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Is play appropriate?
Old 02-27-2021, 08:02 AM
 
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I teach first btw. My team allows 20 minutes of free play at the end of the day every Friday. Barbies, LEGOís, puzzles, STEM building toys, play dough etc. Itís unstructured free time to just have fun and socialize. We are being told to no longer do this and toys should only be in Pre-K. Admin is taking toys and role playing items out of kindergarten too. Admin wants bell to bell instruction and if it is not on the end of year test or covered by a standard to not do it-no more Go Noodle either. I feel this is insane and totally not developmentally appropriate. Admin said I donít understand what developmentally appropriate really means. Maybe Iím way off base? Iíve taught for 12 years but maybe Iím totally wrong? Iím genuinely curious what others think and if Iím wrong then Iíll adjust my teaching and do whatís appropriate. Thanks!!!!


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Is play appropriate
Old 02-27-2021, 08:04 AM
 
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Yes, yes, yes!! At every grade level play is appropriate. It is relaxing, teaches social skills, can cover speaking and listening skills, small motor skills, problem solving. If you look at the standards, you can find at least 10 where play fits in perfectly.

Children are people and some have only been on the planet for a short time. They are not robots.
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Old 02-27-2021, 08:10 AM
 
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This makes me angry and sad. I taught first grade for over 30 years. Play and recess were part of every day. My school was always one of the top performing schools in the state. Administration agreed with play. Adults get breaks built into their workday.
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Old 02-27-2021, 08:16 AM
 
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Your admin is wrong. He’s the one with the poor understanding of developmentally appropriate.

Give him this article and the book it cites. https://notjustcute.com/2010/11/15/d...iate-practice/


In the meantime, I immediately thought of speaking and listening standards to connect to your play.
Quote:
Comprehension and Collaboration:
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.1.1
Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about grade 1 topics and texts with peers and adults in small and larger groups.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.1.1.A
Follow agreed-upon rules for discussions (e.g., listening to others with care, speaking one at a time about the topics and texts under discussion).
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.1.1.B
Build on others' talk in conversations by responding to the comments of others through multiple exchanges.

We play in fifth grade. It looks different but it’s play. We play as adults. Play is essential to healthy brain development, and we cannot even claim to need to take it out of the classroom in service to “teaching to the test “ because we need their whole brains for “the test.”

Play provides safe opportunities to use skills that are being taught. It provides schema for more structured lessons. It builds neural pathways that are needed for the more “academic” parts of school.

I’ve heard of schools taking play out of the classroom but I am boggled by an admin basically citing play as not developmentally appropriate as a reason.
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Old 02-27-2021, 08:23 AM
 
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Agree...YES, Yes, and yes! Play!


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Old 02-27-2021, 08:29 AM
 
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We had that happen to us in 3rd Grade, too. No more "Friday Fun" times. We countered by making it more directed towards STEM, so instead of legos and blocks, we have STEM tubs/bins. We also added a list of ideas of activities (build the longest/highest/strongest structure) as guidance to encourage them to think about curriculum concepts. Then they chose what to do during the time. We didn't hold them accountable for it, but it did allow us to get around the no play time.

You could make free play in a similar way using science concepts that you are studying by having Science bins that match your science studies. Kids love playing with magnets, cars and other things that roll with ramps, water/beans/rice with containers to fill up or things to float.... Options are really unlimited. Call the play time SEL time (new hot word, right?) and have a list of standards that are being practiced available. Then it isn't "free" play.
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Old 02-27-2021, 08:29 AM
 
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Your P is crazy. Does he work bell to bell with no breaks or does he chat with the office staff, take a walk around the building, or doodle on his yellow pad once in a while?

In great pieces of music, it's the dynamics that makes it interesting. Sometimes the music is loud and fast, sometimes it's slow and quiet, and sometimes the most significant parts are the rests.

