Where do you start when thinking about inquiry through play in the classroom? This question doesn’t have one specific answer because there is so many different answers. I will say this though:
Before I could piece anything together I needed to understand that not every lesson will look the same and that there is no specific guideline on how to do this but rather a frame work, or an approach that may or may not work. The whole idea of it might not work out can be intimidating but it can also be very exciting and rewarding for the students and you.
My next step is trying it out more in my the classroom. To look at different ways of incorporating pieces of it into the daily routines my students go through.
For Lindsy Friendship and I our next step as collaborators is presenting at the West CAST conference. At this conference we will be presenting a workshop where we will share our understanding and knowledge.
We know that in our schools today we see a unique diversity of students. As educators we are trying to find the most meaningful way to inspire learners to develop and grow as individuals. Play brings students passions and interests in an organic form. We want to have authentic learning experiences for our students. There are many misconceptions of what play is and its importance. Our curriculum today supports the process of play and its effectiveness in inquiry. “Cognitive development stems from social interactions from guided learning within the zone of proximal development as children and their partner’s co-construct knowledge” (McLeod). As educators we continuously pursue to create an engaging environment, play allows for student to engage in social and cognitive interactions that stem from a realistic approach. When students develop ideas, wonders, and questions we call them an inquiry. Many teachers and pre-service teachers struggle to find the right starting point for inquiry in the primary grades. The best place to start inquiry is through play. “The benefits of play are recognized by the scientific community. There is now evidence that neural pathways in children’s brains are influenced by and advanced in their development through the exploration, thinking skills, problem solving, and language expression that occur during play.” (The Kindergarten Program 2016) Play helps children to discover and make sense of the world around them. Its universal continuous and versatile in the outcomes its brings to students learning and is “not bound by culture.” (Knowing Home) During the workshop participants will have the opportunity to play, collaborate and share their wonders in a way that is meaningful to them.
Our learning intention for our work shop is to have participants be able to say ‘I can implement inquiry through play in my classroom’.
Please check out Lindsy’s site to get more information and perspective.
Lindsy Friendship word press link.