Blocks Center: Building Builders

Blocks!  The blocks center is the most popular center in my classroom.  This week I wanted to share all about my blocks center!

1.  At the beginning of every year, I introduce each center and build basic background information about the center.  I do this over a period of about 3 weeks.  I love reading books to introduce vocabulary and show how you can build anything you want using your imagination!  Here are some books I LOVE to read at the beginning of the year to support my builders.
2.  The most popular blocks are the Me Blocks!  On the first day I take each students picture.  I print the photos wallet size on card stock, laminate, and tape to Jenga blocks.  It is super simple!  Me blocks make even the most reluctant builder want to build.  The blocks also help students learn each other's name and create a caring classroom community.
Here are the Me Blocks in action!  This group of students worked together to build a castle for all their friends to live in.  Love it!
I have a bulletin board in the block center.  It changes as our block building focus changes.
3.  We brainstormed and created a list of all the things they can build with blocks the first week.  It is a great tool for students to use when they can't think of anything to build or ALWAYS build the same thing over and over. Check out the updated I Can Build anchor chart in my store HERE.
Today I saw two boys over at the chart having a discussion what they wanted to build.  It was the sweetest thing!  They were negotiating with each other and trying to convince the other to build what they wanted in the kindest way! 
4.  I always have photographs of structures students have built.  The photographs give other students ideas about what to build and how to build it.
5.  The students voted on their favorite thing to build.  I used post-it notes to create the blocks on the graph.  Using post-it notes for graphs are amazing!  They are all the same size, the students can stick them to the chart without using messy glue,students can move them if they change their mind, and I don't have to cut squares from construction paper!  Amazing right!
We have had a blast in the block center!  I can't wait to see what they build next!

Take a peek and see what is happening in other classrooms this week!
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3 comments

  1. What a wonderful activity you created for your little learners! :) I love how many different modalities you featured! :) I always loved building with things as a child! :) I bet the kids had some great conversations while working! :) Fantastic post! ;) Thanks for sharing! ;)
    XOXO,
    Tamara
    Mrs. Russell's Room
    www.tamaravrussell.blogspot.com

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  2. Love this post! My block center is housed on a larger shelf this year and I was trying to think of something else I could add. You gave me plenty of ideas!

    Learning at the Teacher Table

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  3. I am in love with your Blocks Center!! I love the "Me Blocks' what a wonderful idea!! How sweet of your littles to build a castle for everyone to live in!! I'm super jealous of your books about blocks and building with them, I don't have anything like that but I will now be on the look out for them!!! Oh, and I totally love your bulletin board idea for the Blocks Center. I am totally going to 'steal' some of your ideas to make my Blocks Center come to life!! Thanks so much for sharing!!!

    Warmest Wishes, Erin from Kindergarten Dragons

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