Our first grade students are a diverse group of children who come from a variety of backgrounds, cultures, and personal experiences. This year we are serving around 90 first graders. However, in a typical year, we serve up to 150 students in our first grade pod. This year has brought its own set of challenges, but one thing has remained the same: our students are eager to learn about the world around them. Despite the changes that this year has brought, our students have remained resilient. They remind us that there is still so much joy to be found in our daily lives. They have gained a whole new appreciation for the time they get to spend at school, and have flourished in both social and academic areas this year thanks to our new implementation of Purposeful Play.
Purposeful Play is an initiative that Edmond Public Schools is implementing in its early childhood grades. EPS has always been focused on serving children through the use of best practices. Not only do our early childhood students desire time to play, but they also need it in order to be successful. Our Purposeful Play committee completed months of research and collaboration to determine what changes needed to be made in order to serve the whole child. Our conclusion was this,
“Decades of research and evidence tell us that children construct their knowledge and make sense of the world through play.
Purposeful Play allows children to make meaning out of seemingly everyday experiences. It is engaging and intentional. ” Our Purposeful Play allows students to engage in inquiry choice play. I use this time to promote critical thinking skills in our young scholars while tracking the meaningful academic connections that the students are authentically making through their play time.
This is where we need your help! In order to provide our students with opportunities to authentically create connections between our grade level standards and their play experiences, we are seeking out materials that will help make this possible throughout our four Learning Areas: Dramatic Play, Creative Arts, Construction, and Sensory/Discovery. Each first grade teacher at West Field is asking for supplies that will be shared throughout the entire grade in order to maximize the use of each item.
Thank you for supporting our students and helping us bring focus to the importance of play based learning in the early childhood grades!
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