Day One: On the Road to Play-Facilitated Learning
Educators recognize play as being the essential pedagogy for maximizing growth of all domains of early childhood development. Through play, children gain experiences needed to make discoveries and connections essential for developing and deepening cognitive, social and emotional abilities. Play is a natural process that when fostered, provides the experiences necessary for healthy early development leading to greater success when begin children begin formal schooling.
This session is designed to help teachers gain insights into the importance of play and its relevance as the key pedagogical approach to teaching young children. We will look at how play in the early years impacts success in the years beyond kindergarten. This session will also unpack an educational definition of play and establish its relationship to how young children learn.
We will discuss 12 distinct forms of play and examine their relevance to a child’s early development. We will then take a practical look at ways these forms of play can be facilitated in early childhood classrooms. Teachers will come away with tools and ideas designed to facilitate play based learning in their planning and teaching. Some teacher “take always” include:
- Tools to help teachers think about centres, learning spaces and opportunities that promote learning through the 12 types of play
- Resources that deepen understanding of the 12 types of play including essential classrooms contemplations needed to facilitate a play based learning environment
- Observation guides that focus on understanding and creating play based classrooms
- Ideas for making and using “play posters” as part of documentation of learning
Day Two: 4 Pathways to Learning Through Play
This session is designed to accommodate collaboration and discussion related to the teacher’s role in facilitating a play-facilitated classroom. We will deepen our understanding of critical elements of play-facilitated design by exploring 4 pathways essential for learning through play. We will also examine several examples of centres, spaces and opportunities for developing early years learning competencies through 12 types of play.
We will also go deeper into rough and tumble play, mastery play, rules-based play, and risk-taking play and examine how these forms of play are essential in the healthy development of executive functioning with young children
This session is designed to help educators gain insights into the importance of play and its relevance as the key pedagogical approach to teaching young children. We will look at how play in the early years impacts success in the years following kindergarten. This session will unpack an educational definition of play and establish its relationship to how young children learn. Together, we will explore 12 distinct forms of play and their relevance to a child’s early development. We will examine components of a “play-facilitated classroom” and compare it to a content-based classroom. We will also touch on the essential documents educators need to be aware of in order to meet the expectations of Alberta Education in regards to teaching young learners. Our discussions during this session will be guided by examining the educator’s role in facilitating play-based classrooms. To this end, we will be looking through a lens that helps establish this understanding by exploring the importance of 4 pathways essential for learning through play:
- The Learning Environment - setting up a child-sensitive play-based classrooms
- Design for Learning - planning and programing
- Teacher and Learner Disposition - having an early childhood mindset
- Assessment - gathering information about young learners
Finally, this session will look at ways educational teams can facilitate conversations and ongoing professional development. A “take-away” from this session is a tool designed to help with ongoing professional development and with establishing dialogue with staff members aimed at maximizing the potential for success of our young learners. This tool is designed in a way that it can also be used as a catalyst for change towards a more play-facilitated K and pre- K program or alternatively, it can be used to positively reinforce and recognize exemplary practices in your early childhood classrooms.
Date & Time:
January 30, 2020 8:45 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
March 5, 2020 8:45 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
For more information and to register, go here.