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In the Classroom: The Roadrunners

Follow Their Lead

One of the most important things we do in the Roadrunners classroom is follow our children’s lead. For a child, having an interested and loving adult listen closely to what they are thinking about is so important. As a child sees that an adult values them and their ideas, confidence builds and they will often extend their thoughts much further than they would have alone. 
Our teaching team has been reading from James and the Giant Peach to the children at rest time. At one point, James sees the “Cloud Men” (which we renamed Cloud People) operating a snow machine in the sky. The illustration of the snow machine made an impression on some Roadrunners, and later that day many Roadrunners built their own versions of snow machines on the playground using the big blocks and hay as snow.
As teachers, seeing the children getting interested in a topic is an exciting moment! We think about ways to support their play to let them explore a topic as deeply they want. 
For example, we discussed with the Roadrunners how they thought snow is made. Tiernan declared, "Chemicals! You have to shoot water with chemicals." "You need hay," Finbarr reasoned, "I was making a snow machine and the hay was snow." Connor explained, "I think we need lots of wind, and some fluff with water. You know how snow's wet? I think the wind would make the water cold."
We researched what real snow machines look like on the computer (while sounding out how to spell “snow machine”) and how t snow. We discovered that Connor´s idea was completely right! Snow machines combine water with very cold air to spray out snow.
By connecting an object from a story that we read to outdoor play, literacy, and scientific inquiry, we gave the Roadrunners a variety of ways to pursue their interests and build different skills at the same time. How wonderful to support their learning, while letting our children lead us to where they want to go!