As classroom explorations continue, play and creativity are running rampant. Through play students have been transforming objects into just about anything they can imagine. Play is a powerful way for children to become familiar with new materials and is also a natural way for a teacher to engage thinking, introduce concepts, and develop appropriate skill sets. Below is a video that highlights this kind of learning experience as I introduced pattern blocks to the class.
Pattern blocks were introduced because the children were having a conversation about the need for a table and chairs in the "dramatic play" area. I asked if they wanted to make a table, to which they responded with a resounding yes. We started talking about tables and how they are constructed. We flipped over a table in the classroom to examine its parts, get some ideas, and deepen our understanding of the structural components in preparation for our project. As we talked about our plan for a table, it was suggested that we decorate it. I asked what kind of decorations and someone suggested patterns. So, pattern blocks were introduced and played with in preparation for table decoration. And yes, we are actually going to make a table. You can get a peek at some of the materials and process in the slideshow below.
Another aspect of play in the classroom involves numbers and card games. We began "number play" this week. Similar to "word play", this is a time where children experience and "play" with numbers. This week, I have been using a standard deck of playing cards and a deck of "Uno" game cards. Our class has been learning how to play together while developing mathematical concepts like counting, ordinal numbers, sequencing, and patterns. I have also used the cards to visualize number patterns and develop algebraic thinking through identification of missing numbers in sequences. (ex. 1, 2, 3, _ , 5, 6) Ask your child about the games we've been playing. You might even want to try playing them at home!
This site was created by Colin Reynolds as the SK Lead Teacher for the 2014-2015 school year. Stephanie Holdridge was the apprentice teacher for the academic year.. You can contact me via e-mail or follow me on Twitter.