Teacher Resources: Blocks and Ramps

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Whether block and ramp play are a part of your curriculum or simply one of your learning centers, young children enjoy the creative experiences blocks and ramps have to offer.  By understanding the typical development with these materials, teachers can create opportunities that will connect, deepen and extend children’s learning.  Such opportunities can include STE Frameworks and Physical Sciences (force, energy, stability) and Cross Cutting Concepts (cause & effect, scale, proportion & quantity, energy & matter, structure & function).

Developmental Stages of Block Play

This classroom posting is a wonderful reference with information on the various stages children will progress through as they begin to play with blocks.  It provides pictures and details of what to expect at each stage.  This posting will help you to align your curriculum and expectations around the various stages that are happening in your classroom.

Challenge Cards – Blocks and Ramps

These visual cards each provide a different challenge that will deepen – connect – extend your children’s block and ramp play.  Simply print, cut and use.

Intentional Planning Sheet Sample – Bridge Over a River

This is a sample of the RISE Intentional Planning sheet that was co-constructed by RISE teachers with the goal of challenging children to engineer a stable bridge that will span a predetermined “river” (made of blue felt).  The Intentional Planning sheet provides guidance in planning an experience and considers key details to assure a rich STE and HSC.  Find a blank Intentional Planning sheet on the main Teacher Resources page under RISE Tools for Teachers.

Intentional Planning Sheet Sample – Knocking Down Object at End of Ramp

This is a sample of the RISE Intentional Planning sheet that was co-constructed by RISE teachers with the goal of challenging children to design a ramp that would create enough force for a marble to knock over a tower at the end.

Intentional Planning Sheet Sample – Make a Marble Roll Up a Ramp

This is a sample of the RISE Intentional Planning sheet that was co-constructed by RISE teachers with the goal of challenging children to determine a way to get a marble to roll up a ramp without pushing it.

Intentional Planning Sheet Sample – Wrecking Ball

This is a sample of the RISE Intentional Planning sheet that was co-constructed by RISE teachers with the goal of challenging children to the explore variables of the weight of a ball and length of string on a “wrecking ball” (PVC piping, string, balls) to create enough force to knock down a block wall.

Ways to Deepen Children’s Ramp Experiences

A classroom posting that provides examples on how you can deepen children’s understanding of ramps within the contexts of stability, distance and speed.

My Home Home – School  Sheet

Activity sheets focus on gathering  specific information from families that then can be used in a relatable way in your curriculum.  The My Home sheet gathers information on what children’s homes are built out of.  This can then support exploring the physical properties of materials, the concept of stability and scale, proportion & quantity.  Parents can fill them out at home with their child or during drop off or pick up.