Sunday, June 14, 2015


Good news! I think the pendulum is finally starting to swing! You've got to read this article from the New York Times about the value of PLAY in kindergarten.

Somebody in Anne Arundel County, MD, has the heart of the child in mind. Truly, children can learn through purposeful play. Yes, we can integrate academic skills with games, songs, art, and FUN!!!  That's what I've been talking about for years!!!

I was at two great school districts (Lewisville and Palmer ISD) this week in Texas who "get it"! Teachers can have fun learning through play as well!!

There was a statue of Elvis in the lobby of the theater where we had the workshop.
A teacher said, "Let's get a picture of the 'queen' and king."

We were doing some patty cake activities where we say rhymes, letters and sounds, spell words, skip count, etc. and I rattled off all the skills children can develop through something fun like patty cake.  (I actually have a YouTube video where you can watch me do these things.)  Here are just a few reasons to patty cake:

Patty cake is a great brain break when children are restless.
When you patty cake you cross the midline which activates both sides of the brain.
It's good for eye-hand coordination.
It's TPR - Total Physical Response - motor skills and oral language.
Patty cake encourages self-regulation and the executive function.
It nurtures 21st century skills - cooperation, collaboration, and communication.
You've got purposeful practice for automaticity (aka repetition) because children will want to do it over and over.
How about INTENTIONAL TEACHING?  Choose words or skills you are working on and integrate them into this movement game.
It's free, simple, environmentally friendly, sugar-free...
Talk about ACTIVE learning!

Makes me want to find someone to patty cake with!  Say, say, my playmate, come out and play with me....