One of the magical things about getting to work with a group of children over an extended period of time is being able to return to activities over the course of weeks, months, and years, and see the effects of accumulating experience and knowledge on children's processes.
fascination with bees. We explored these fascinating creatures in many ways, and especially loved learning about the way flowers are used by bees as a source of sustenance. We found that taking apart flowers was one of the best ways to learn about them, how they were made, and what was inside them. Flower deconstruction became an important part of our investigations into bees, and we became experts at opening up flowers to discover what was inside.
The next week, we returned to flower deconstruction. I had been thinking about MH's use of his pencil as a tool, and decided to offer each child a flower along with some scissors and various other tools. We were able to combine something the children felt comfortable with - taking flowers apart and looking closely - with something with which they are building competence and confidence: scissor skills.
Along with rolling pins and other tools, each child took apart, flattened, and cut up flowers, building on their knowledge of flowers themselves, as well as the use of each tool. It's amazing to see each child gain fluency with these tools, and at the same time witness the ownership each child takes of his or her own work as individual processes are seen by teachers, honored, celebrated, and scaffolded upon.