On Open House night, I had up a wish list that families could grab from and donate items to our class if they liked. One thing on the list was play-doh. I hadn’t ever asked for it before, but got the idea from another teacher, and thought I’d give it a try. Play-Doh is one of those things (kind of like Legos and blocks) that can be used in so many ways. Thanks to the Ella and her family, we got a huge box of Play-Doh a couple of days before school started! THANK YOU, KOHRINGS!!
On Thursday is was time to whip it out and discover what we could do with it! Part of a guided discovery is for kiddos to just play and have fun, to figure out what they can and want to do with a certain item/manipulative. So after we went over some basic guidelines (only use the color from your can, keep it on the table, be sure to clean up all the bits and pieces when you’re finished, etc.) Rm. 202 kids got the first 5 or so minutes to do whatever they wanted. Then we spent some time using the Play-Doh to share some of our thinking.
Kiddos were asked do create something that represented the following things: 1) their FAVORITE thing to do when they aren’t at school (by the way, lots of Rm. 202 kiddos made TVs), and 2) their FAVORITE thing to do at school.
Then I had kiddos make their names. Not a hard thing, really, but some kiddos needed encouragement with figuring out how to use the amount of Play-Doh they had to make the letters they needed or to shape the “curvy” letters so we knew what they said. Some kiddos had time to make both their first and last names, and we even had a couple of Rm. 202 friends share tips for how to make their dough super flat (Allie used her forearm, and Peter used his fist and pushed real hard!).
I was excited for how they were excited, as well as for the things we learned about each other during this seemingly “easy” activity. It’s a first time I’ve done an intro survey this way, and am glad that I did. After we had had a chance to investigate and play, then Play-Doh then became a choice during afternoon choice time. I’m excited to see the other ways we’ll use it to represent our learning as we go further into the year, too!
Students: What did you make with your Play-Doh to show what you like to do outside of school? What did you find that was easy about this? What was tricky for you?
Parents: What did your kiddos tell you about our Play-Doh investigation? Were you surprised with what they made?
Teachers: What ways have you used Play-Doh in your classroom with your learners?
We’d love to hear from you!!