Day 5 (of 186) free play thanks to reminders via @edutopia
I had an “observer” as I was working with a new class in the gym. I was re-testing my theory around “free choice” in gym and elements needed along the way to get to “deep play”…..at the same time that @edutopia had an article about similar ideation via “hour long recess” https://www.edutopia.org/blog/longer-recess-stronger-child-development-angela-hanscom?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=socialflow
I first tried this a couple of years ago: https://technolandy.wordpress.com/physical-literacy/ specifically: https://technolandy.wordpress.com/?s=Deep+play&submit=Search
Why have I enjoyed “deep/free play”?
It has shown me:
How learners interact with each other
How they deal with delayed gratification (big crash mat will come out “later”
How learners deal with having to make choices for themselves (unguided play)
That not everything has to be structured (and for those who really need structure, this is a good opportunity to “try” something different and without structure)
The bigger goal: to reach “deep play” by breaking past the first 15 minutes of “this is fun” to minutes 15-30 where most conflicts will escalate
And here is where we often enter a “zone of frustration” because “the kids aren’t playing….they’re arguing…..they’re bored….etc…etc….etc (and because so much of our world is structured, this is an expectation that this amount of without being told what to do is “unfamiliar”)
Push past the 45 minute mark where many learners expect a lesson/activity to end and the “with no clear end-point” (bell etc) reach a place where things are just “fun” (and at the same point when I break out my Learning Outcomes I can see every one being used at some point of the day!).
It was also nice to hear some of the observers comments about: how interesting it is to see how students organize themselves – and I added how it’s also helpful (especially after a weekend) to a) identify students who may be struggling with “stuff” and b) do some check-ins without it being public or ‘a big deal’.
But then again, I’m also one of the fans of having hats/hoodies in class, because nothing tells you a students demeanour like a hat pulled down with a hoodie pulled tight! Physical Literacy is just a different way of getting to a similar end – while also promoting some freedom-of-choice (and older kids always seem to love the scooters and parachutes that get put away after primary…….)
The edutopia article (above) and this one from @theatlantic https://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2015/01/finnish-schools-are-on-the-moveand-americas-need-to-catch-up/384358/ have been both inspirational and reaffirming in doing some PE/Gym activities a tad different…..