Sunday, January 25, 2015

Take Apart Center for Home or School

When I started teaching {back in the dark ages} I had a take apart center in my first and second grade classrooms.  People would send in broken gadgets and gizmos, and the students would use screwdrivers, pliers, and rubber mallets to disassemble everything from an iron to a computer keyboard.  They learned so much through this process of exploration!

WARNING:  Make sure the devices you take apart do not have any toxic components--televisions and computer monitors are especially bad.  Also, cut off all cords before leaving something for students in the classroom!

Fast forward about 18 years, and you will find that I live with a very curious almost six year old.  He has taken apart a mixer, hair dryer, toy robot, CD player, and quite a few other things.  He has learned so much {for example, speakers have magnets that you can attach a LOT of screws onto!}  He has even taken apart a TV under the supervision of Dad.  {I don't recommend this unless you do research, as some parts still hold an electric charge.}  I do recommend the free exploration of the world around us.  My son is waiting for me to say yes to taking apart a DVD player that I think is dead.

This is such an inexpensive way to encourage discovering and exploration.  I think it would even be great for inside recess days.  If you put the word out, it's easy to get a box full of items, and there is a good bet that a local hardware would donate a few tools.

How do you integrate exploration and discovery into your classroom and your own world?

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