My classroom picture of the year for 2016 comes from the large muscle area in my classroom. For me this is one of the most important areas because young children need to be able to move when their body tells them to move. The large muscle area is defined by a 5' x 12' blue gym mat. I usually change what is available to the children every other week.
One of the places I store some of the large muscle equipment is a closet off the cafeteria. It just so happens that is also where community education stores some of their equipment for adult education classes. For several years now, when I went into that closet, I would see blue steps for step aerobics. This year, I decided to borrow some of them and set them out in the large muscle area.
In the hands of the children, the aerobic steps turned out to be large loose parts for the children to stack. Consequently, these big blue step created the foundation for my classroom picture of the year: a child launching himself into the air.
For me, this is a perfect example of the power inherent in children: the power to shape and act upon their own world with an alacrity that comes from feeling competent. And that is why I am calling it my classroom picture of the year for 2016.