Today was our first day of school. We crammed a lot into the few hours we had together. One of the things we did was sketch quick pictures of ourselves. Before sending the first graders off to sketch we talked briefly about the different parts they might have in their picture. I used thinkblocks to help with this idea. After a bit I asked the kids to return to the carpet with their pictures. A couple of kids shared some parts of their picture and we used the thinkblocks again. Then I sent them off in pairs to use the thinkblocks to discuss the different parts of each of their pictures.
As I walked around the room I kept gently reminding kids of the directions because so many were playing around with the blocks. After a few minutes I realized this was my own fault.
Tomorrow we will spend some time just exploring with the thinkblocks. Then we'll dig back in with them in more structured ways. I really do know better than to hand 19 first graders a new manipulative/tool/toy and not give them time to play around. I'd want time to play around!