Saturday, 14 January 2017

Loose Parts... learning to play (Palestine 11)

Today has been all about play.

Getting the educators to play with loose parts...
we started with looking at the stones that they had collected and I was happy to see that all of them had brought stones with them.  And in another post I will share some of those stories.

This evening I have been busy preparing a presentation on play and learning for parents tomorrow morning... if this is going to be effective... we need the parents to understand the importance of play and not just the educators.

So this is just a brief post with an update about today.

I shared with them the documentation I had made about the farm excursion the other day... showing the learning I had seen in the children's play, discussing how the play could be provoked for further learning... and how questions could be asked on different levels... that more complicated questions about social values could be asked for older children when it came to the photo of the sheep where the MALE goats were sectioned off  from the rest of society etc. In other words learning how the same location could not only offer many different kinds of learning but many different age appropriate learning.

Then it was time for the loose parts play...

There were four "stations" or experiences or activities or provocations (you pick the word that suits you best) and the teachers were free to choose one or more to explore. They also needed to photograph their experience with the challenge of documenting the learning that was happening in the play... this will be their homework putting the documentation together so they can present it on Monday... where we will analyse it together and work out how we can go forward to deepen the play and learning. Ideally this would have been done at their schools... but sadly it is the winter break right now... something to remember for future courses.

The stations were exploring the potential of an overhead... with various materials to test out.
Using paper to create a large 3D house/building (using old sheets of paper used in previous presentations, so i thought we could recycle it... its very thin, so it was a good challenge)
Using the rocks/stones that had been collected
Using wooden blocks...

The educators were asked to find many different ways of learning in each play area.

 Afterwards we played the bubble game... laughed a great deal and then discussed the learning benefits of the game... and also about the potential problems of the game and how they could be avoided through involving the children in the rule-making of the game. So that the children learned to understand why there are rules and not just follow them blindly.

I am afraid that is it for today... I will like to return to this session with more reflections, when I have more time... both to think and also the time to write those thoughts down.

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