Play-Based Learning


It is essential for educators to provide learning in many different forms. Kindergarten children require attention, support, guidance and differentiated instructions. There are various learners in the classroom, those with Individualized Education Plans (IEP)Specific Learning Disabilities, and children who have recently immigrated to Canada or have English as a Second Language. As a result, the increase diversity within the classroom suggests that importance of multiple intelligence.

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Furthermore it is critical to consider the different ways children learn best. Allowing them to use their environment and peers to play, both in structured and free time, provides them with opportunity to develop and use new skills, such as, creativity, verbal/non-verbal communication, leadership and reasoning skills. Thus, play also supports a fundamental learning domain: 6. physical development  that enhances children’s learning greatly.

As a result, when physical movement is presented, children’s knowledge and learning is much more meaningful as they are able to use their bodies as tools through their learning (5.0 Physical development, ELECT). Educators can support this when teaching patterning, in providing an activity where children can physically and 4. actively   look for patterns.

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Play categorizing: 

Story: using materials to create different story lines

Function: using materials to fulfill the function Ie. Chair/house

Structure: using the materials to build a structure Ie. Tower

Pattern: using materials to explore abstract patterning

It is evident that a strong connection to patterning that enhances children’s learning is technology! (4.6 Collecting and organizing information, ELECT).

Other lesson plans/activities for educators:….

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In today’s society the increase and advancements in technology have shown to be a primary resources in children’s learning. As young learners are familiar with laptops, Ipads, Smart boards, and the internet they are able to explore new concepts in different ways. Building on self-exploration, children are the drivers to new surprises found in different games, programs and formats from technology. The notion of higher order thinking is evident as children gain the confidence to rotate, reflect and transform different tools using the icons provided in creating “crazy” or new ideas they never thought they could do hands on (4.2 Problem solving, ELECT).

Children are able to express their knowledge of patterns, as they use adaptive 5. technology in the process.

Make your own pattern play! in Wixie or Pixie!!!

Once children have familiarized themselves with different online programs to support their patterning concepts, having a computer in the classroom, (presented as a regular tool/activity on a regular basis) children can search and create different patterning skills whenever they desire. Suggesting a classroom blog, or a collection of different 7patterning collages, can be an effective activity that demonstrates a process of knowledge when learning different concepts (4.3 Representation, ELECT).

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To further extend children’s knowledge and support different types of patterning concepts, suggesting a show and tell, where children bring in home items that they can personally relate to provides children with individual and unique learning experiences when learning the concept of patterning. For those children who prefer to share and interact with their peers, having a 8. “Show AND Tell” activity that highlights children’s abilities to find patterns in their everyday lives, makes this concept relatable. As educators we understand that teaching in the classroom is different then teaching at home. Giving children the opportunity to make meaning in their home environments also supports an inclusive approach. Educators can also provide a 9. number line, to illustrate how children can count these patterns (4.15 Representing numbers, ELECT)Screen Shot 2015-12-06 at 6.34.45 PM.png





Personal Experience

When creating a sensory board for children with Autism, the notion of self-exploration, texture and patterning was evident in my lesson plan. Children who lack social skills and interaction benefit from sensory based activities. As a result, i created a “hop-jump and feel” sensory board (5.2 Gross motor skills, jumping, ELECT).

This activity can be adapted to patterning, with different patterning examples. By creating different coloured boxes, children can physically, touch and jump into the boxes and learn the patterns on the board. This interactive lesson was created to support children’s self-exploration. As a result, some students may feel uncomfortable jumping into this experience at first, which is why educators can support their learning by creating 10. cue cards with labels and words the describe the different patterns in the boxes.

Cue-card Example: on the sensory board

In addition, this activity can be over whelming to children at first, those who lack the confidence to explore new concepts. Therefore, another way to support children is by ensuring that this activity is in an open 11. space. The environment in which children learn and develop new skills is influential to their experiences. Also educators can also provide instructions on how to play this game. Ensuring that those visual learners understand the instructions and steps, can make them feel more inclined to jumping and exploring the patterns on this new item that they are presented with.



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