the small stuff

complex lego sculpture with pieces, wheels and people.
There are so many different ways to think about Stuff.
Ideally, educators call Stuff using words that offer more respect and specificity - like Manipulatives or Materials or Found Objects or Collections. For the simplicity of this post today, I will say Stuff is what you need to offer - not too much, not too little, pleasantly arranged - in your classroom. When you have the Stuff, then make sure you offer the Time for children to engage, explore, and experiment with Stuff. When observing children working with Stuff, they will change how you think about the Stuff and will help inspire you to offer other high quality Stuff. The classroom will become a more challenging and interesting space to be an explorer of Stuff. 
masterpiece with magna tiles, cones and tubes.

shells and round magnets deliberately arranged in a trail.

domino house with such careful placement of flat, sideways, & upright pieces.
commitment, precision and intentional design within a magnetic tower.

kapla blocks (wow!) with bears atop in colored rows.

The incredible work of children.
When the teacher knows how to go slow enough, yet challenge enough, yet question enough, yet stay quiet enough, yet encourage enough...the incredible work of children will be right in front of you, daily, with startling images and inventions for you to document and photograph and share with your own school community. 
The small Stuff gives birth to a new way of understanding children learning.
Get some Stuff. Give some time.
The children will show you the rest.

1 comment:

  1. As you say in your last paragraph, this being a teacher is not as easy as it sounds... lots of enoughs! Indeed!
    Maybe the trick (skill/disposition/awareness) is to know when 'enough is enough'!

    Good day!


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