Every student in the lower school has played with blocks from the IIs to the VIIs. However, the IIs are the only grade in the whole school who have special train people blocks, except when the IIIs borrow them.
These blocks are similar to other blocks in their texture and material, but the main difference is their shape. They look just like rectangle blocks except that on one end is a round nub, and the other has a round indentation. This design makes it easy for other train blocks to link on and moves in a way that is similar to a train or car toy. This type of block is usually at home too which is why, quoted from a text sent from Sara Hance, the IIs teacher, “Having this block at school gives the IIs a familiar type of play at school with the blocks that they probably have at home. Therefore, introducing the young child to the wooden block but with the sensation and familiarity they are accustomed to having at home.” But why do the IIs have them? “This block is known as the “gateway” block into the rest of the unit blocks. The block introduces the young child to the feel of the wooden block while still giving the same sensation of many of the “toys” the young child has at home” Texted Sara Hance. But there are some drawbacks to the special block, “The “work” (play) usually become stagnant. Once the IIs learn to put the “train people” together the play becomes driving the trains. This type of work does not usually expand but becomes distracting to other block work. So, usually around this time of year (Late Fall / Early Winter) when the IIs have had time to explore and get know the blocks the “train people” will be removed from the shelves. The teachers will tell the IIs another group has borrowed the “train people”. The IIs have noticed the VIIs borrowing blocks for the Brooklyn Bridge build so they are comfortable with this explanation,” Said Sara. “On occasion, some IIs will get inventive with the “train people” and use the block as a prop in other structures but this is rare.” The IIs blocks are unique and special and are very exciting for the IIs. These blocks are not only fun to play with but are also educational and help the IIs transition to school.