Tag Archives: Choice Time

Choice Time and Student Agency

ChoiceTime_MG5D9012

How do you define play and choice time in early childhood classrooms? According to Renée Dinnerstein,“During choice time, children choose to play in a variety of centers that have been carefully designed and equipped to scaffold children’s natural instinct for play.”

Renée reveals what can happen when you embrace a culture of inquiry, providing opportunities for children to be explorative and creative in their thinking. She believes that, “A child’s engagement is the most powerful asset we have for teaching and learning.” Give your students choice time, and watch them engage in joyful, important, playful, age-appropriate work that will empower them to become lifelong learners.

"The bottom line is when children are at play, they’re not just playing––they’re learning machines, and play is the engine that drives them.” —Renée Dinnerstein

 

 

 

The Importance of Choice Time Play

ChoiceTime_MG5D9022-2

Early childhood educators have always understood the importance of play—in all its many forms—in the lives of their students. Guided play takes place in a purposeful environment that’s been carefully planned to stimulate and support children’s curiosity and creativity. As students interact with one another and the materials, teachers observe, record, confer, occasionally participate, or facilitate, and they use this information to plan next steps. However, the children decide how they will explore and interact with the materials, not the teachers. 

Continue reading

Guided Play in the Classroom: Where Teaching and Play Intersect

ChoiceTime_MG5D8991

Early childhood educators have always understood the importance of play—in all its many forms—in the lives of their students. Free play is spontaneous and filled with make-believe as children pursue the fantasies of their unencumbered imaginations. A twig becomes the sword of a swashbuckling pirate, or a piece of flowing fabric is transformed into a superhero’s cape or the gown of a fairy princess. Free play is entirely child directed and free of adult intervention. Guided play takes place in a purposeful environment that’s been carefully planned to stimulate and support children’s curiosity and creativity. As students interact with one another and the materials, teachers observe, record, confer, occasionally participate, or facilitate, and they use this information to plan next steps. However, the children decide how they will explore and interact with the materials, not the teachers. 

Continue reading

The Heinemann Podcast: Choice Time

ChoiceTime_MG5D9012How do you define play and choice time in early childhood classrooms? According to Renée Dinnerstein, play is an engine that drives learning. She writes, "during choice time, children choose to play in a variety of centers that have been carefully designed and equipped to scaffold children’s natural instinct for play.” In her book Choice Time, Renée gives us everything we need to set up choice-time centers that promote inquiry-based, guided play in a classroom. Renée also summarizes the research, describing the different kinds of play and why they are important. She says by giving your students choice time, and allowing them to engage in joyful, important, playful, age-appropriate work will empower them to become lifelong learners. 

Continue reading

Play

Your Heinemann Link Round-Up for August 21–27

round-up-aug

These links are interviews with educators, posts from our authors' and friends' blogs, and any interesting, newsworthy item from the past seven days. Check back each week for a new round of finds!

Continue reading

Recognizing and Honoring the Many Forms of Play

ChoiceTime_MG5D8975

In Choice Time, Renée Dinnerstein gives you everything you need to set up choice-time centers that promote inquiry-based, guided play in your classroom. Renée summarizes the research, describing the different kinds of play and why they are important. In this post, adapted from the new book, Renee lists the benefits of play using an imaginary doctor's office as reference.

Continue reading