We shared examples of some really great skills we already see in our students and examples of areas were we still need to do some work and build skills to ensure successful, productive play activities.
'Do the children share the same objective?'
Here is what our ‘Yes And…’ students are already doing: We have seen examples of students who can adjust plans and delegate tasks for their groups, students who have a clear shared understanding of the vocabulary we are using and a how to appropriately use tools and manipulatives during play time, students who are capable of referring back to any written plan/instructions/norms and students that look to each other for assistance or clarification of tasks.
Here is where our ‘Not Yet…’ students need additional supports: We see that some students are seeking assistance from teacher and not other students our goal is for them to work it out, we have seen students that don’t follow established norms and will take tools or manipulatives from other students and we have seen arguments over how to proceed with certain activities.
To help our ‘Not Yet…” students we came up with some strategies to incorporate into our play: Teambuilding exercises with reflection/debrief, strategic assignment of roles by teacher to be both fair and utilize students strengths, increased modeling, and clear norms/instructions explained by the use of a checklist or rubric.
How do children negotiate interferences?
Here is what our “Yes And…” students are already doing: We have seen examples of students reminding each other to stay on task and if a student still won’t comply with a group we have seen the group exclude that student because they aren’t willing to do their share of the work after several attempts to pull them in. We have also seen students give each other positive feedback, students take turns, students compromise on rules, and students who are keeping a “sense of play” about their on task reminders - fostering playful competition.
Here is where our “Not Yet…” students need additional supports: Some students encourage other students to get off task like they are, some students are too enthusiastically explaining the rules and calling out “cheaters” (not appropriately modeling for other students), some students have poor sportsmanship and will easily get angry with others.
To help our ‘Not Yet…” students we came up with some strategies to incorporate into our play: Model how to not be angry, model the best way to call out off task classmates, and teaching students to ignore those that encourage us to be off task.