Exploring Balance

Opal January 2014 480
 
Teacher: I had a connection and wanted to bring this word back into our conversations. It actually came up first when we were thinking about bikes.  The word is balance. What comes to mind when you think of balance?
 
We begin a list on the white board as children share:
 
weight – lightness/heaviness
strength
you’ll fall over without it
control
big and little
move and go
 
Teacher: I'm remembering that this came up when you were interviewing bike designers — one group came back from a visit where a  designer had talked about balance and it wasn’t just about falling over or not falling over.
 
Child 1 – It was Sascha. He talked about the playground project and  he said we should have just 2 really fun things and not like a thousand little things.
 
Child 2 – And at L’Ecu he talked about how it inspired him – not just biking balance but all kinds of balance.
 
Opal January 2014 485 (2)
 
Teacher – What other kids of balance are there? Let’s crack open balance. What lives inside balance?
 
Child 3 – In gymnastics, there’s the balance beam.
 
Child 4 – Evenness.
 
Child 5 – A balance board.
 
Child 6 – Earth. If earth didn’t have balance it would be spinning faster or never be spinning. It has balance so it can go around. We’re so small that we don’t feel it.
 
Child 7 – Gravity.
 
Teacher – What does that have to do with balance?
 
Child 6 – If you were floating, you wouldn’t have balance. It keeps you on your feet.
 
Child 8 – Maybe weight. I remember something else they said at the bike store. You need to get design down to the smallest and easiest it can be even though sometimes that is a challenge.
 
Child 9 – Our guy said you need to keep moving forward — I figured out on my unicycle that if you just keep moving forward then you can balance. You can’t balance if you don’t.
 
Child 10 – Stilts.
 
Teacher – I know you’ve been working with the stilts and other balance challenges with Amy. You had a lot to say about that.
 
Opal January 2014 478
 
Child 10 – I just stood up and balanced for 3 seconds and then fell over. For a second it felt like I was just standing regular when I was balanced.
 
Child 2 – When I’m on my tightrope, when I am balanced it feels like I’m learning how to walk and not wobbly but when I am not balanced it’s all wobbly.
 
More collecting on the white board:
 
strength
evenness
moving forward
yes and no
 
Child 2 – And then balance in life, well there’s a balance in cooking, or else it will mess it up.
 
Child 6 – If you didn’t have balance in life you’d fall over and in cooking you’d mess up.
 
Opal January 2014 477 (2)
 
Child 10 – You can’t do just one thing. To have fun there needs to be more than one thing or you'd get bored.
 
Child 11 – When I’m on the pogo stick when it’s balanced I’m happy and it’s fun but when I am out of balance I feel scared.
 
More notes on white board:
 
out of balance feels bad and scary
Challenging but good.
hard at first, but then good.
getting it gave me confidence to try more

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