It’s More than Just Playing
I talk a lot about a Learning Through Play Manager. It’s an important role in any foundation stage classroom as the children will learn using activities but sometimes they can go a bit off task, as we all know.
Picture from www.allkidsfirstnj.com
The Purpose of a Learning Through Play Manager
There of many purposes of a Learning Through Play Manager, each of them importing.
While we can assess the children in test situations, it is not until the children use the learning in their own independent play that they have truly assimilated the knowledge.
The Learning Through Play Manager is in a perfect position to observe children using their knowledge in their play. The LTPM can use observation sheets, post it notes or magic moment cards to capture these fantastic displays of knowledge.
- Moving Learning On
Sometimes children can retain misconceptions in their learning. They may continue to miss out the number 4 when counting, or write their ‘s’ backwards. The LTPM can correct miss conceptions.
When children are playing in the role play area or are writing a story or even counting, the LTPM can ask ‘what happens next?’ or ‘what comes next?’ This encourages the children to think about and develop their play. Asking open questions is a fantastic way to move children’s learning on.
- Crowd Management
Most teachers know that when the children are left to their own devices things can get a bit silly.
While one adult is working with a focus group, the Learning Through Play Manager can ensure that children stay on task and focused on their activities. The LTPM can control the mood of the classroom and prevent children from becoming too silly.
Members of staff working with older children can often think that all we do in the foundation stage is play.
I have told the children in my class that we work with the toys in the classroom, and the head teacher will tell me off if I let them play when it’s not play time. The children now delight in correcting me if I say ‘play’ by accident.
Children in the foundation stage work very hard when they are playing. They are developing relationships with other children, learning about who they are and how they relate to other people. If they actually do the activity as it is intended, they will be learning about numbers, shapes, writing, sounds and ICT.
The role of the Learning Through Play Manager is essential for ensuring that the goals in the Early Years Foundation Stage are met. It is not all about teaching knowledge but it is also about developing that knowledge.