Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Where has our play taken us?

In the last few weeks playing school has been revisited time and time again with different children.  I happened upon this group of boys playing "Writing Time." One of the boys was the teacher and he was instructing everyone to draw a hot air balloon and write the words "I am up." (Incidentally that was something we had done as a class and had up on the wall near where they were sitting.) So the other boys watched as he did the model and they each took turns having a go.  The boy being the teacher was consolidating his knowledge of story writing and was doing so by showing others.  In this safe, low-stakes play situation, all of the boys happily watched and had a go.  No one was telling them they had to write.  They decided they would in their game and they were pretty proud of themselves after!

This was another example of playing school.  This game started with only a few.  One was the teacher reading a book to the other two.  The book was one she had made herself.  She diligently read each page and made sure to show the pictures.  Very quickly there was a circle assembled and others were joining in to hear the stories.  Soon they were taking turns each reading their stories.  They were consolidating their knowledge about concepts about print, they were actively listening and taking turns and they were reading.  It was non-threatening, self-chosen and student-led.  It was genuine play and the learning was clear as day.  They were making sense of what we do as a class together every day! 

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