Adventures begin in Kindergarten! What an accurate statement for the journey that my kindergartners will embark on at the beginning of their first full year of formal schooling. There are so many emotions, abilities, and personalities that walk through my door on that first day.
These children are truly my sunshine!
Eager, excited, enthusiastic, and just plain happy to be at school each day. They are so passionate about learning new things. They love hands-on experiences and games. They just can't get enough of it! The growth that they make from August to June is just incredible. There's no place like Kindergarten!
"Children need the freedom and time to play. Play is not a luxury. Play is a necessity". This quote from Kay Redfield Jamison, a renowned clinical psychologist is prevalent on the internet. From Pinterest to teacher blogs, many early childhood educators find this quote compelling. Like so many others, I couldn't agree with this statement more. But the question is, how do we fit it all in? With the ever increasing academic demands, standardized testing, and academic "rigor", how can we do what is developmentally appropriate for children while also ensuring their success as a learner? Enter "play based learning". I utilize this method of instruction on a daily basis. The block center is one way to "sneak" learning into fun, interactive, and engaging play.
Block play encourages and nurtures so many social emotional, academic, and motor skill domains.
When engaged in the block center, students will be putting into practice what they are learning in math and science by exploring shapes, measurement and testing out hypotheses when building. Creativity and imagination is automatic with block building because children will put their own ideas and plans into action and build anything they can dream up! Lastly, block play would promote sharing, taking turns, cooperation..the list goes on. I can see blocks becoming a favorite free choice center very quickly in my Kindergarten classroom.
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