Thursday, June 16, 2016

Purposeful Play-Reflection One of a Few. :)

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Friends!  Over the next few days, I want to reflect on this book.
Have you read it?  I'll wait here while you go order it.

*waiting.*  (No, seriously, go order this book.)



You're back then?!  I've been thinking about this book for awhile now, I finished it last week.

Mrza, Porcelli, and Tyler show us the research, work in play, and the play in work.  Time and Time again, this book was so confirming.

"Play is its own method of instruction."  (pg. 5)

It truly is the work of the children in my classroom.  I'm encouraging play when I follow the students' ideas in their own way with their own reasons.  It provides for personal choice, a sense of control, feelings of power for the student, and opportunities to be non-literal.  (All things I firmly believe in for my little First Grade Friends.)

As I continued through Part one, I was reminded of the different types of play and reflected on those.

Fantasy Play:  As children are choosing imaginary scenarios to take on, I immediately started thinking of classroom application.  The example of the grocery store resonated with me as an easy way to consider play in math.  Why not develop some self-regulation while learning how to count and add money in a classroom grocery store?  I'll be looking for ways to encourage Fantasy play as I teach various concepts.

Constructive Play:  As I read about constructive play, I was encouraged.  There is lots of constructive play already happening in my classroom.  Legos, blocks, marble runs, etc.  I Love to get these items out and let the children work to create something.  What is your favorite material to make available?  I love wooden blocks.

Games with Rules:  Later on, I'll write about where I see these games fitting in my day.  However, to connect with the work Mraz has done on Mindsets for Learning; these games will be so critical in develop mindsets and setting boundaries.

Rough and Tumble Play:  You are right!  Some types of play do make me feel uncomfortable.  And this is one of them.  However, the research on Texas murders and their lack of exposure to such play was convicting.  As I read this book at the end of the school year, I reflected on how to support and encourage my First Grade Friends who engage in this kind of play frequently on the playground.  I worked on teaching social cues and empathy; instead of simply stopping the play.  I can't say that I saw ground breaking changes in such a short time, however, this read is convicting.  I'll try again in the fall.  :)

I have more to say about Purposeful Play and the place is has in my classroom.  Next time, I'll be looking at my classroom arrangement and how it can/does encourage play.

Which types of play are you most comfortable with ?

Joy!
Kendra

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