Tuesday, 6 February 2018

Critical and Creative Thinking through play

Our Positive Education Model

When we talk about Positive Purpose we look for ways to get ourselves and children engaged in something that is bigger than just themselves.  Often this can be found through identifying things that need improving.  When we are engaged in something in which we understand the purpose we often put more into in.  Last week in our play a few of our children found some positive purpose in sorting out a problem we were having. 

 During our Discovery time we have games and materials we can take outside to play with.  Our outside play space is on a hill and our boundary is at the top of the hill.  Many of our outside games have balls and often we lose many of the balls down the hill.  While playing a few of the members of the class decided they would figure out how to stop the balls from rolling down the hill.  My idea was to play our ball games by the hopscotch and that did work, but it made it hard for people to play hopscotch and limited our space.  What these boys came up with was a much better idea than I had!

They decided to make a dam using leaves and sticks by the cones.  At first they used their hands and feet and gathered leaves, but they realised that was going to take a long time.  They asked me for a bucket to make the job go faster and I pointed them in the direction of our wheelbarrow.  Well, they then were away.  They loaded the barrow and were able to create their dam more quickly and efficiently. 

 Their problem-solving and ingenuity got the attention of some of the others who decided they should test out the new dam.  They rolled the ball and sure enough it stopped the ball from rolling down the hill.  The team had solved a problem, created more safe space to play and felt a sense of accomplishment.  

They recognised a problem, thought of a solution, tried a few things out, made adaptations when building wasn't going as well as it could, tested out the product and all on their own interest and motivation.  They were engaged and determined. This is one of the powers of play and just a small amount of the learning that happens.    

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