Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Encouraging Planning and Reflection During Play Time

We believe in providing opportunities for children to actively plan for and reflect upon their experiences together during play time. By thinking about, articulating, and sharing what they do independently and cooperatively, children can deepen their thinking towards their learning in the classroom.

Today we had the children view our class blog together using the Smart Board in the library. We looked at the marble maze, play dough, and survey posts from yesterday. Children featured in the photos and videos discussed what they had done at the various classroom centers. We then talked about how those centers could be revisited again today.

Children who visited the science center immediately began making marble mazes again, but what we noticed were the intricacies used in the designs of the mazes. They were much more complex as children integrated the strategies we discussed (using cubes as towers, angling tubes to be used as ramps, using multiple marbles at once) while viewing the Smart Board.

Some children took their knowledge of the marble mazes and experimented with materials at the building center. It was interesting to observe!

The children also expressed an interest in creating holiday cookies and selling them at a bake sale again. Collectively we agreed that the drama center would be turned into a bakery. The playdough and various playdough tools were brought to the center, play money and writing materials were added, and children spent time baking and then selling holiday cookies and cakes. Building on prior experiences (the flower shop, laundromat) they quickly organized the center so there was a baking area, a selling area, and a writing area. Someone made an open/closed sign so that when the cookies were 'baking' the shop could be closed to customers. The depth of the children's interactions and play was wonderful to observe!  They exhibited such growth in their oral language abilities and cooperation!

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