The Fox Class, Global School Play Day 2019

I will stand up for play and advocate for unstructured play as an integral resource in child development as well as the ill effects of the lack thereof. On Wednesday, February 6th my classroom along with others around the world will join in the Fifth-Annual Global School Play Day, a grassroots effort to promote unstructured playtime. On this day participants are encouraged to allow their students at minimum an hour of play. My preschool classroom will not only have opportunities for play inside and out for our normal 3.5 hours, but will utilize 5 hours of our school day for unstructured play.

During unstructured play the children are able to challenge themselves in all areas of development. They complete tasks, seek information, evolve language skills, think creatively, are engaged in inquiry, have authentic social interactions, and develop empathy. Each child at their own pace is able to integrate and scaffold prior knowledge during playtime interactions and experiences. 

As a teacher my role during this play is to listen, watch with intent, assist with changes in classroom materials, provide support with minimal interference, and record observations of individuals and the class as a whole. In play I will notice confidence in skill acquisition, challenges, and mastery of developmental milestones. Documentation during play allows for authentic assessment and enables me to communicate a child’s individual success with their family.

So on February 6th and every day…

I will enable the students in my classroom.

I will strive to educate and support families.

I will work to collaborate with colleagues.

I will pray that every educator will recognize the value of play in their classroom.

I will stand up for Play.

-Mrs. Erin Perry