Something I have learned through this journey is to embrace mess. Our classroom and the environment around it can look like a tip at times, but the play going on within it is simply amazing. Something that has come about quite naturally is that children respect each others items. Not once have I had to remind them about respecting each others work.
With the start of Number Agents this week came a lot of spin off play, totally led by them. It was awesome to see.
One of our invitations today was to create the farmers farm out of loose parts...they had a lot of fun. Some stuck at it longer than others, and that is ok.
A play-based environment is such a wonderful way to bring new children into the classroom as well, I don't ever remember visit days being so easy.
New friendships abound in our play-based classroom. It is amazing to watch children's social skills and ability to empathise develop so quickly, just because they are allowed to (largely) negotiate their own play situations and problems. What I have particularly noticed is the cross over between girls and boys. More often than not children are engaged in play that is not just with boys, and not just with girls...as it so often used to be.
We always make the most of our outside environment, and the sun makes a huge difference!
I don't think I could honestly say that children have ever been happier in my class. They are so settled, so keen, and could talk the hind leg off a dog! The are all blossoming in confidence and that sly little smile and the twinkle in the eye that I see from my shyest class member is so rewarding.
The opportunity to just sit alongside them when needed, to play, to talk, to scaffold is very freeing, I don't ever feel like I have done my job so well!
Today we also linked in some writing with our 'farm' theme. I use the word writing in the loosest term of the word. Basically we write from our drawings by sounding out and labelling. These will later turn into sentences as they continue to develop.
The loose parts farm :)
This is our school discovery shed being used by two classes today (junior./senior) such fabulous interactions.
Inside the shed :)
Making ramps :)