Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Learning During Playful Exploration

Enter the enrichment classroom on any given day and you may be surprised by the  level of movement, activities going on in parallel and the energy and playfulness of our space.  I think that sometimes this playful exploration can be confused for a lack of planning, or learning opportunities.  This week during enrichment I took a few minutes to capture some of the ways that our students in grade K through 2 use their choice time to support their writing and reading.

You will find that students are engaging in a variety of writing and prewriting activities.  Our earliest writers are drawing pictures and telling stories.  You can find them in the puppet theater, at the easels, in the fairy house or creating islands of sand in their ocean scenes. You might find them collaborating to build structures as they develop a story that explains the details of their design.  Students negotiate and revise as they build and collaborate.  These prewriting activities lead to amazing stories and oral communication.  Our writers are producing stories ( one was even published and placed in the classroom library!), making lists and menus for our kitchen space, creating signs, and even' blogging 'on the chalk easel! In all of these cases, I am not requiring them to write, but instead they see a need and so are driven through authentic learning!

You will also find students tucked into a space in the classroom library, or sharing a book with friends.  Students are reading and writing by choice and this freedom is exciting and engaging.

It is empowering for students to be given space and choice in learning and I am lucky to be able to be a participant in their learning journey!

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