Thursday, June 11, 2009

A Great Story From the RTLBs in Dunedin

"A group of three little girls bathed and dressed their babies (dolls), got their handbags and went out for coffee (a table in the family corner). One was heard to order a latte. While having coffee they decided to go to the movies. They went to the shop (table set up with boxes and shopkeeper) and bought movie tickets and popcorn. They sat on the couch to watch the movie.

If I hadn't been close enough to hear and follow the conversation it would have appeared to be three girls with their bags and babies sitting quietly on the couch.

I asked what movie they were watching and they told me and asked if I wanted to join them. I said I would rather see Hotel for Dogs. They said it was on next week and they would phone me to make a time and day. But then decided they needed a phone.

They asked the teacher for her cellphone and she suggested that they could look at it and then make their own. Which they did from the construction table. The outcome being they phoned me on the cardboard cellphone to arrange to go to the movies next week."

This reminds me of what Brian Sutton-Smith says about play:

"The typical image of play is a single child sitting in front of a television set or videogame. This is not play - play is an open ended experience initiated by children that involves pretence and spontaneous creative activity. It is a time of wonder and sensory exploration."

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Great Ideas from Randwick School

Randwick School in Lower Hutt run two Discovery Time sessions a week in their junior school. As well as the key competency and curriculum focus they also have a letter of the week theme. Last week the letter of the week was L l
This led to making lemonade and setting up 'The Lemonade Cafe' - a great success.

The teachers also brought in a Lava Lamp. The challenge was for the kids to create the darkest possible cave (blankets, sheets and desks) so that they could see the lava lamp light up. They sat mesmerized!

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Benefits of Discovery Time -
Just a few of the wonderful responses to the questionnaire we sent out.

"Children are starting to think more logically, trying new things, starting to problem solve, working together and higher motivation in follow up language activities. For some of the children being able to make a choice of activity has been a big step. They love coming to school on Discovery Day" (Adrienne McElroy, Sommerset Cres School, Palmerston North).

"Helps with the transition to school for our preschoolers, encouraging more sharing and cooperation (this has been a focus for us), children taking responsibility for making their own decisions and following the routines e.g. packing up." (Sherryl Allen, Mangaroa School)

"Fantastic to watch a 2nd year teacher put out a few bowls, paper circles and plastic shapes following a discussion about restaurants, and see the children transform this simple equipment into a cafe. The paper circles were plates, pizzas and tortillas! the maths shapes became a variety of food. following this the next Discovery Time the whole class transformed with the children collecting old phones, keyboards (booking and checkout) making their own menus, table numbers, they set up a waiting room, made a sign and all of this with the children working together. This is now into it's 4th week and still very popular! So great to see the teacher embracing this and seeing the links to literacy and maths!" (Karen Titcombe, Milson School, Palmerston North).

Will post some more soon, we've had a fabulous response.