Friday, July 8, 2016

Work or Play?

 If you ask a child if they would rather work or play, most of the time they will chose play.

"Play is the work of childhood."
In the Montessori learning environment we use the term "game" to describe many lessons.  We have the stamp game, spelling games, grammar games, geography games, and science games. 
"In every job that must be done, there is an element of fun. You find the fun and snap, the job's a game." - Mary Poppins

The term "work" has a negative connotation and therefore children resist doing things that fall into that category.  For example, take Legos, I know children who will spend hours, days even, building incredible Lego relations. The child sees this as "play" but it truly is work.  Children are using trial and error, imagination, planning, building and many other thinking skills. Why do we look at "play" as frivolous and "work" as industrious and virtuous? Let's shift our mindset and consider all of it as play.

It is easy to make any learning experience seem like a game or like play, especially in this day and age.  Using manipulatives, hands on activities, and technology are tools that help our children enjoy practicing skills.  Including arts activities and music appeals to the child's imagination and aids in memory.  Arts education should not be removed from the curriculum because without creative experiences, imagination stagnates. And without imagination, new discoveries, technologies, and ideas cannot de elop.  where will that leave the human race?

So I have decided to change the students work plan into a game plan.  Why not?  It will appeal to the students and encourage their educational journey.  The educators will post a variety of lessons (games) and the students can choose the ones that speak to them.  There will be lessons, which we will call "coaching sessions", and daily activities such as reading, warm ups, and math practice which we will call " the triple threat". 

I have high hopes for this shift. anyone want to try it with me? Let me know how it goes.

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