During class, the teachers try to motivate the children in the best way they can. They do this in various different ways and using different techniques. Teachers will try to let children use their own ideas and thoughts in order for them to explore the environment and their identity and character. Play is a very important part of children’s lives and will affect the child’s development. Children are born ready and interested to learn and they enjoy exploring and trying to understand their environment. From the moment a child is born their brain is designed to learn so learning motivators should use this chance and use their curiosity for learning.
During free play, the teacher lets the children role play and lets the children express themselves and encourage the children to use their imagination and play as a group. Piaget believes that dramatic play is essential for cognitive development. In the class the teacher allows the students to use the objects in class such as the dolls and the home area and the maths corner. By using these objects the children pretend to be someone else (they pretend to be chefs) like this children have their first symbolic experiences. This role play will teach the basis for more abstract symbol learning such as when children learn to use letters, numbers and words as symbols. The teacher also uses Vygotsky’s view of play as through the play they are also learning the rules of how they would actually interact in this situation in everyday life. They are learning self regulation through play.
During this play, children work out how they feel and show their emotions. Play helps a lot with a child’s social and emotional development whilst they are assuming these new roles that require social skills and realize the role their friends are taking and what actions need to be done by their friends. ”Together they negotiate roles, share space and materials, resolve problems, show different points of views and persuade their peers to assume certain roles.
”( Kostenik, Whiren , Soderman and Gregory)During play, the teacher also uses a positive tone in her voice in order to keep the children interested and motivated. The teacher I am with provides help to the children in their language development and helps the childrens verbal expression through activities by asking them questions and conversing with them during play. Vygotsky refers to this as scaffolding. During story time the teacher creates activities and makes the children play by doing activities related to the story. She also encourages the children to ask questions and relates the stories to the children’s personal experiences. Lessons should not be planned from beforehand but planned according to what the students are interested in.
In the day my teacher allocates time for children to be free and creative by having child-initiated play experiences. The teacher brings materials for the children in order for them to make use of in class. These materials are usually loose parts and are flexible to use for anything in order for children to create something themselves. This will make the children wonder, plan and carry out their play. Materials provided also can make the children engage their senses and also encourage the children to have interaction with their peers , this will help children improve their communication skills and language skills. Everyone in class would also make something different from one another instead of the teacher doing the work completely for them. The children need to be free and not restricted in order to explore the environment in which they are playing in and explore all the materials they are using in a way that interests them and to provide a sense of wonder for them.
The teacher in my class often gives the children blocks and playdough in order for them to create anything they want and to use their imagination.The teacher during play takes on many tasks from helping with problem solving , questioning, noticing undesired behaviors and putting things in order and enticing children to play. The teacher controlling children’s behaviour goes with Banduras Theory in which the adult is modelling appropriate behaviour for the students to follow. The teacher is involved in their playing and also encourages them to talk to their class mates. The teacher also uses as little restriction as possible in order for the child to be more independent and be an active explorer.
She gives them guidelines but not complete instructions on everything they do. Sometimes the teacher answers a child’s question by saying that she isn’t sure or does not know or asks them what they think they should do in order for the children to have their own thinking process and use their problem solving skills. By staying in the classroom and observing the children play the teachers interactions increase the frequency, duration and elaboration of childrens play , with increased levels of linguistic and cognitive competence according to Mc Afee and Leong.
The importance of play in a child’s development should not be underestimated. Children deeply enjoy play and learn from it. Through play, children discover many things. We should therefore not see play as a waste of time but embrace and learn to use play as a way to teach children. Play should be done everyday at school.