Guided Response: Respond to at least two of your peers. In your response, imagine that you are a parent who was skeptical of play being used in the classroom and you just received this letter from your child’s teacher. For each response, write a letter back to your child’s teacher (your classmate) letting him or her know whether or not the letter has changed your perspective. Include specific reasons as to why you have or have not changed your point of view.
I have been receiving quite a few questions about our classroom play. I can understand to some that this may seem like a waste of time, but I assure you play time is an invaluable tool to your child’s education. Worksheets and lectures can only go so far in a child’s mind, the cognitive stress of learning and memorizing the curriculum will frustrate the child and push them away from the material. Small children learn through play, not through drilled curriculum. Take playdough for example. In our classroom we use playdough to enhance cognitive, physical, social, and even mathematical aspects of your child’s education! Often, young children express their knowledge through imagination and art. While your child is playing creatively with playdough they are experimenting on structure, shapes, colors, aspects of the environment. They will discuss being construction workers, engineers, pastry chefs, archeologists, zoologist, any profession they can imagine that is preparing them to enter society (National Association for the Education of Young Children, n.d., playdough power). Playdough develops their physical development as well! All the rolling, smashing, and forming develops their fine motor skills in their little fingers, preparing them for written academics. Playing with playdough also enhances your child’s social and emotional development by creating and discussing with other students, siblings, and you. Math is another subject we cover through play. We use balls of dough, create numbers, or incorporate blocks while counting. Children will absorb knowledge best through engaging in the environment, through experience. I hope this has cleared any misconceptions about play in the classroom and how we learn every day! If there are anymore questions or concerns, please feel free to email me. Thank you and have a great evening!
National Association for the Education of Young Children (n.d.). Developmentally appropriate practice (DAP). Retrieved from http://www.naeyc.org/DAP
I have recently gotten a lot of concerns and questions about the amount of time that our students get to play. This letter will hopefully shed light on such an important aspect of our school. At such young ages, our children minds are rapidly growing and expanding. This includes their imagination. I think we can all agree that having a big imagination is a very important aspect of everyone’s childhood. Play helps children widen their imagination horizon, and it also helps them make connections between different things. Play helps contribute to the cognitive, physical, social, and emotional wellbeing of children and youth (Ginsburg 2007). Here at our school we give all of our students the opportunity to experiment and learn with toys that are age appropriate and developmentally appropriate. Play can help physical development because it will help their gross motor skills. Climbing, Jumping, Running are all important development milestones that all children accomplish. We have puzzles and other toys to help with cognitive development in which the child will have to think about what is going on to solve it, however since we do this through play the children enjoys the challenge. Playing with toys that are in housekeeping are toys that can help with affective development. This helps kids learn and use emotions, and mimic other behaviors. One play based activity is when we have music and movement with instruments. The kids love we’re going on a bear hunt. This is a song that tells the kids how to survive while on the bear hunt. Throughout the song the kids have to run walk and mimic the words. This helps the kids make connections with different words. This is just one example. However, if you feel as if you would like to come watch and see how much your child enjoys out play friendly environment feel free to, we are always excited about parent involvement!
Ginsburg, K. R. (2007, January 01). The Importance of Play in Promoting Healthy Child Development and Maintaining Strong Parent-Child Bonds. Retrieved November 30, 2017, from http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/119/1/182
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