Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Purposeful Numeracy and Literacy in PLAY

Have you ever thought that PLAY is what you do when you are not working? 
What if Play and work could be intertwined or even become synonymous?

 We all know how important it is to be able to communicate to function in our society and most would agree that basic numeracy knowledge is also of key importance. For these reasons part of the important 'work' for our primary age learners is developing their literacy and numeracy skills. Does this necessitate drill, worksheets and paper pencil seat work?

At NIDES primary we are following a Playful Inquiry Approach with our multi age class. In an effort to blur the lines separating play and work; in an effort to engage and motivate our learners in authentic, real life literacy and numeracy activities we are PLORKING.

The topic of our most recent Playful Inquiry - Pets
What type of pet would you choose?
An opportunity to share our opinions and listen to the ideas of others using a Venn Diagram.

Our learner's prior knowledge and interest has guided a transformation in our environment - the once popular household area has become a Pet Store. Following our learner's interests our Pet Inquiry has expanded. Many questions arise: What supplies are needed to set up our store? What type of pets should we have? When will our store be open? What types of jobs do we need to do in the store? 
Purposeful list writing soon becomes a popular  activity. Elephants, cats, ducks, fish  and even a snake...children's stuffies of all shapes and sizes are shared from home and quickly become our pets. Cardboard boxes, orange crates, wicker baskets serve as pet containers.

Oral discussions, book research and story reading activities help us build our 'pet' knowledge. Pet experts within our class community have much to add to our growing research.

Engaging, purposeful literacy/ numeracy activities naturally developed from the children's Playful Inquiry: signs, price tags, paper money, order forms and work schedules has all been created by the learners as their store is taking shape. 

If you happen to be looking for a cute blue cat or exotic purple elephant we have the perfect Pet Store for you with a very dedicated staff who love to PLORK (play + work) and learn too!  
We would like to learn about ways you have found to intertwine your work and play.  Happy PLORKING!

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