Monday, March 30, 2015

What they said....Part 1

I am an avid reader of blogs, facebook feeds and twitter feeds. I have had so many awesome things come through my inbox and feeds recently it's time I start chewing these over, digesting them and thinking about the ever important question in my life "So what?".

This post from Solid Ground talks about traditional reports and argues that we may not need them anymore - especially with the  technology advancements in technology. A blog? a website? even a printed out record of in school learning provide a better picture of a child's learning more than any report can. It comes down to being brave enough to make that change I think...

Why play-based learning? by Early Childhood Australia

All really good points and perhaps the following definition offers us a clearer guideline.

Defining ‘play’While there is no one definition of play, there are a number of agreed characteristics that describe play. Play can be described as:
  • pleasurable-play is an enjoyable and pleasurable activity. Play sometimes includes frustrations, challenges and fears; however enjoyment is a key feature
  • symbolic-play is often pretend, it has a ‘what if?’ quality. The play has meaning to the player that is often not evident to the educator
  • active-play requires action, either physical, verbal or mental engagement with materials, people, ideas or the environment
  • voluntary-play is freely chosen. However, players can also be invited or prompted to play
  • process oriented-play is a means unto itself and players may not have an end or goal in sight
  • self motivating-play is considered its own reward to the player (Shipley, 2008)

Play is NOT organised activities...

Great easy read and perhaps something that should be sent to any new teacher starting a new school (regardless of the amount of years experience they have). In my new role as Pedagogical Leader next year I hope to work on ensuring new teachers are supported in their role. This article will hopefully keep me grounded.

Here are the key points from the article:

1. This will get better. 
2. Always work from the heart. 
3. They will remember this about you. 
4. Be open to surprises. 
5. Find a coach. 
6. And if you can't find a coach . . . 

Investigate their questions and build on what their interests are:

Thinking Big Extending Emergent Curriculum Projects

Long, extended periods of play is one of the greatest gifts I can give children....

Emergent Curriculum, Reggio, and Inquiry: Coming to Terms with Terms

Diane Kashin gives a comprehensive rundown of the common phrases: emergent curriculum, project based approach, play based learning and inquiry learning. Perhaps the most profound question in this article is:

"What is the image of the child?" and "how do I understand learning?" Your image of the child influences the day to day interactions and opportunities your children are afforded.  

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