Can we play?
Children>I don't want to work, I want to play.
Teacher Vrinda>Okay...go look at the play cards (pictured above) to see what you want to play with...should we play with blocks, card gams or Connect 4, calendar, spy numbers or sounds? Should we read a new book? Do you want to read a book yourself? Should we go outdoors or garden?
The fun, joy and tough parts of teaching a preschooler most of all is to teach and cover material through play. In creating Play Cards, the thought is to allow the child to visualize different types of play and pick for the current moment. As we get into the mechanics of reading and writing, numbers or operations, science, history, geography and so much more, one has to remember to relate the topic to something concrete for the child. The play cards makes the play options and the pick concrete, something they own. Thought and attention span builds slowly and steadily but one has to keep an eye for the fine line so we don't push and start to loose a very key ingredient...their interest! As my older children often remind me there is a difference between busy work and thought or learning. If the child is pushing away a material, the child is either not ready or the learning needs to be addressed in an alternate form. Kids are slowly getting used to picking and thinking about their play.
For this group of 5 preschoolers, social play at this time is most key. They are busy pretending to be mommies, daddies, kids, chefs, mechanics, doctors, airplane pilots, animal keepers or watchers and so much more. I try to read something new to them so their thought and attention span keeps increasing. They keep re-reading and replaying their favorites and self-direct learning via repetition.
Today we played with blocks, read the 'Tale of Jemima Puddle Duck', older kids read a short book and used sound cards to reinforce some sounds, younger children wrote or traced sounds. We enjoyed the Green Park and also did clay play.
Lunch of Spainish Rice, Pinto Beans, Zucchini-Carrots-Onions Veg, lettuce and optionally chicken was enjoyed. With the cabbage experience, when I showed a whole lettuce today, the immediate question was 'Can we pull it too?' :) They will get to do that tomorrow and also possibly using scissors to cut their own lettuce for their sandwich.