Ms. Moote's Kindergarten Class

JUST PLAYING

Author Unknown





When I'm building in the block area,

Please don't say I'm "Just Playing."

For, you see, I'm learning as I play: about balance and shapes.

Who knows, I may be an architect someday.


When I'm getting all dressed up, setting the table,

caring for the babies,

Don't get the idea I'm, "Just Playing."

For, you see, I'm learning as I play:

I may be a mother or a father someday.


When you see me up to my elbows in paint, or standing at an easel, or molding

and shaping the clay,

Pleas't let me hear you say, "He's Just Playing."

For, you see, I'm learning as I play.

I'm expressing myself and being creative.

I may be an artist or an inventor someday.


When you see me sitting in a chair "reading" to an imaginary audience,

Please don't laugh and think I'm "Just Playing."

For you see, I'm learning as I play.

I may be a teacher someday.




When you see me combing the bushes for bugs, or packing my pockets with

choice things I find,

Don't pass it off as "Just Playing."

For, you see, I 'm learning as I play.

I may be a scientist someday.


When you see me engrossed in a puzzle or some plaything at my school,

Please don't feel the time is wasted in "Play."

For, you see, I'm learning as I play.

I'm learning to solve problems and concentrate.

I may be in business someday.



When you see me cooking to tasting foods,

Please don't think that because I enjoy it, it is "Just Playing."

For, you see, I'm learning as I play.

I'm learning to follow directions and see differences.

I may be a cook someday.



When you see me learning to skip, hop, run, and move my body,

Please don't say I'm "Just Playing."

For, you see, I'm learning as I play.

I'm learning how my body works.

I may be a doctor, nurse, or an athlete someday.



When you ask me what I've done at school today,

and I say, "I Just Played,"

Please don't misunderstand me.

For, you see, I'm learning as I play.

I'm learning to enjoy and be successful in my work,

I'm preparing for tomorrow.

Today, I am a child and my work IS play

From the National Association for the Education of Young Children

Copyright © by National Association for the Education of Young Children.  



     TEN TOP SIGNS

          OF A KINDERGARTEN CLASSROOM

Kindergarten is a time for children to expand their love of learning, their

general knowledge, their ability to get along with others, and their interest

in reaching out to the world. While kindergarten marks an important

transition from preschool to the primary grades, it is important that children

still get to be children -- getting kindergarteners ready for elementary school

does not mean substituting academics for play time, forcing children to

master first grade "skills," or relying on standardized tests to asses

children's success.

Kindergarten "curriculum" actually includes such events as snack time,

recess, and individual and group activities in addition to those activities we

think of as traditionally educational.


Developmentally appropriate kindergarten classrooms encourage the

growth of children's self-esteem, their cultural identities, their independence

and their individual strengths. Kindergarten children will continue to develop

control of their own behavior through the guidance and support of warm,

caring adults. At this stage, children are already eager to learn and possess

an innate curiosity. Teachers with a strong background in early childhood

education and child development can best provide for children what they

need to grow physically, emotionally, and intellectually.


Here are 10 signs of a good kindergarten classroom:



1.  Children are playing and working with materials or other children. They

    are not aimlessly wandering or forced to sit quietly for long periods of

    time.


2.  Children have access to various activities throughout the day, such as  

    block building, pretend play, picture books, paints and other art

    materials, and table toys such as legos, pegboards, and puzzles. Children

    are not all doing the same things at the same time.


3.  Teachers work with individual children, small groups, and the whole group at

    different times during the day. They do not spend time only with the entire     

     group.


4.  The classroom is decorated with children's original artwork, their own

    writing with invented spelling, and dictated stories.


5.  Children learn numbers and the alphabet in the context of their everyday

    experiences. Exploring the natural world of plants and animals, cooking,

    taking attendance, and serving snack are all meaningful activities to

    children.


6.  Children work on projects and have long periods of time (at least one hour)  

     to play and explore. Filling out worksheets should not be their primary

    activity.


7. Children have an opportunity to play outside every day that weather permits.  

    This play is never sacrificed for more instructional time.


8.  Teachers read books to children throughout the day, not just at group

     storytime.


9.  Curriculum is adapted for those who are ahead as well as those who need

    additional help. Because children differ in experiences and background,

    they do not learn the same things at the same time in the same way.


10. Children and their parents look forward to school. Parents feel safe

    sending their child to kindergarten. Children are happy; they are not

    crying or regularly sick. Individual kindergarten classrooms will vary, and

    curriculum will vary according to the interests and backgrounds of the

    children. But all developmentally appropriate kindergarten classrooms will

    have one thing in common: the focus will be  on the development of the  

    child as a whole.

    

Reproduction of this material is freely granted, provided credit is given to the National Association for the Education of Young Children.

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