Movement on an incline plane; what does this mean to a Quartz child? In the simplest terms it is a ramp that we can place objects at the top and watch them slide all the way to the bottom. The educators decided to introduce the idea of inclines on Monday after we had been consistently observing the interest within the room. We decided to start off with a familiar provocation of the ball track or as the children know it ‘Wiggle, Wiggle, Plop’. The children take the ball to the top of the track then release it and watch it roll all the way to the bottom. This activity created the opportunity to bring up the concepts of top and bottom. When a ball was placed close to the bottom it wouldn’t roll as far or make as large of a plop sound. This obstacle required the children to problem solve and realize that if they placed the ball at the very top it would roll longer and make the largest plop.
We continued on with the ball track the next day except this time a bucket with water was placed at the bottom turning the game into ‘Wiggle, Wiggle, Splash’. The children used their new found knowledge of the top of the track and their desire to achieve maximum distance rolled and took the ball to very top right away. To expand further on this idea we chose to create our own ball track using black coil tubing and wooden ramps with golf balls. This track was very fast and soon golf balls were racing down the track. The children noticed that the black tube made a sound when the balls were placed in it. Using this information they were able to choose which ramp they wanted. Did they want speed or sound? We now had a whole new topic that we could explore with incline movement. To finish off our week exploring ramps, the educators wanted to present the children with a small challenge; marbles in a narrow PVC pipe tube. The educators were curious to see if the children would be able to use their fine motor and gross motor skills to bend and pick up the marbles and also to see if the marbles would be too much of a mouthing temptation. After the first few tries on the marble tubing the educators observed huge success!! The children spent the morning taking turns placing their marble in the tube and listening to it go through and finally seeing it appear at the bottom again. In the weeks to come the educators want to explore the ideas of fast and slow ramps, using large balls and marbles, exploring sounds and inclines, and what other ways we can create ramps and inclines.