Play based learning in EC Classrooms (LEA 2013)

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Play based learning in EC Classrooms (LEA 2013)

  1. 1. Drew D. Gerdes Early Childhood Director Messiah Lutheran School Weldon Spring, Missouri LEA Convocation Milwaukee, Wisconsin October 2013
  2. 2.   What were some of your favorite play memories? Was playing at home the same as playing at school?  Who did you play with?  What did you play with?
  3. 3. On the card provided, write down YOUR OWN definition of what you believe PLAY means. Keep the card handy – we‟ll look at it later!
  4. 4. PLAY! Even adults need to play! While you play – what are some things adults do to “play” or “play with”?
  5. 5. Fun and entertaining  Breath of fresh air! Removes ourselves, even for just a bit, from the busyness of everyday life.  Restores our soul!  Makes life seem innocent.    Any other thoughts of ideas?
  6. 6. THEN NOW
  7. 7. THEN Play was about discovery  Socialization  Learning  Imagination  Mind-expansion  Time management  Self-regulation NOW Entertainment  Supervision  Fast, Fun, Easy  Money  Quiet Loud – (often what I call inappropriate play )  Media-based  Technology-based   
  8. 8. As educators, we MUST be advocates for real, true, meaningful play.     Parents may not know what this type of play is – how can we help them learn? We need to help children learn what this play is and how to execute it. Children of today play differently than children of yesterday.
  9. 9. What is something that you, AS AN ADULT, have learned by actively doing? Briefly discuss with those around you. Sharing and thoughts…
  10. 10. Actually, there is no one definition of play, but rather a set of characteristics. What did you define play as? Share with neighbors!
  11. 11. Pleasurable Symbolic Play is an enjoyable and pleasurable activity. Play sometimes includes frustrations, challenges and fears; however enjoyment is a key feature. Play is often pretend, it has a „what if?‟ quality. Play has meaning to the player that is often not evident to the educator.
  12. 12. Active Voluntary Play requires action, either physical, verbal or mental engagement with materials, people, ideas or the environment. Play is freely chosen. However, players can also be invited or prompted to play.
  13. 13. Process oriented Self motivating Play is a means unto itself and players may not have an end or goal in sight. play is considered its own reward to the player. “I did it! Come see!”
  14. 14.  As educators and caregivers, we provide the best possible environment in which children learn.   Think about the grocery store…  Think about your home… Children in our care need to learn specific areas and their purposes, too!
  15. 15. A natural one! BSO Bright, Shiny Object It‟s bound to catch a child‟s attention! And it should!
  16. 16.  No matter what ages we work with, there need to be specific areas that are designed for specific purposes. This helps young minds learn about purpose and organization.  “This is the right way we…”  “Here is how we…”  “Watch how this…”  “Look at the way the…” REMEMBER THESE PHRASES FOR LATER!!
  17. 17. The classroom environment is SO CRUCIAL for appropriate learning in an early childhood classroom. Classrooms set to be set up and managed so that teachers can “meander” about, observing, asking, talking, directing, comforting, etc. Teachers also model play!!!
  18. 18. Sensory Area Reading Area Technology Area Writing Center Block Area Art Center/Easel Puzzle Area Manipulative Area Dramatic Play Area Science Area Sink Area  Bathroom 
  19. 19. Much thought and time must be spent with setting up a developmentally appropriate, playbased classroom. Yes, it must look nice, but the “cuteness” factor wears off quickly. Children don‟t care about cute – they are care about use!
  20. 20. Hard Work! Time-consuming! Tiring! Dirty! Fun! Adventurous! THE RIGHT THING TO DO!!!
  21. 21. We‟ll take a tour of any typical early childhood classroom. What should we see in these Learning Centers? What should be taught/learned in each Learning Center? What can we do with/add to each Learning Center?
  22. 22. Again, do parents really know what types of play happens in our classrooms and early childhood centers? How can you help parents understand the real meaning and purpose of play? How can you share information with prospective families?
  23. 23. Sensory Table Contents vary Exercise imagination Concepts of size, shape, volume, etc. Use of tools Warm, cool, dry, wet, heavy, light Social skills Sharing with others
  24. 24. Be careful here! Children still need to physically manipulate toys! Learning for tomorrow Let them become familiar with everyday technological gadgets Use as a tool to reinforce Limit use as apporpriate
  25. 25. Concepts of shape, size, location Create and repeat patterns Mathematical reasoning Imagination Express ideas Cooperation Problem-solving Order Nature
  26. 26. Shape, position, fine motor development Mathematical reasoning Position Reading Order Routine Purpose Social skills
  27. 27. Social skills Social-living skills Resiliency Life-skills Community knowledge Order and purpose Problem-solving Imagination Vocabulary!
  28. 28. Yes! Really! Jesus is the focus of our day. This classroom center may be one of the only ways a child can learn more about Jesus! Touch – Learn – See – Do! Bible Story Book Shelf Toys Cuddling Toys
  29. 29. Health Order Purpose Social skills Patience Cleaning Cause/Effect Engineering Science skills
  30. 30. “Read” books and other materials Develop and personal interest in reading Use picture clues to predict stories and meaning Alphabet knowledge Curricular topics Social experiences
  31. 31. Fine Motor development Social skills Hand-eye coordination Creativity Alphabet knowledge Organization skills Correlation between speech and writing Self-expression Representation
  32. 32. Self expression Use of materials in different ways Experiment with color, texture, shape Communication and social skills Problem-solving Fine-motor development Sense of accomplishment and self-worth
  33. 33. According to me… An easel must be available for all children to use all day! Motor development Posture Extended thinking levels
  34. 34. Grouping, sorting, matching – math skills Visual discrimination Problem solving skills Enjoyment Engineering Social skills Sharing Purpose Creativity
  35. 35. Exploration and experimentation Thinking outside the box!!! Problem solving Discovery and sharing Nature Move from concrete to abstract thinking High-level thinking skills Order
  36. 36. Just like the sink, it‟s a Learning Area! Patience Turn-taking Our bodies Health and Safety Logic and Order Routine Purpose Pre-reading skills 
  37. 37. What other Learning Centers and Areas might you have in your classroom? What is the purpose of these special spaces? Steal from one another!!!
  38. 38. Designs for Living and Learning Deb Curtis and Margie Carter Redleaf Press 2003
  39. 39. Big Body Play: Why boisterous, vigorous, and very physical play is essential to children’s development and learning Frances M. Carlson NAEYC Publication 2011
  40. 40. Facebook!!!! Twitter!!!! www.facebook.com/ Just search for what you are looking for! Education Ease Teach Preschool Brick by Brick Creative Connections for Kids Kreative Resources Follow those you like! Amazing Professional Development opportunity!
  41. 41. Drew D. Gerdes Early Childhood Director Messiah Lutheran School Weldon Spring, MO dgerdes@messiahnetwork.org www.messiahnetwork.org www.facebook.com/educationease Follow me on Twitter @ddgerdes

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