Everyone loves to play - not just our youngest children. And the very same theory behind playing to learn in Tools applies to older students as well. Students and teachers agree that the joy of play increases motivation and learning in the classroom.
What we heard from teachers and administration at after implementing Tools at
Play isn't just for early childhood
Committee search to choose the right curriculum
Selection of Tools of the Mind curriculum & professional development
Tools training and implementation for all relevant staff
Teaching and learning review and outcomes
Play is at the heart of the Tools classroom. We know how effective a ‘tool’ play is in helping young children develop the foundational skills they need to learn more effectively in their preschool and kindergarten classrooms – and also to prepare them for future learning.
By engaging children in activities like Play Planning, that give them opportunities to use oral and written language to plan before acting, Tools teachers guide young children toward mature play. That mature play is the activity with the most developmental potential for building self-regulation skills and more, creating meaningful contexts to build vocabulary, background knowledge, reasoning, cognitive flexibility and the social skills they will use in and outside of school. In other words, purposeful play is a wonderful way to learn. And not just for preschool and kindergarten children.
We aren’t surprised to see that a recent LEGO Education survey of elementary and middle school teachers and students confirmed that the benefits of play aren’t just for our youngest learners. In addition to increasing engagement and making students more excited to come to school, nearly all of the thousand students surveyed (98%) said that play helped them to learn better in school. And their teachers agreed, with 81% of them noticing that their students are more engaged during lessons that involve play.
So, let’s give our older students and their teachers permission to get in on the fun and take a playful approach to learning. We all deserve to benefit from play!
Read more about how purposeful play can help students learn here.
For a peek at how Oklahoma became the first state in the country to roll out universal PreK, join us as we listen in on this riveting, recently rebroadcast segment of This American Life.
To know Tools is to know that we value and appreciate play. Experts and educators share their ideas of how to make this year the most playful year in history.