We also took the opportunity to introduce the children to The Learning Pit.
The Learning Pit is a way of explaining how challenge leads to enhanced learning. Children are faced with a challenge that may make them feel apprehensive or worried that they can't do it. It is at this point that we have to leap in the pit. The only way to move forward is to jump in and have a go! At the bottom, you might be at a place of frustration, of wanting to give up. BUT, being in the pit helps you to learn what to do when you don't know what to do!! Trying different things will help you to realise that you will make mistakes but once you have, you'll be able to think about what went wrong and how to fix it. This then leads to a deeper understanding of what you are learning. Climbing out of the pit leads to an overwhelming sense of satisfaction. To a Eureka! moment. Eureka is Greek for 'I found it!'
This week we set a challenge for your children that would allow them to practice managing their time and resources. It would also give them the chance to navigate their way through a collaborative task. The challenge was as follows -
Build the tallest tower you can in your group using only 7 pieces of newspaper, 1 glue stick and 1 pair of scissors. You have 15 minutes.
Most of us leapt into the pit straight away. Some of us were dragged in kicking and screaming. It was wonderful to observe and notice the different reactions to this sensation of confusion and 'I can't' or 'I don't know what to do' or 'But we only have one pair of scissors and there are 5 of us.' UNTIL we started to hear 'I think I have an idea' or 'Why don't we try this?' or 'I think this will work' or "I know what makes a strong tower, you need a strong base.' We then observed children giving their peers a helping hand out of the pit. All groups had an 'end result' but the journey they had been on was much, much more valuable.
If you get a chance, chat to your child about The Learning Pit. I have also included a link to a video that talks you through the whole concept and below are some photos of our journey on this occasion.