Thursday, 1 May 2014

Play Plans

In our classroom we value PLAY! We call it "Thinking and Learning" time because that is what we're doing while we play.

Check out a fantastic blog post on play by Krissy Venosdale here
Lately I have been noticing that the children in our class have been more unfocused during their play and there has been more and more conflict between students. Luckily, I have a great community of educators on Twitter and I was able to learn of some kindergarten teachers who are using "play plans" to help students become more thoughtful about their play.

Here's the link to the discussion:

The point of the play plans is for students to make a plan about what they would like to do/learn/build/create, where they would like to play, and who they would like to participate with them.

My hope is that my students will become more purposeful in their play, stay longer in each experience, and take responsibility for cleaning up their own materials.

When we started our plans, we began by sharing them orally. Now we are beginning to write or draw our plans independently. When students would like to move on to a new activity, they write a new play plan.

Already I have noticed that our room is more calm, students are more engaged in thinking and learning, there is less conflict, and the clean up time is faster. The students have been excited about writing their plans and then setting out to do what they have planned.

Another benefit of the play plans is that the students can bring them home and share them with you!

Here's what some of the students have to say about Play Plans:

Play plans help us to stay in one place so we don't go place to place. - Leah 
Play plans help us to remember to clean up when we are done. - Gabriel 
You have to sign up before you play. -Ken 

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