I recently enjoyed giving a workshop on loose parts play to the staff of United Methodist Preschool held at Community Cooperative Nursery School. We started off with the theory behind this kind of play, reflections on current classroom practices and a slide show of the children from CCNS in action.
But the most important part of this workshop is giving the teachers time to actually play and interact with the materials and investigate the kinds of learning that they can envision their students experiencing. They were asked to not only engage, but to reflect as they played on the skills that children would be learning and applying as they played.
Then they were given something that is critical for teachers of young children...time to play. Time to problem solve...
to engage with each other and the materials...
and to get a real sense of what the children experience as they interact with the loose parts.
We concluded the play portion of the session reflecting on the CT Early Learning and Development Standards and what skills from several of the domains this kind of play fosters.
The teachers then created action plans and materials wish lists for incorporating this type of play into their teaching as well as addressing some concerns and issues they may face.
It is always invigorating for me to be surrounded by such dedicated educators that continue to want to learn more and improve their practices in order to provide young children the best learning environments possible.
If you are interested in this workshop or other professional development sessions please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.