Wednesday, July 28, 2010


Colorful sign that welcomes children to the Bubble Room.

According to Vygotsky, scaffolding for a student or child is when a support system is built to help the learner go from what they can do on their own to what they can do with assistance with the hopes of removing the assistance and the learner still maintaining their highest ability. This is exactly what two specific stations in the bubble room were meant to do. These stations had pulley systems for the child to make large bubbles by pulling down on the rope- one was a bubble wall and the other a bubble tube. These pulleys allowed for the child to pull as much as they could to form the bubble but also had a place for the adult to pull as well (higher up on the rope). With the adult putting a little more "elbow grease" into pulling, the child was capable of making a bubble whereas many of the children were not able to form bubbles without the slight assistance. The hope, when considering Vygotsky's scaffolding theory, is to teach the child to build those muscles while slowing retracting the assistance and eventually the child will be able to use the pulley system all on their own.

1 comment:

  1. Something I noticed in the bubble room, to add on to Emily's discussion about Vygotsky's scaffolding theory, was the wide spectrum of parents' guidance in the bubble room. On one end of the spectrum, parents were very instructional in showing their children how to make bubbles with the different instruments. As Emily described above, many parents showed examples of Vygotsky's scaffolding by physically showing their children how to make a bubble by using the child's existing knowledge of how bubbles are formed. This was seen in the parents who picked up the circular rings submerged in the soapy water, and showed their child how to lightly blow into the ring to create a bubbling without allowing the film to immediately pop. Other parents showed their children to make a bubble by slowly raising the rope that had two rods on either side in which a large sheet of bubble would form in between. However, on the other end of the spectrum, there were parents who simply watched as their children played with the bubbly water and struggled to create bubbles with the provided instruments. Some caregivers would provide some simple instructions to their children, without displaying their instructions for the child. In these instances, the children did not master making the bubbles. I believe that the reason for this large discrepancy in the assistance and guidance from parents was due to the messiness of the bubble room. The parents that stated instructions (but didn't partake in the bubble making) or simply watched their children, might not have wanted to get their hands or clothes wet and soapy. Therefore, they just let their children play in the water and bubbles. The parents that did provide scaffolding for their children did not seem to mind getting wet or a little soapy, and often rolled up their sleeves to get involved in playing with their children.