Tag Archives: Play

PLC Series: February Round-Up

This month, we shared conversation about the role and necessity of play in learning. Enjoy the month in review below!

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PLC Series: How Mentor Texts Engage Secondary Students Through Play

Welcome to the Heinemann PD Professional Learning Community Series. This month, we share conversation about the role and necessity of play in learning.

The value of play does not disappear after early childhood.

Writing with Mentors authors Rebekah O’Dell and Allison Marchetti describe how factors, such as formulaic writing and grades, “dismantle” students’ natural state of play and replace it with fear of experimentation.

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PLC Series: The Essential Benefits of Free Play

Welcome to the Heinemann PD Professional Learning Community Series. This month, we share conversation about the role and necessity of play in learning.


"The skills that are hard to learn, and far more important, are how to get along well with other people, how to control our own emotions and behavior, and how to think creatively yet logically. "  -Peter Gray


What is the effect of the decrease in play on children? 

Children learn through play by nature; they need play to experiment with problem solving, deal with fear, exercise imagination, learn self control and so much more. In this powerful article from the Heinemann Digital Library, Boston College research professor of psychology Peter Gray makes a strong case for the essential benefits of play.  Continue reading

PLC Series: Play as a Priority

Welcome to the Heinemann PD Professional Learning Community Series. This month, we share conversation about the role and necessity of play in learning.

One of the biggest challenges teachers have is prioritizing what goes into the classroom schedule. Often, elements held in our hearts as high priority get pushed aside due to priorities of other decision makers. Play is one such element, one that is not only a right of childhood, but an experience that develops and enhances children as humans and curious learners.

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The Importance of Choice Time Play

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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. 

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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. 

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