Building Toward Success with JK 104
Garrett Douglas and Turhan Karabay, JK 104
Welcome to JK104, please make sure you wear your hard hat and be sure to stay inside the marked lines to avoid falling debris. We’re a working classroom, after all.
Following our class’s interests has always been the mission in Early Childhood and this year, 104’s interests have been touching on construction. We started simple by identifying our usual materials—legos, magnet tiles, etc. Houses, towers, basic structures of four walls and a roof. This class would not be satisfied with the mere basics, however; their buildings needed purpose. Houses became zoos for stuffys, garages for toy cars. Towers served as launching points for paper airplanes, even platforms for the kids to see farther across the room. They wanted to create things with function and so, we did.
Our first building challenge was to split into two groups and have each build a bridge that spanned two points and was sturdy enough to support the weight of a hefty, wooden truck driving across it.
First, we asked them to make plans, blueprints of their ideas, however far-fetched. They had to consider materials they’d need (primarily cardboard) as well as what everyone in the group’s role would be.
Construction then began with trial and error as they tested what worked and what didn’t. Sometimes things fell apart, sometimes ideas didn’t pan out, and we helped them to understand what went wrong and to try, try again.
Then, it was time for the final test and everyone held their breath as the truck was rolled over both groups' bridges, which held! They cheered, then asked what they would be building next.
We are currently in the middle of our next building project: boats. In groups of three, the students will craft a water-worthy vessel and see how many pennies it can hold before it sinks. Blueprints are already being drawn as we speak and construction begins soon.
Come by our classroom to check out the progress, but don’t forget your life vest!

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