As an EY team we look back at 'Moments in the Day' together - times when something in the children's play and learning strikes us. We share documentation and discuss. In our last time doing this in the school year, Estelle shared this photo with us:
I’m still puzzled about this activity that S., G. and M. engage in regularly.
It is often initiated by M. but not always (I think). I’m not sure I’ve watched closely enough at the right moment. I wonder what skills they are using here and that makes me think that I almost need to try it myself to find out. Perhaps they will allow me to quietly join in…. Otherwise I could have a conversation with them.
There is definitely a quality to this play that is ‘safe’, mindful and we can assume that it is good for their well-being based on the repetition. Maybe for the artist no. 1 there is a feeling of being the leader, being ‘seen’ and valued. For artist no. 2 perhaps the feeling of making a connection in this way has meaning.
Perhaps I can join in and see what is happening; it all happens so fast.
Questions like this are quite hard to get a handle on. We have hunches, but they don't feel like the complete story.
Perhaps we should take up Estelle's suggestion and just draw the same thing together, and see what it feels like 'from the inside'. There's no guarantee that we'll feel the same as the students do of course, but it might help.
What else does copying look like in our classes?
Let's make a list of some of the things happening:
Sharing attention is a crucial step on the road to being a full collaborator in a group sharing cognitive labor, in a community of knowledge. Once we can share attention, we can do something even more impressive—we can share common ground. We know some things that we know others know, and we know that they know that we know (and of course we know that they know that we know that they know, etc.). The knowledge is not just distributed; it is shared. Once knowledge is shared in this way, we can share intentionality; we can jointly pursue a common goal. A basic human talent is to share intentions with others so that we accomplish things collaboratively.
- Feeling comfortable with each other,
- Feeling comfortable with an activity,
- Being in the same space with each other,
- Somehow having an idea of doing things in unison,
- Understanding the proposal,
- Accepting the idea together, sharing the intention, having a joint project,
- One leading, other(s) following (how flexible is this?),
- Monitoring each other's actions,
- Recreating each other's creation,
- Comparing the results,
- Completing the project.
And next year, I'm going to copy Estelle's idea, and try to catch more of what is happening as children copy each other.