There was a lot of thoughtful ideas about play this week. Good reminders about the importance of play and exploration in the classroom. Ginger reminded me when learning a new program to just let the kids play with the program and they will figure out how to use it. I let a group of students explore moviemaker today. They used the sample pictures to make a practice movie. They took to it like fish take to water. It was wonderful. I can now let them have the set of pictures we are using and start the project.
Christine shared that when you have something new in the classroom that may be of great distraction to let the kids play with it. After some play time set the expectations for the item. Other teachers chimed in about how they let kids have a few minutes to play with manipulatives before they begin their lesson. It cuts way down on the distraction of playing instead of paying attention to the lesson.
I shared my perspective of how we have so much change that we need to be discerning about what we use and what we do not use. I review and play with all the programs and learning games to make sure they fit what I am trying to teach. This is a time consuming process which I do not like, but I do like that kids are using technology and it enhances their learning.