LEARNING THROUGH PLAY
Hey everybody and happy Fall!! I hope your week is off to a great start. So this week I wanted to talk about the concept of play. Growing up in my community that word meant two different things. For example: If someone asked me a question and I responded with a comical reply, that person would oftentimes smile and say "you play too much". But on the other hand if a person was already annoyed when asking me question in which I responded with an answer they didn't think was funny, the person would annoyingly reply "you play too much!" That also let me know that I was getting on that person's whole entire last nerve...but I digress... See for me, this phrase and a countless number of others were all a part of growing up in the neighborHOOD, it was really part of the Black experience. And as I reflect on nostalgic phrases from my childhood memories, I keep coming back to the idea behind the word "play".
So last week while observing a preschool classroom, I was struck at the amount of "play" going on. In fact what I've learned over the years is that "play" is one of the key components of the PreK curriculum. Project Construct comes from the idea behind the Constructivist Movement. It is derived from the belief that learning is a lifelong process in which learners construct knowledge through interactions with their physical and social environments. Through "hands-on, minds-on" learning experiences, students in Project Construct classrooms attain deep understandings in the core content areas while they also learn to work collaboratively with adults and peers in vibrant learning communities. The theme in preschool last week was "All about Fall", so students had a chance to go on a nature walk to collect leaves around the school. Once they returned to the classroom, they were able to talk about the leaves they collected then, they glued them onto construction paper creating a leaf collage. Pumpkins were also a big part of the lessons in PreK last week. In reading the teachers read books such as "Ten Little Pumpkins", "I almost swallowed a spider", etc. In Math students got to have fun with sorting fall themed erasers into groups by color and shape. During science students learned about pumpkin seeds, pulp, and the ribs (the lines found on the outside of the pumpkin). To make the lesson even more exciting, the teacher gave students a chance to play with the pulp after she cleaned out the pumpkin. The teacher even took time to bake the pumpkin seeds from the pumpkin so students could enjoy this healthy snack. And during center time, students got a chance to feel the different textures of fall items like hay, candy corn, and scarecrows as they played with these objects at the sensory table. Whew...those PreK students did quite a bit of playing wouldn't you agree? In all, this cross-curricular work really helped these young learners make more meaning of the Fall season while making their little hearts happy! And for me, seeing these young students make connections about learning through play gave me the inspiration for this week's blog post...so I would say that's a win-win for all!! Under this week's Intentional Toolkit I have included some resources that offer great advise on the joy of learning through play. I also included some photos that I took of the students at play; I hope you find these resources useful. And as you go on your way enjoying the changing temperatures of this beautiful season, don't forget to take some time to enjoy the little things in life that make your heart the happiest...Until next time, go out there and be GREAT!
11/24/2019 09:12:16 am
Great Blog the author does a excellent job inspiring others and breaking it down so the readers can comprehend...Good Job!!
sheandra p. brown
11/25/2019 10:03:17 pm
Thank you Jennifer. I'm glad you're enjoying my post!
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