Friday, June 17, 2016

Purposeful Play: Reflection Two of a Few.


It's day two of my reflections on Purposeful Play!

Today I'm thinking about classroom space, items needed for play, and what choice time might look like in my classroom.

Classroom Space

A great teacher-blogger would have had lots of pictures in this space to show you my room and the space.  My class size this year will allow for me to move out some "traditional" furniture (aka student desks) and move in some more flexible seating.  Some ideas/wishes I have for flexible seating:

  • A standing table.  I missed this in my new classroom this year.  I loved having a space that reminded me of a kitchen counter.   A place where kids can stand or perch on a stool to create.  
  • Bath rugs.  Some where in the great world of the internets, I found an idea that involved purchasing a set of bath rugs to roll out on the floor and roll up when that time is over.  
  • A dorm/apartment sofa for my reading area.  I love having a resting space that doubles as a cozy reading area as well.  :)  A piece of furniture that the kids can rest on allows for that break in the day that kids might need to take to feel safe and calm.  
  • A table that is re-purposed for a creation area.  Ideally, it is round and the legs have been removed, so kids can sit/perch on the floor and create.  

If you look at pages 32-34, there are some ideas for considering materials to invoke powerful play.  
It was awesome to see that I already have a lot of these!  Items I'm excited to add in the spirit of play:

  • Loose Parts (Nuts, bolts, screws, other interesting materials.)
  • Objects from home/workplaces.  
Storage is always a thought process.  I'm not sure what that will look like yet.  I'm aiming for accessible for the students and easy to store in the classroom.  (Tidy please...not perfect...but tidy...)

Choice Time Workshop

Oh my friends.  For years I've done choice time, which really just resulted in constructive play.  Not a bad thing, but this book has shown me there is so much more!  This time can be richer and more meaningful in a joyful way.

I am blessed to have choice in how I organize the time in my day.  

A choice time workshop can exist in my classroom, especially in the afternoon.  

Pages 39 and 40 helped me envision what that might look like.  

  • With a board, students can choose a setting for play that they are interested in.  (see page 39; figure 3.13)
  • A focus lesson would be appropriate before we get started.  Section two of this book has endless ideas.  I also connected to the work that I read in Mindset for Learning.  This is a great time of day to be talking about mindset, teaching empathy, telling stories that promote such topics.  
  • The planning stage is perfect for first graders.  I imagine in my classroom this part of the workshop is oral.  Anytime we can focus our conversation with a friend, that is a good thing.  
  • It's time to play!  I envision myself on the floor chatting, writing, observing.  This is when the good stuff happens teachers!  Get out there and see what is going on with your students!
  • The structure for the share session on page 41 is remarkable.  Framing a share session like this for me works across the day!  

Friends, next time I'll be thinking about the whole school day and the idea of making the whole day playful!  Wow!  


1 comment:

  1. Thank you for sharing your reflections. I'm in Canada trying to get my hands on this book!