Learning Story: H and His Planets
Allow me to introduce you to “H”. He loves planets and carries a planet book everywhere he goes.
We were playing outdoors this morning and I observed him collecting all the balls he could find. He worked hard to place them in a line. He tried to put them in a very perfect straight line but doing what balls always do, they kept rolling away. H stayed focused and patiently worked at keeping the balls still each time they rolled away.
Not wishing to interrupt his train of thought, I took one of the balls that was rolling away and placed it by the edge of the sandbox for support. H noticed that action and followed suit seeming to understand how the edge of the sandbox might better support his endeavor or maybe…he just liked that place better?
I also observed that as he put a ball in line with the others, he would call it a planet, Mercury for the first, Mars was second and as each ball rolled, he would question- Where’s Mars? Got to get Mars! And he would either try to find the same ball or look for another to replace the one that he lost and so he continued, determined to get all his “planets” together.
I stayed on the periphery singing a favorite song about planets that he enjoys and tried to take pictures to document his process. He enjoyed the song but seemed to be camera shy which I respected by putting away the camera and offering him uninterrupted time to continue his play.
H’s love for all things planets has not gone unnoticed by the other children. His interest has sparked the children to ask questions and become curious about this topic. We will offer the children the materials and the opportunity to continue exploring this subject but, for now, this is H’s play to lead.
As an educator, my first intent is to find ways to connect with each child, to understand what they love and share their joys and wonders. I am so happy to share H’s love for planets and excited to support him with communicating his knowledge with his peers. I will always remember how the planets accompanied H everywhere he went in these first days of school.
-Lady Reyes, Tierra Room Teacher
Read more about learning stories, an important form of documentation, utilized in our Early Childhood Program.