Sunday, February 7, 2016

Global School Play Day in Middle School


I witnessed sheer joy in my classroom last Wednesday.

Why?


My 6th grade students-middle schoolers- were playing games.
Social games.
No-tech games.
Board games.
Games that requiring reading directions.
Games that necessitated taking turns.
Games needing clarification and compromise.
Games requiring setup and clean up.
Games of chance.
Games of strategy.
Games of skill.
Games for two people and games for many more.
Active games.
Fun games.
Choice games.

All of this during the school day, in place of regularly scheduled core classes.

Yes, I have English standards to teach.
Many, in fact.
However, I don't teach standards; I teach students.

In addition to standards, my students need to know how to socialize: how to talk to each other. They need strategies that help them compromise and problem solve peer disputes. My students need practice asking for clarification and explaining their creative thinking. While socializing with friends, my students need empathy for those seemingly left out, and a desire to include everyone.

Being allowed to play without teacher control or interference, my students learned more about kindness and collaboration than I could have imagined.

I saw this quote on Facebook today from Herding Kate in Kindergarten, and it echoes what I witnessed on Wednesday's Global School Play Day.

"You can discover more about a child in an hour of play than in a year of standardized tests."

I sure learned a lot about my students by observing them through play, by talking to them as they played, and in some cases, playing along with them. I learned more than from data generated by bubbling in answers on a multiple choice test.

On the Global School Play Day, I deepened connections with my students and discovered something new about each one.

My students and I participated last year, and I plan to do it again for many years to come.

There's something so refreshing about breaking from the ordinary and providing an experience.

It's one they won't soon forget.

3 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  2. What can I say? I really like your teaching approach! Really, it’s important to teach your students things they need in real life. For example, it’s great that you teach them how to socialize with each other. It’s great that they play real games instead of tech games and talk with each other. I think that such an approach can help to develop skills and character features which will come in-handy in their future career. By the way, they can find reviews of federal resume writing services and order professional resume writings to find a great job in the future!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I want to from more writing from you. Thank you for posting! You know, one student that I know for a long period of time have advised me a great writing service PaidPaper.net. He said he uses it very often.

    ReplyDelete