Something really got to me today. I received this report on Play Disappearing from the Kindergarten Classroom. What happened? We ask our children to grow up way too fast and then life comes hurdling toward them full speed. They have to be able to test well. Why? Whoís test?
A good friend of mine who was a Kindergarten teacher quit - retired after 25 years. She couldnít stand spending hours on hours teaching children how to fill in a bubble on the test sheet. She had to cut down on reading time, cut down on play time, cut down on singing, dancing, art. I even think this is starting to happen in pre-school, at home with toddlers. The push to get into college has made us frantic and causing our young ones to stress out.
Letís go back to teaching how to play again. Think about that. When you know how to play, socialize, work in a team, enjoy learning, you may even want to be a learner. We have so many kids dropping out of school especially in our urban school districts. The pressure to compete with others, to not be a failure is too big now. Letís save our children and rethink how to assess learning.
Use observation, individual education plans, collect artifacts of their learning, and involve them and their parents or guardians in the design of their learning. My last post was about setting up collaborative projects. Iíve seen kindergarteners garden, draw, and work with cross-age buddies. We cannot afford to lose any more kids.
Check out MIT's Creative Play for Kindergarteners. Think this site is good for all ages. Need to show Scratch more. Planning to create a tip soon and show how you can embed your projects. Let's get more projects, kids, creativity, and play into My eCoach.