Children are naturally wired to do the very thing that will help them learn and grow. According to NAEYC, “The impulse to play comes from a natural desire to understand the world.”
Children are constantly engaged in making meaning of their world and in sharing their perceptions. Play is an optimal context for enabling children to work out their ideas and theories and use what they already know to deepen their understanding and further their learning. Innately curious, children explore, manipulate, build, create, wonder, and ask questions naturally, moving through the world in what might be called an "inquiry stance." Educators observe, assess, and document the children's thinking, ideas, and learning; interpret and analyze what they have noticed; and express their own thinking and wondering as they interact with the children. This approach allows for teachers to intentionally plan by getting to know their students and support their growth and development in ways that naturally interest them.
Play centers are used as a framework to provide optimal opportunities for learning through exploration and collaboration. Centers include but are not limited to: Blocks, Dramatic Play, Math and Manipulatives, Art, Writing, Library, Sensory Table, Science, Music, and Movement.
Through play we are able to focus on the growth of the whole child, in all areas of development:
(relating to muscle and body activity)
(relating to thought processes;
how knowledge is acquired by use of reasoning, intuition, or perception)
(relating to how emotion is expressed,
and in the way people behave and interact
with each other in different social settings)
Language and Literacy
(relating to the development of
receptive and expressive language
and acquiring skills that lay the foundation
for reading and writing)
Approaches to Learning
(relating to children’s initiative and curiosity,
and their motivation to participate in
new and varied experiences and challenges)
We focus on each of these domains independently, as well as seeing them as intertwined.
All assessments align with the OELDS which can be found by accessing this link.