As students slowly made their way into the classroom, I stood back and observed their interaction with the materials and with each other.
Having prior knowledge about bat boxes from the bat inquiry, the students were very excited to be able to interact with a real one.
Cooperatively they took turns observing, touching, and manipulating the wooden pieces of the bat box. They noted the different shapes, textures, sizes, and number of pieces. Each wanted to try and put it together and find the right fit. When one student had trouble, it was nice to see the support given by a peer in figuring out the best fit.
I then showed the students a video of how to build the bat box as an extra visual which outlined the steps nicely.
The students took advantage of the materials at the Art Studio, Light Table, and Discover Area, which further supported exploration, experimentation and allowed them to display their knowledge using a variety means.
It was time to build the bat box! We read each step of the instructions as we attempted to build the box. E. E. reminded us to use four nails for each piece we put together. The students were wonderful in pointing out which piece came first, second, etc. With guidance, some students hammered nails and fasten the pieces together. It took great precision and self-control to hit the nail straight. I must admit, I was having more trouble than some of the students!
The students cheered as we completed the bat box! It was nice to see the accomplishment they felt working together to complete a goal.
The students were aware that the bat box would not be placed outside until spring, when the bats returned from hibernation. But they did learn that the bat box needed to be 12 feet off the ground. As I read this to them, a few students started to use their feet, and thought this was what 12 feet meant. O. S. suggested we research on the computer what feet meant. Luckily, we started learning about measurement, where I placed rulers out among other measuring tools, therefore, students had some familiarity with them. I explained that 1 foot is the same as 1 (30 cm) ruler. O. S. and P. I. started counting our rulers but we did not have enough. I went and collected a few more from a few other classes, and handed them to O. S. and P. I.
I observed as the girls placed all twelve rulers out in a line. To remember this length, I gave them some yarn and suggested to them to cut it the same length so we have it when it's time for us to hang the bat box.
I am amazed at the amount of learning that has come from this bat box. It was a project that served a purpose and the students were very motivated to accomplish their goal of building it.