Our class is a special community of little learners who inspire and support each other in a truly remarkable way. They often surprise me with their ability to face challenges, show resilience, and work to achieve their potential. They might be small but they are mighty.
My class is comprised of 16 unique little learners who vary greatly in their socio-economic background, educational experience prior to Kindergarten, and academic need - but they all love to play and learn.
They are inclusive and engaging, they act out real-world problem solving, and they develop their sense of inquiry when they engage each other in play.
One of my proudest achievements as their teacher is that my students love school. They are upset when they get sick, they ask for work to take home with them so they can play school on the weekends, and they come in with bright smiles each morning.
Countless studies indicate that young students are more engaged in academic tasks when presented opportunities to learn through play. These opportunities, both structured and unstructured, allow students to develop essential skills such as collaboration and effective communication. Dramatic play is especially important because it is an opportunity for children to practice interacting with peers, responding to ideas and experiences that are different than their own, and community building. As a Kindergarten teacher, I strive to create a classroom environment that supports this model and gives my students opportunities to be creative, imaginative, and learn!
My students would benefit from having a classroom community that included the play kitchen and the puppet theater because they would be able to have props and tools to support their creativity and sense of inquiry in dramatic play.
They will be able to apply the concepts we are learning in the safety of a classroom setting so that when they go out in the world they can make connections to those experiences. When we play-we learn, and when we learn-we grow! A play kitchen creates a center that students can turn into much more than just a sink and stove. This area can become a grocery store, a museum, the opportunities are limitless. Playing with these items allows students to be creative and practice communication and collaborative skills. A puppet theater allows students to act out a variety of situations in a safe place because they can "pretend" to be a character. This item supports many language and literacy skills necessary for Kindergartners to learn but allows them to do so in a fun way!
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