Play is training for the unexpected.~ Bekoff, biologist
A child’s play is not simply a reproduction of what he has experienced, but a creative reworking of the impressions he has acquired. ~ Vygotsky, psychologist
Thank you for your thoughtful work over the past week. I’ve been moved by your makes and interested in the power of this activity, so I’m working on a blog re: the use of the #the4thbox that will curate some of what you all created together with that of other educators. For me, a question I want to explore in my 4th box is about the interests the kids bring to story. I’ll share my remix in my post; more in a bit.
That said …
I am posting this ahead of Sunday’s big game so I don’t yet know the outcome. However it did go, I’d like you to be inspired by the energy of it all and start off this week by playing something yourself. Yes, that’s right — take some time this week to play!
And if someone asks what you are doing (or you ask yourself) you can blame me and ED677. 🙂
First things first, let’s play!
A key thing to do this week is play something. And then reflect on your play. All I ask is that you play something new-ish to you and/or add new playfulness to something you already do.
Here a few suggestions if you are stuck:
- Find a few friends and try Global Thumb-Wrestling.
- Try a Game for Change.
- Play games made by kids on Scratch and then click on “See inside” to remake one of your own
- Try your hand at 5 Card Flickr
- Or be inspired and created your own Blackout Poetry
- Try some augmented reality apps reviewed by Common Sense media (and often other educators)
- Or, if you dare, play “The Game”
The rules are simple: 1) When you think of The Game, you lose The Game. 2) When you lose The Game, you announce it to those around you.
As you play, whatever you play, jot down some notes to yourself about the experience: What do you notice about about your play? What ways do you approach it? What questions arise for you? What experiences do you draw upon? What was challenging? What was easy? What have you learned? What the implications for equity?
Okay, now let’s do some reading/watching together. We will start with hearing from Katie Salen, a game designer, animator, and educator, about the role of play in learning:
Next up is Mitch Resnick, the founder of the Lifelong Kindergarten program at MIT Media Lab, who writes about playful ways in his new book Lifelong Kindergarten. Let’s tap into his thinking with a 2007 article titled All I Really Need to Know (About Creative Thinking) I Learned (By Studying How Children Learn) in Kindergarten. And then catch up with him via this video where he talks about the 4 P’s of Creative Play:
We can also connect with James Paul Gee on Learning With Video Games from Edutopia. (And, if you want to go a bit deeper in this direction, try the opening chapter, Semiotic Domains: Is Playing Video Games a “Waste of Time” from his very influential book from 2003 titled What Video Games Have to Teach Us about Learning and Literacy.)
And then, let’s hear from students and K-12 teachers about the role of play in learning:
- How Playing with Math Helps teachers Better Empathize with Students from KQED’s Mind/Shift
- What a Game Jam Taught Los Angeles Teens and their Teachers from Educator Innovator
- Self as SuperHero Comic Con at Grass Valley Elementary in Oakland Unified School District
- 4th graders write about the NFL Anthem Protests and the game of football from NYTimes Learning Network.
Finally, let’s top it all off with this chapter from the book Design, Make, Play: It Looks Like Fun, But Are They Learning? written by educators connected to The Exploratorium in San Francisco.
In our playing we often make things — sometimes it’s a score, often it’s sense of satisfaction, and other times its an artifact, a new connection, or maybe a new way of thinking about things.
Share with us what you made through your play. You can write a blog or try something different this time, like a “vblog” (ie. you can record your thoughts on video and post those to your blog instead of text), a screencast, a collage etc. Show us the ways you played and then tell us what playing leads you to think about and wonder about in relation to connected learning and equity.
Find 5/6/7 things — from each others blogs, the readings, and other work you are doing — that you think would support you or others in your life to play a bit more.
Just a reminder that this week we will meet on Thursday night 2/8 at 7:00pm ET via Bluejeans. We will focus on unpacking our ideas about play as well as meet with Dr. Kira Baker-Doyle who will talk to us about a research project she would like to invite you to participate it.
Some of Kira’s play btw:
Note: I also updated the calendar in Canvas with our gathering dates ahead, every other Thursday at 7:00pm ET. All will last one hour, except for April 26th where we will plan to meet for 90 minutes instead.
We hope to see you there; but if you have a conflict, all gatherings will also be recorded.
- February 8
- February 22
- March 8
- March 22
- April 5
- April 26 (final projects; extended meeting)
In learning and playful solidarity,