Julie A. Cunningham

Academic Advisor

Power in Play

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[Day 7 of the #30goals Challenge with Shelly Terrell @shellterrell.]

Interopérabilité @ J&Bisc family
Creative Commons License photo credit: Môsieur J. [version 4.0b]]

We recently finished a round of computerized predictive testing for our upcoming state standardized tests. ((Oh, and I’m not going to touch anything in that statement with a 10-foot pole.)) After spending three weeks with an alternate specials schedule and using their tech time to click radio buttons and next arrows, I knew they needed some time to play.  Today was ‘FREE DAY’.  Whoo-hooo!

Two things really struck me as I was observing their play.  First, many children have trouble choosing what to play when offered choices and peers in the vicinity.  I can’t tell you how many students spent quite a bit of their time looking around to make sure they weren’t missing something a friend or neighbor was doing… with the net effect that they DID miss doing things.  I’m not sure if this is unique to the 1-to-1 computer situation, but it was sobering. The other thing I noticed was how many of them gravitated back to the ‘learning’ programs or websites.  Some of those students would balk if I were to tell them “Today, we are doing X.” However, since they were able to CHOOSE that activity, it was exciting and they were fully open to the learning experience.  There is power in student choice.

There is power in play.


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