For those of you who have been on this first grade journey with us, I thank you for hanging on and coming back to read all the bits and pieces I’m sharing! For those of you who are new, welcome!
Let me start this one with a picture I found (and then shared!) from Edutopia last week:
Here’s another one–from Mr. Rogers:
As I said when I shared this photo, I TRULY believe this to be true. And honestly, I’m not sure that it’s just for kids. Adults need to remember to take time out to play, too, but that’s a conversation for another time and place. The point here is that I find play, free-time, independent discovery and curiosity to be crucial to the development and learning of kiddos. And so because of that, we have choice time in our first grade classroom. To some of you that’s a surprise, and believe me, it was to some of my kiddos, too! I guess they were expecting first grade to be a vast departure from the “fun” they had in kindergarten, but in my mind we’re going to be doing some of the very same things, just at a different level. And play is definitely one of the most important ways we will learn this year. 🙂
Our first few tries at choice time were very structured and we signed up for where we would spend our time. As we’ve learned how to do it, and have become more familiar with the choices, they’ve gotten more freedom with deciding on their own where to play. For now they’re only allowed to make one choice per day, though, and so they have to be really thoughtful about what that choice will be.
Do you have any stories about using choice time and/or play in your first grade classroom? If you’re a parent, what are your kiddos saying about this time of our day? I’d love to hear your thoughts!! 🙂