There’s a lot of money rolling into the State of Illinois because of the Race to the Top initiatives, and a nice big chunk of that has been set aside for early learning.
One of the products of this work is the Illinois Early Learning Project, which includes a website where you can find “evidence-based, reliable information on early care and education for parents, caregivers, and teachers of young children in Illinois.”
Last week, they posted this video of young children playing with the big blocks for an extended time. The video is really great. You can see how he is planning to use the blocks, picking each block carefully, sorting through his choices and making calculated decisions. As the other children come over, you can see them working cooperatively as they build.
When his mother asks him prompting questions, you hear him expressing his thinking, planning, strategizing. It is quite remarkable,
Over the past 2 years I have written about blocks as one of my favorite materials in the ece classroom. You can revisitone of those posts here.