Over the past month or so, I've been thinking and wondering about what book to read next. I didn't get any recommendations on Twitter or Facebook this time. I looked through my to-read list of education books, but nothing really jumped out at me. I checked Web sites and other places and found lots of possibilities but nothing that really seemed to be "just right."
I began to review books on my shelves. (I have quite a few that I haven't read yet. Doesn't everyone?) Since my word for this year is PURPOSE, I thought about what my purpose and core values are as a teacher and a blogger.
Then I remembered a book I have in my Kindle library (a place I forget to look many times). And I knew that it was the book I wanted to read this winter.
I'll be reading and reflecting on The Power of Play by David Elkind. David Elkind is one of those giants in the early childhood education field that I respect and value. I've read several of his previous books. This one has been on my "read list" for a while but I just haven't jumped into it yet.
I love the subtitle of this book: How Spontaneous, Imaginative Activities Lead to Happier, Healthier Children. Play should be an important part of every child's life and learning. It's disappearing (or gone) from many educational settings. It's something that's at the core of what I believe and want to practice. In fact, my unofficial motto is Playing = Learning.
I read this quote from Dr. Peter Gray in the book Creative Schools by Ken Robinson. (Another good book!) This quote affirmed my choice.
"Free play is the means by which children learn to make friends, overcome their fears, solve their own problems, and generally take control of their own lives."
--Dr. Peter GrayIn the weeks ahead I'll be reading Dr. Elkind's book and posting my thoughts here. Look for more play in the weeks ahead!