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Social Media Marketing Intern at @Edutopia

Wendy Lecker makes some great

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Wendy Lecker makes some great points about how essential play is for kindergarten students here:
http://www.stamfordadvocate.com/news/article/Lecker-The-disturbing-trans...

"Play is essential in kindergarten. Through play, children build literacy skills they need to be successful readers. By speaking to each other in socio-dramatic play, children use the language they heard adults read to them or say. This process enables children to find the meaning in those words."

First grade teacher from Burbank, California

I believe incorporating play

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I believe incorporating play into our school day is so important. This is the only chance our student's get to be children and we shouldn't be rushing them to grow up. My first graders love dressing up and playing in our "housekeeping" area.I love watching them interact with each other. Great article!

Adventure educator, author, playful learner, founder of playmeo.com

What is true play? It comes

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What is true play?

It comes in many forms, but true play features some if not all of the following characteristics to my way of thinking (with thanks to Dr Stuart Brown):

- it is apparently purposeless; you play for no reason other than it is enjoyable;

- it is voluntary; no one can make you play;

- there is an inherent attraction about the activity, something which is often hard to describe but it calls you;

- you are free of time; it's found in those moments when time just flies by;

- you don't really think of yourself; you are fully immersed in playing and nothing else matters. There is a distinct lack of pretense;

- you want it to last forever.

To this end, play is a state of mind, not an activity. So, play can be found everywhere people gather - at school, at work, sport and in recreation. Play is that flow state we can all recognise in others who display an expertise in their field.

I strongly believe that the more we immerse our students into play - true play - the greater their potential for growth and development into stunning, powerful, socially developed human beings.

What do others think?

Mark
www.playmeo.com

Producer LD Podcast, Digital Media Consultant, Author

I had the great pleasure to

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I had the great pleasure to interview Dr. Brown on the LD Podcast. He's amazing. Well worth the time to read and understand, and how important play is to problem solving and risk taking in students.

Adventure educator, author, playful learner, founder of playmeo.com

The founder of the National

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The founder of the National Institute for Play - Dr Stuart Brown - says that play is as essential to the development of human beings as sleep and nutrition. I whole-heartedly agree.

Indeed, Dr Brown explores the impact of people who experienced a deficit of play in their life histories, and discovered that in almost all cases, these people exhibited many forms of anti-social behaviours.

I know from my work as an adventure educator - particularly working with Project Adventure - that play is my most potent tool to assist groups and individual to take responsibility for their learning. Play is often fun, and therefore is a critical element of attracting people into experiences and conversations which lead to discovery, which lead to sharing, which lead to learning.

I recommend all Edutopia subscribers to check out Dr Brown's research and book called 'Play' - http://nifplay.org/

In my world too much play is never enough. Indeed, I would strongly argue for a new Group to be established here on Edutopia which focuses solely on Play & Experiential Education strategies.

Have fun out there!

Mark Collard
www.playmeo.com

8th grade math California

Great article. It's always

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Great article. It's always nice to read about something you already do with your classes, and strongly believe. That validation thing. I've always tried to incorporate some sort of break into my routine, especially in these past few years of NCLB. I teach middle school math, and I take my classes outside every Monday for 20 minutes. With a clipboard and their pencil we do kenken's (you can get them sent weekly to your email at www.kenken.com). We also do sudoku's, numbrix, shikaku, ripple effect, sumsum, kakuro, nurikabe and numberlinks. They get to work casually (= play), work together, ask for hints, etc. Definitely a highlight of the week. When it's too cold, or too hot, or wet, we take 20 minutes in class, where they want to sit, working on our play time (puzzles).

Educational Consultant/Author, Southern California

Great article; loved the

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Great article; loved the graphic. Students also feel validated to be included in games. The learning is 'incidental' to the excitement of the interaction, but it is still learning. Teachers, though, definitely need to monitor to guarantee everything is fair and aboveboard.

Education Consultant

Thank you for bringing up

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Thank you for bringing up this important topic. Play is so important to childhood and even to the classroom. That famous Mr Rogers quote saying that 'play IS the work of childhood' is completely accurate. In my classroom we played to learn. We jumped rope to practice keeping a beat and singing songs, we played memory games, I even had a unit where students had to write their own songs and make up a game to go along with it. I know that this was music class and math or science teachers may argue that it's not appropriate in their classroom. I would completely disagree. It's a great way to get students excited about the material, and it helps with retention. What do you think?

Wowzers offers online Game-based Math curriculum for Grades 3-8

Great article! We love

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Great article! We love game-based learning at Wowzers (obviously). The learning advantages of GBL are a great fit for our digital native students.

Want to see how we do 3rd-8th grade game-based math learning? Start a trial today at http://wowzers.com/trial

Educational Consultant/Author, Southern California

Please don't forget the power

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Please don't forget the power of outdoor play. Physical activity brings oxygen which is our friend when learning.

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