Monday, 3 February 2014

From 2D map to 3D map... and all the skills needed for THAT

I knew that today would be a challenge... as we were introducing a new technique for these children... the concept of interpreting maps, and the idea of interpreting the 2D map into a 3D creation...

We showed the WHOLE group the two maps to the same place... as two children live on the same "yard/garden". The children were quick to notice that they were different and also point out that they were different because we have different ways of seeing things (yeah!!!!  SO HAPPY to hear a child say that).

We then divied into two groups where each group had a map to look at, try tocomprehend and try to construct using blocks... hahahahaha

I laugh now, but at the time it was HARD WORK. There were three HUGE elements the children were learning (and we knew this WOULD be a challenge) - firstly the idea of maps representing real life... secondly working out how to make the 2D image into a 3D creation and thirdly (and most importantly) how to collaborate...

I knew when I met the eyes of Ellen afterwards that we had pretty much the same sort of OMG experience. It was INTENSE. SO many ideas for the children to digest at once - and put that together with a child in each group either having limited language for various reasons then it made it even more of a challenge as everything needed to be explained and explained and explained.

BUT we knew this going into it... but still it hits you like a freight train when you challenge the children maybe a little more than they are used to... yes we challenge, but maybe not quite this big a step... it was not out of range, but it DID require more support than usual. The aim being that when the children come to design their own square they are competent in their thinking about how their idea and real life can be reperesented in 2D and also how this then can be built three dimensionally. We are building on the children's SKILLS right now... we do not expect them to be able to do this.... we are pushing themselves (and maybe ourselves too) out of our comfort zone... but this is something we will do for the next 5 weeks. We have time to practice (thank goodness) not only the children, but also how we communicate all of this... we will get better together. Whether the five weeks is enough time... I don't know... BUT it will give them the chance to experience a new way of looking at things and hopefully ease their process of communicating their ideas about the square...

Put it this way... we had paper ready to document quotes... it remained empty at the end of the session... and as you will see just about all the photos are taken AFTERWARDS as we had to be actively invloved with the children...

here are the logbooks... well one of them... I have sat today and worked on them to get them a little up to date... well enough to be able to continue with anyway... In the future they will contain more meta-dialogues so that the children can reflect upon what we have done and we can write them WITH the children. ALSO there will be these moments where we write up from the project book where we write up all sorts of documentation... philosophy dialogues, project dialogues... and some of our own thoughts too... these entries in their log books are lifted from the Project Documentation book and are an opportunity to show the children's thinking as we explore the various play spaces near to us...


  1. This idea is absolutely amazing. I have been looking at Journey with my class of 5 to 6 year olds.
    They have explored physical journeys and now they looking at their growth journeys.
    This idea would be a great way for them to connect the math concept of 2D and 3D.
    Thank you for sharing.

    1. My 4-6 yr olds loved this process, and it really did help them with the concept of designing things... designing was much easier for them in 3D and then they were able to translate it back into 2D using the skills from the maps we had made together and followed.