Teaching is an art and the crescendos, decrescendos and rests are all part of what make most kids love school. Rest and play show that we understand the nature of children and I believe it's essential all through elementary school and useful with all ages - even adults.
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Old 02-27-2021, 08:48 AM
 
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I'm a big believer in play time...even for high school. Kids need to move large muscles, experience social situations, be creative, solve problems (not just math stuff we make up for them), and just take a break!

I think open gym/outdoor play should be built into every day for all kids. It's absolutely developmentally appropriate at all ages.

I really don't understand the "academicization" of preschool, kindergarten, and first grade. What do administrators think will happen if kids wait a little to learn to read, write, and do arithmetic? What's the big hurry? They will "get it" before high school. Some are just not "ready" to do this so young. We have stopped considering kids who develop as individuals, and also the 12 month age range of the kids in a typical classroom. Some kids read before they hit formal school (I did); some kids aren't reading till they are 7 or 8 (my brother, for example). Guess what? Now we are old (in our 60s) and we are both equally literate. We can relax a bit and the world will not come to an end. Kids have better stuff to do than sit in a desk all day doing fine motor, visual, and memory work.
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Appropriate!
Old 02-27-2021, 09:03 AM
 
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Play is completely appropriate. Your admin must have zero early childhood experience Iíd do what another poster suggested. Create curriculum based activities that allow for creative play. When questioned, explain how they meet the standards.

Just another hoop we jump through, incompetent leaders.
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Thank you!!
Old 02-27-2021, 09:05 AM
 
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Omg thank you all SO much!!! I thought I was going crazy! Itís so reassuring that Iím not a terrible, lazy teacher!!! Iíve been so upset and am actually gathering recommendation letters to find a new school. People keep saying next school admin could be the same but itís a risk Iím willing to take. Thank you for the standards and article too! I will be sharing them with my admin. You all are the best!!!!!


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Old 02-27-2021, 10:29 AM
 
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Without a doubt play is a should be for all grades prek-12. I believe that is why we have so much problems with students, they are not socialized with others as we were years ago. I hope your P rethinks his determination and does the right thing by students to help them develop appropriately.
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Old 02-27-2021, 10:40 AM
 
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I would be so tempted to double-down on this. Maybe the 20 minutes at the end of the day on Friday is giving him the impression youíre just wanting to start the weekend early.

How about twenty minutes a day, mid day? Connect it to standards like Kahlua suggested, be more explicit about language skills connections, do a class conversation about what happened during play - problems solved, things created, etc.
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Old 02-27-2021, 12:00 PM
 
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Sure. Take play out of kindergarten. After all they are five. They need to grow up.
(Insert sarcastic tone when reading above)

I agree with the posters who said to rebrand. You might have to put away (for now) some of the toy toys to pretend you are complying as I donít think he will find SEL goals appropriate unless you can tie them to academic goals. Write some STEM goals for things you have. Get some decks of cards and teach them some math games for facts they can play. Checkers teaches strategy skills necessary for reading comprehension. Legos - put out some instructions to practice following. You get the idea. Take out the grade level goals and get creative.
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Quantity vs Quality
Old 02-27-2021, 12:24 PM
 
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This is an argument that has been around for some time; if you increase the time students are exposed to curricula the more they will learn. It also is a justification pushed by many to extend the school day and school year.

There is no credible research that shows time by itself increases achievement. It may increase achievement if a lack of time is determined to be the main cause of learning not taking place. Logic here ignores the possibility other factors may be the actual reason(s) affecting achievement like student engagement rate. Simply put, teaching bell to bell is a measure of the quantity of instruction. It says nothing about the quality of instruction.
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I'll pile on...
Old 02-27-2021, 02:40 PM
 
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play time with children is very important for developing language skills, following rules for games and problem solving when they come up. Large muscle movement is essential for reading skills. Children should be guided to learn to settle arguements and spats themselves. I got so sick of the expectation that all squabbles need to go to the teacher. The research is out there!
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Old 02-27-2021, 03:43 PM
 
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Iíll echo what everybody else has said....
completely appropriate.


