Wow! It has been a long time since I have done a blog post. So much has happened since I last posted here. I will just put a little update on here as to WHY I have been MIA.
1. In January of 2017, I found out that I had breast cancer and fought hard and can now call myself a 5 year cancer survivor.
2. I taught kindergarten during a pandemic! I NEVER in my wildest dreams, thought I would teach kindergarten, online. How crazy!
3. I had a son graduate during the pandemic. This one was tough. When fighting cancer, I was told to make goals. One of my goals was to see both of my boys graduate. I wanted to see them walk across the stage and get their high school diploma. That did not happen with my son and I was devastated.
6. My youngest son graduated. I got to see him walk across the stage and receive his diploma.
And finally, remember I said I was a 5 year survivor? I had wanted to take classes to make my lane changes for years. I kept putting it off because in my mind, I kept thinking, what if I don't survive? What if I sign up for classes and then die? I would have wasted all that money and time for nothing. I know it's probably an irrational thought, but that's where I was. Well, on August 2nd, I got to celebrate being a survivor. I signed up for 5 classes....which is what brings me to this post.
I am taking the class, Move, Grow, Play! Using Play to Teach and Learn. I have learned so much about the importance of PLAY in the classroom. I have always thought this was important, but I now have the words and the reasoning to explain why.
I wanted to share information that I have learned about Bev Bos. Bev's philosophy is that children learn through play, interaction, problem solving, exploration and discovery. Kids learn not by being competitive but by cooperating with one another. She believed that reading and writing could only happen after self-discovery, problem solving, interaction, exploration and play occur. She believed that children learn best when they can set their own goals and make their own choices.
Bev was born on October 6th, 1934 and she passed away on February 4, 2016. When Bev was born, she was born early and had a twin brother. It was expected that she wouldn't survive. She grew up in a poor family, not making much money but, they were rich with storytelling and singing. She had 8 siblings. They would often go on rides together in the car to sing. Bev was married and had 5 children.
Bev was a 50 year advocate of learning through experience particularly play She believed that if it has not been in their hand or body/heart it cannot be in their brain. She spent 50 years at Roseville Community Preschool. Bev worked really hard to find out about what kids needed. She wasn't interested in going to college. She liked the kids too much. Bev has done over 6000 presentations around the world. She created a vibrant, colorful place for students to learn.
Bev believed that no child is expected to be like any other child. She never expected kids to sit in circles. She believe it was not natural for kids to sit in a circle. Some of the first things she did differently was that she didn't expect kids to be at the same place at the same time. No child would be required to be doing what everyone else was done. She believed that art was not supposed to be color by number. Art is not comparing kids to one another. Its giving kids crayons and paints and allowing them to paint. She believed that art was whatever students wanted to use to leave their mark.
Bev did not force things on children. She believed that the brain is always telling kids what they need to do. If they didn't want to sit in a circle to listen to a story, she didn't force them to do it.
Bev was a passionate advocate of child centered, developmentally appropriate play based programs for young children. Bev believed that early childhood education should focus on play. All the conditions for human growth are in play. Belonging...how do you belong? Children need lots of experiences before they attach words to things. Kids have to have to have 100's of experiences to be able to feel and write about things.
I believe in so many of the things that Bev believed in. Kids have to have background knowledge and experiences before they can read and write stories. If kids don't have lots of background experiences where are they supposed to come up with their ideas for writing stories of things that have happened in the past? Her philosophy is so important for children and learning because it allows kids to play and learn about the world around them. They are able to develop the foundational skills that they will need later.
I think play is starting to be looked at again in schools today. We still are pushing young kids quickly to do things that they may not be ready for. Conversations are starting to happen more often. I will give the students that I work with more opportunities to play and to let them explore the world around them. What does play look like in your classroom? How do you allow your children to build the foundational skills that they need to have?