Day 2 with Eddie and Ruby at The Little Explorers Activity Club working with Miriam, our Physics expert who is doing her thesis. (Read about Day 1 here)
Today was a chance to confirm their knowledge from all the fun and games the day before and to tell us all about their homework – a strange concept for me, a child being so excited about homework. The Movement Method and our team from Horse Boy really are miracle workers !
“We measured the speed of the fish and blue whale across the paddling pool at home, it was brilliant!”
Eddie ran over to the gate and saw the map Miriam had made for him. “It looks like a treasure map.” he said and they figured out what the map shows and went to the x marked spot where they found a little lizard called Professor Lizard.
Like Professor Owl this toy is a useful tool to take the pressure off the child if they are struggling or when you want to drop a new concept, add in info... Another clue was found, ‘who is right deserves some gold’ there were two dinosaur toys that lay next to signs with pictures. One said ‘velocity means how hungry I am’ and the other ‘Velocity is speed and direction.’ He thought a few seconds about it and then gave the gold coin to the dinosaur with the right statement.
Onto the next dinosaurs, again and again he made a right decision and gave the coin to the right dinosaur.
At the end of the hunt he spotted the trophy cup with the gold medal.
“We might have missed one out. Let´s go that way.” He said and they found the lasts dinosaur around the other side of the meadow. This one was all about how acceleration means to become faster, something we hadn't managed to cover that much the day before. It was very helpful to have Professor Lizard with us in that moment because Miriam could explain which answers were right and which were wrong and Eddie could give a coin to the dinosaur with the right answer. He didn't feel embarrassed about not knowing the answer because the lizard was there to help. Another benefit was that the concept of “acceleration” is dropped in that moment. Although he was not totally understanding it then he had heard the word and it´s meaning once and may remember in another session about acceleration.
The 'confirm it' treasure hunt had been an amazing success, he showed that he got the main concept of speed means distance per time, velocity is speed and direction, and that the common units are km/h or MPH.
Improvements for next time on our part would be to make bigger signs so that the child can read the words easily.
As we walked up the hill Eddie chatted away to us about all sorts of things and then inside in the garden room on the swing he said “We might get a rainbow, because they said it could rain today.” If we were going to be working with Eddie again soon this is an excellent example of how you can follow the child's thoughts and be guided by them, our next session could be all about spectrum of light, the rainbow colors, prism, etc.
Eddie went over to the sand box “This time we make sure that we won´t throw any sand on the floor” he said and took the box with sand and sea animals and placed it on the floor. I could hear him from the kitchen “Arabella, do you know what kind of bug this is?” ok we are off into a natural sciences/physics lesson now and off we go - The idea to let the little bug run a race came up “Oh I should have brought my snail. They could have had a race. But maybe that would be a little unfair because the snail is so slow.' Miriam suggested to let the bug run through the sand so we could measure the distance of his track afterwards and Eddie agreed. With stop watch in hand it was time to start, “Ready to start? Go!”
After the race it was decided that our heroic little bug needed a name 'Debbie, you shall be named Debbie the Beetle.'
At the end of the play date he took his medal, a cookie from the kitchen, Debbie in a box, gave Miriam a big hug and said good bye, one very happy Eddie. Miriam and I rested on the sofa, her smile spread to me, the work we are doing with these kids inspires us both and lifts us up so high. These methods work, my god they work. I feel more motivated than ever now to get our centre up and running so we can train others, to show teachers how there is another way, through movement, nature and following our children we can teach in a way that will encourage their love for learning.