But, quite honestly, Iím even surprised you were still allowed to have play in first. My district went to ďbell to bell instructionĒ for all grade K-5 at least 10 years ago. All of the play kitchens, dolls, etc were removed from kindergarten classrooms maybe even longer than ten years ago. It was sad and the K teachers try their best to incorporate as much play into their reading and math centers as they can.

In third grade our kids get a 20 minute outdoor recess daily and thatís all. The rest of the day is all instruction especially this time of year as state testing season is upon us and third grade is a mandatory retention grade in my state.
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Old 02-27-2021, 04:42 PM
 
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I teach in a province where kindergarten is play based.

I’m teaching kinders online this year. We do a LOT of movement and hands on math and literacy.

Many of these kids are only children. They are isolated and don’t have a lot of interaction with other children. They are craving it.

Twice a week, for 30 minutes, the kids play. My teaching partner and I take half the class each in breakout rooms. They are unmuted. They are so happy talking to each other. Communicating with each other. Asking questions. Sharing ideas. I’m thinking of adding another session of this. I have been able to gather so much valuable documentation.

Long story short...play is very important.
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Old 02-27-2021, 06:04 PM
 
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Kindergarten used to be focused on play and socialization. I wish it still was. We learn so much through play!
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Old 02-27-2021, 10:44 PM
 
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What a tragedy for your students. Talk about not understanding developmentally appropriate! One of the tragedies right now of social distancing is that students are missing out on the crucial social skills that they learn and practice through cooperative play.

I have 20 minutes of play every morning. I call it fine motor play, and I get out toys that specifically require kids to use their small muscles. Win win.
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Old 02-28-2021, 01:06 PM
 
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Play is appropriate and that's ridiculous.
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Behavior Problems
Old 02-28-2021, 05:02 PM
 
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Behavior teacher here.

Think about when districts removed play and social skills from Kindergarten and moved to bell-to-bell instruction.

Think about when classroom behavior problems began increasing rapidly.

Think about the correlation.

Behavior problems increased when we stopped teaching students how to behave in school when they started school. Appropriate behaviors do not come pre-programmed in children.

BTW, I've even run into the same problem teaching Sunday school!

Our church has worship service first, then class time. My kindergarten-age students had spent over an hour sitting quietly, so they needed to socialize over toys for a few minutes. I frequently had to explain that 5 year-olds need to practice the Golden Rule in order to learn about it
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this post might help
Old 02-28-2021, 11:27 PM
 
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It offers links to articles on the value and need for play.

https://dianeravitch.net/?s=play

Your prince might be convinced by pediatricians if not by teachers.
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play
Old 03-02-2021, 02:25 AM
 
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That is horrifying that they are taking play away!

My daughter (2nd grade now) was at a school for K that had 3 recesses for K (and I think 2 for the other grades). They originally had a 20 min morning one (which was combined with outside snack. You eat and then play when done). Then lunch was 20 min lunch and 20 min recess. They found that behavior in the afternoon was problematic and experimented with extra recess and found behavior improved and more got done. So then they went out mid afternoon for a 15 min recess.

I agree with others that perhaps making it not the last 20 min of Friday but midday on a different day. And call it something else. Barbies might be a harder sell for "academic" but blocks and Lego and board games would work. Set up play food and a cash register and it's math practice for money.
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Old 03-02-2021, 05:09 PM
 
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Quote:
Think about when districts removed play and social skills from Kindergarten and moved to bell-to-bell instruction.

Think about when classroom behavior problems began increasing rapidly.

Think about the correlation.
Taking away play makes me sad and angry. Itís so ridiculous. I taught 1st, K, & 3rd. Play and unstructured (earned) time is appropriate and needed.

Honestly, the way things are turning it makes me want to homeschool my own DS when the time comes.
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