## Saturday, November 15, 2014

### BRING ON THE BLOCKS!

It breaks my heart when teachers say, "They took my blocks away!” Blocks are a natural element and in this world of plastic and manufactured goods, it feels good to just hold a block.  Blocks can be used to help children develop concepts of numbers, size, shape, and weight.  They also encourage imagination, language, social skills, self-confidence, and motor skills.

You just might be surprised how many Common Core State Standards can be reinforced with blocks.

### Here are a few successful block centers:

#### Math  Block Center

Write signs =, +, and - on pieces of paper and attach to blocks. Children can build equations and practice addition and subtraction with the numeral blocks and signs.
*For some added fun, try doing the Macarena Count to 100 video with your class from the (Better Bodies and Brains CD.)

#### Language Arts - Mega Blocks for Mega Learning

Buy Mega Blocks and write letters on them.  Put them in a basket by the word wall.  Write nouns on 3” x 5” index cards and tape to rectangular blocks.  Write “s” on a 3” square and tape to a square block.  Children add the “s” block to the end of the noun and read the word. Use blocks for sequencing, matching upper and lowercase letters, and beginning sounds. You can also write words on the long blocks and students can build and read sentences.
*My Letter Limericks and Poems lesson would go great with this Language Arts activity.

#### Tower Topple

Every child will need one block from the block center for this game.  The first child places their block on the floor. The second child places his or her block on top of the first block.  The game continues as each child adds their block to the tower.  When the “tower topples,” children get a block and the game begins all over again.
*Hint! Encourage them to estimate how many blocks they can stack.  Did they do more or less?