Help with free play session!!!

Discussion in 'Preschool' started by astaevia, Oct 31, 2007.

  1. astaevia

    astaevia Rookie

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    Oct 31, 2007

    Hi Everyone,

    I am a student teacher in my final two weeks of prac in a prep class in Australia (play based curriculum) and I could use some help in relation to the free play session my students have in the middle session of a day.

    Together we do collaborative planning sheets where the children suggest activities they would like to do for the session and then we head off and start the activities. Of late, myself and my supervising teacher have noticed that children are gravitating towards the same thing everyday and that there is not much learning going on (eg - boys go to the wooden blocks and build a road and play cars on it EVERYDAY, gorls go to collage table and are not socialising together much). My supervising teacher and I believe we need to change this in order to have more learning going on but without compromising the students freedom or interests. For example, the boys interests are in cars and blocks but how could we adapt this to make it more educationally focussed but still addressing their interest?

    I am hoping that other teachers with a lot more years of experience in this prep/preschool setting than myself might be able to offer me some suggestions as the middle session is starting to turn chaotic! I don't want to do a rotation thing as we do small group rotation activities in the morning session. PLEASE HELP! Thak you all in advance. :up:
     
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  3. Dzenna

    Dzenna Groupie

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    Oct 31, 2007

    I rotate items in and out if my centers regularly to attract different children. In my block area, I rotate cars, trains and tracks, wood community helper figures, small plastic animals, etc. I have more girls in that center when the animals and community helpers are there. I have more boys in my writing center I place stickers with cars and planes there. The boys are also more attracted to the housekeeping center when I have fireman hats, painters hats, or plastic construction tools. In general, everyone wants to be at a center when something new is there.
     
  4. MsCatWCP

    MsCatWCP Rookie

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    Oct 31, 2007

    I was going to say almost the same thing. We have smaller than average room sizes in our church preschool and to keep things from feeling over crowded AND to spice up some change, we will take things out of the room or move things around every so often.
     
  5. scmom

    scmom Enthusiast

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    Oct 31, 2007

    I agree with trying to change things up.

    Also, you could do some collaborative collages or giant posters on butcher paper so they are working together and, hopefully, talking more.

    Changing up the kitchen/housekeeping area by putting in menus, shopping lists, etc. will get more learning going on.

    For the block corner I have made block towns or patterns on butcher paper sometimes and they have to match up the blocks. Or have them roll a big dice and they have to put that many blocks on their tower. Or have someone build something and the other person has to copy it. Putting different props with the blocks - people, animals, fake vegetables, etc. changes their play.

    I also made a numbered parking lot and put numbers on the cars or different props to make bridges, etc.

    Good luck and have fun.
     
  6. clarnet73

    clarnet73 Moderator

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    Oct 31, 2007

    Something else I've seen done, especially in the block/construction area... make an "idea book" of some sample things to build... towers, houses, castles, roads, etc. Putting that book in the block area might spark some interest in something different ;)
     
  7. slickchik

    slickchik Rookie

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    Nov 2, 2007

    Rotating toys is a key part to keeping your children engaged and learning during freeplay!
     
  8. rasberri

    rasberri Rookie

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    Nov 17, 2007

    I think it's also important to take materials from the popular areas and place them in the not so popular areas so that children can use materials in new and different ways.

    rasberri*
     
  9. love2teachk

    love2teachk Companion

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    Nov 18, 2007

    Could you set up some cute chart with each activity and they write (or put a name card) beside it when they do that activity (so you'd need 5, one for each day) and this way they have to choose something different each day. They could still choose, not rotate, but they'd have to different things!
     
  10. Myname

    Myname Comrade

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    Nov 18, 2007

    remove the cars for a week.

    I have done that.

    We have huge bins of legos and I mean HUGE the plastic bin is on wheels and takes 2 teachers to put it up. Anyway I will bring that out and close up areas that have manupulatives and then the whole class sits and plays with these. it is a nice change. I have even said that only table items are available for part of the time and that gets the boys there.
     

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