Tell what you learned, draw what you learned, or show what you learned.Children met in small groups to reflect on their focused exploration of water flow. I brought photos, a tabletop drawing easel, markers, and some of the water flow tools to our discussion. I reminded the children of the exploration’s goal, which was to get water to flow through a circular tube.
The photos served as reminders of the many components involved in the experience. Children were able to recall who had what responsibility, where problems arose, and what was done to overcome the obstacles. During our reflective discussion, some of the children were able to explain the process. We needed a lot of children. Jaidin had to put the water in. With a cup and a funnel. Some of us helped him lift it up. Oh, and we needed someone to hold the bucket—the bucket to catch the water that came out.
Sometimes a lack of language ability prevents children from expressing their ideas. The easel assisted some children by giving them a place to draw what had occurred. As one child drew, another would recall something and it would lead to greater detail in the representation.
Stephen said, I thought it was not going to go around. The water couldn’t make it. I asked, What was wrong? Why couldn’t it get all the way around? Stephen replied, It wasn’t going fast enough. It had to be traveling really, really fast to go up and around.
Jaidin said, I know, I know! We were thinking how to get it moving faster. I probed, How did you manage to get it moving faster? Jaidin replied, We picked it up. The tube. The side with the funnel. Way up high, added Victor, demonstrating by lifting up his arm.
This is Stephen’s representation of the scene in the water table. He pointed to the area where Jaiden put the water in. Using his finger, he traced the direction that the water flowed to demonstrate its path.
Other children were better able to demonstrate their learning by using the tube without any water. They manipulated the tube to show how they formed the middle into a circle. Then they indicated how the tube was held, the input, and output areas.
No matter the method used to communicate their learning, children were all able to express the idea that a “force” was needed to achieve the desired results.