Sometimes when I'm in the classroom, I forget what's important. Or I focus on what I think is important.
Now we are focused on learning. But the thing about a play-based classroom is that the learning comes from exploration and investigation.
I may set up an activity with a purpose in mind. I may think that creating a group painting with a message is the important thing.
But the kids may have other ideas about what's important. For example, one may think that exploring the color black, and finding out if it will cover up a message written in marker, is an important exploration. After all, black paint is an unusual material. We often paint with other colors but not black too often.
Painting with a friend is important. And using pink (even if you're a boy) is really fun.
I wonder how black and pink will look together.
Creating just the right lines is important. Controlling the brush and making it go as you want it to go is an important skill.
Adding your own special touch is important. After all, the painting isn't complete until everyone has added their own ideas.
What it is isn't important. Creating it is important.
That's why I enjoy an environment that allows exploration, investigation, and expression.
Kids can use their own ideas and can help decide what's important. The classroom is a place for all of us.
And those words buried under all that black paint? Well, it's just not that important.