Today was my second of five days with three classes of 4th graders. Today Mr. C, whose class needs to be with me at 9am, smoothed out his morning routine and told them to come straight to the LGI room. Kids trickled in from buses, drop-off, breakfast, etc. In the absence of any particular activity the kids immediately started exploring the empty space.
The activity mostly consisted of jumping from box to box and eventually led to discussion about which leap was the furthest and most difficult.
I am a big fan of self-initiated explorations of space like this but after a while there were too many kids in the room to do this safely. Luckily one kid wanted to try out my dance board which led to a wonderful round robin of dancers, all being cheered on by their friends. So cute!
If you change a familiar space with tape kids will notice. When they notice they will explore this new structure with their bodies through movement. When they explore you will see how they are thinking. In this case their exploration was spatial and also mathematical in terms of magnitude and direction.