I was listening to a TED talk today and I heard an interesting quote by Tim Brown in his talk, “Tales of Creativity and Play” He says, “Play is not anarchy, play has rules.” Sometimes I think we adults forget about what it means to play.
In Kindergarten we talk a lot about “play based learning”, but we don’t always define what we mean by that. Do the kids just play all day? Do they do whatever they want? How can they learn if all they do is play? Here is a peek into the classroom and a chance to see what we mean by play based learning:
Learning our letters is more than just knowing what P looks like, or how to draw the letter. We also need to know what sound that letter makes. We work on words that make that sound. One way we emphasize this is by labelling items in the classroom that begin with that letter. Here is a sampling of some of those labels:
Another great activity to emphasize our letter knowledge is using our own names. Our names are some of the first words we recognize, so it is easy to use those to help us learn about the alphabet.
Another important part of our literacy development is listening to stories. When we go to the listening centre, we not only hear the spoken word, but we begin to associate the written word on the page to the story.
Creativity is an important part of childhood and of Kindergarten. Having the opportunity to play and create helps us in other areas of the day. We begin to see the relation of our play with our learning. And it is through our play that we begin to apply our learning:
Through playing games in the math area, we begin to understand some pretty abstract concepts, such as a number is made up of different parts. If we take the number 5, we know we can break that down into 2 and 3, 4 and 1, and 5 and 0. It is through hands on experiences that we begin to understand this concept:
And in science, we not only have the opportunity to do experiments, but we also have the chance to slow down and observe changes that take place over time. When we record our observations in our science journals, we can go back to them later and compare our findings.
This isn’t a complete look at our day, but I hope it gives you just a snapshot of some of what we are doing from 8:30 until 2:30.