There are many things that are important in first grade: reading, writing, listening, speaking, using grit, working hard, being a good friend….but perhaps the MOST important thing (at least in my opinion) is PLAY. Play is a child’s work, and is how they learn. And when things are fun, you want to keep doing them! When you keep doing them, you usually get better at them and then you want to do them more and more. This works so well when you want kids to be curious and hardworking. I also think play is an important part of learning since it is through play (and problems) that kiddos begin to work things out for themselves and can take ownership for their learning.
So…there is lots of play in Rm. 111, both structured (in our “regular” subject choices and projects) and also lots of time for unstructured play during choice time. As I put the room together this year, I was afforded lots of space for play things as well as lots of places to play. I was able to find a kitchen, bugs, puppets and Little People figures to add to the mix, and I of course brought along my big blocks, games and Legos from Rm. 202. We start our day with choice time, and kiddos are able to play in our room, or with a friend in our team room next door. It’s so fun to watch what happens during this time, as well as to see who plays together and how they interact. There is much learning going on during time time–both by the kids and the teachers!
The first days of first grade are FUN, but believe me, there is MUCH more to come and I hope you’ll hang around to read more bout how we learn through play as we go on down the road this year. 🙂