Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Self-selected activities

 What is it? It is their favorite time of the day! We used to call it center time (before every other part of the day had centers...reading centers, math centers, science centers). My kids gather on the carpet and tell me where they will choose to play.

I usually have an art activity available. They can choose drawing or painting. They can use the computer. They can build with blocks. They can build with legos or bristle blocks or waffle blocks. They can play in the house (very popular center!). We have a sand table and a science table. We have an easel and lots of puzzles. 

 Well, you get the idea. It is a ton of fun. I either walk around and interact with them and help them problem solve or I work one on one completing the many many assessments that Kindergarten teachers are very familiar with. 

 I see the best interactions during this time. One little boy pats his friends on the back when they are sad. One boy cleans up his own space and then goes to help other people clean up theirs (I love it!). We work through the bossiness ("You can't be the teenager! I am the teenager!") and the sadness (one child is always a little worried about the bus-still!). 

 My kids all play together: smart ones, ESL kids, kids with special needs, shy ones, and yes, bossy ones. They are learning fabulous lessons that will help them the rest of their lives. 

 I love self-selected activities. 

 We do it every single day. 

So, do you play in your class?


Mrs Wheatley said...

We start the day with Free Play, and it's my favourite part of the day. Like you, I love seeing the children making choices, creating their own social groupings, and managing their own learning. We also have a one hour structured play session later in the morning when we do centres. Many of the week's activities are available for the Free Play session.

Andrea Mack said...

Here in Ontario (Toronto area) our kindergarten curriculum is moving towards a full-day play-based program. So in my classroom (which is half-day at the moment), most of our day is "play".

bright said...

Amazing, I'm preparing my weekly lesson plan for my kids who are learning about ladybugs and this was helpful. I also hired someone to write help me write the lesson plan as I'm very busy. Thanks.

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