Friday, December 14, 2012

Kids Planning Play

On the flight to NCTE, I sat with Mandy from Enjoy and Embrace Learning.  She happened to have a new book in the Calkins Help Desk Series: A Quick Guide to Boosting English Acquisition Choice Time K-2. She shares her thoughts here.  My thoughts are that it is a book helpful for all learners. Many of the ideas tie right into the common core standards for speaking and listening.  I was flipped through it thinking some of the ideas might help my kids during play.  I am not big on centers and having kids place a card on an activity they want to work through because I feel like I control so much of their day already. But, I did like thinking about how the teachers tied much of their learning like...picture books, science ideas and purposeful building into play.  I liked the notion of having a plan for play and I have been asking my own students to begin thinking about what they will be doing or creating.
So with many ideas racing in my mind, I asked my kids what their favorite activities were during play.  They came up with this list:
After talking with them about how reading could be play with character and books, I had a small group of girls act out :

I observed as they planned for a couple days who would be who, using rock paper scissors to work through the tough decisions. When two girls wanted to be the Good Fairy, they decided to compromise and both play the role. One student read aloud and made the props while 5 others rehearsed. Two days later they asked to perform for the class. I took a movie with my camera and then uploaded it to our web page where they can watch it anytime. We have already viewed it twice because they love to see themselves.  Some students are now writing about the play during workshop and others (including the boys) are planning on a new performance. Their ideas are never ending and they are figuring it out on their own.
As I think about what next,  I will be helping them dig deeper into other areas on their list. And, I'll post again about what they think of next.

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