others sorted by color/shape or pretended that the shapes were cookies that they were going to “eat”.
There was talk about shapes and colors, but for the most part, the interest died after a little bit, and I certainly didn’t feel much magic.
I’ve run into this problem before, with introducing things. I know that many teachers have used the light table for awesome discoveries, projects, all sorts of things - I need some help!
What do I say (or not say????)
What do I do (or not do????)
What’s with the light table?