Twenty years ago, I began my career in kindergarten and it’s been an adventure ever since. It wasn’t my first choice of grade levels, but it has been the most rewarding time of my life. I have loved the connections and memories that I have made with my students and their families.
When the No Child Left Behind initiative passed in 2002, kindergarten changed in the direction of more structured academics and less play.
Ultimately, kindergarten became the new first grade. Five-year-olds were being required to read and write whether they were emotionally prepared or not. Working in a low socio-economic school district, many of our students were entering school unprepared for the rigor of kindergarten, so it has become my mission to bring learning through play back into the classroom.
Learning Centers in Kindergarten allows children to learn while exploring, investigating and making choices in their own learning experiences. It utilizes age appropriate play through learning that helps develop socio-emotional skills as well as meeting their academic standards. It also promotes their strengths and individual learning styles. And quite honestly, it makes learning fun again!
Social play allows children to become more creative and more adept at explaining meaning verbally, more successful in their academics, and more confident when experimenting with new activities. The benefits of play for kindergarten children help develop both social and emotional skills as well. Play functions as inspiration and motivation for the development of social ties, for establishing contentment and creating personal opinions.
By giving students the opportunity to explore play through building blocks will help them learn in a fun and exciting way.
These blocks will allow children to become engineers through designing, planning and collaboration as they utilize the various building materials. It provides children opportunities to learn by exploring, making individual choices and working cooperatively.
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