Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Giving Choices

When kids come into our church kindergarten classroom, we encourage them to make choices. They can choose what to do - blocks, dramatic play, art, writing, whatever. They can choose to explore the materials in different ways.

When kids explore in different ways, they have different results.

(See more versions of door hangers.)

They can explore ideas in ways that I never thought about.

(Sorting animals in different ways)

They keep trying different things until they get just what they want.

(Building on the window sill)

How do we give choices? We release control. We say yes. And we encourage them to think of different ways to do things.

Choices build confidence.
Choices build competence.
Choices build knowledge and skills.

Choices allow children to play in self-initiated ways. As David Elkind as written, children know what they need to learn and what they need to do, so they will create play learning experiences to build those skills and knowledge. Self-initiated play is more beneficial to learning than directed play (or direct instruction).

And what I've discovered is that I learn more about kids and teaching when I get out of the way and let kids make choices of what and how to play. I learn more. They learn more.

So we choose to let them choose.

I like wot evr this is.

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