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Resistance to Including Play Exist in Schools & Solutions

Why does resistance to including play exist in many school settings, and what role might you play as a member of the teaching team in one of these setting? Include strategies and developmentally appropriate activities that support play to meet the needs of young children in this discussion.

Preschooler Settings:

1.Preschoolers and Rough and Tumbler Play, 2. Preschooler and Tantrums, 3. Preschoolers and Difference, 4. Preschooler and Empathy, 5. Kids and Conflict: Teaching kids to keep the peace, 6. Praise or Not to Praise, 7.How Play Helps Children Develop.

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The Power of Play
Why does resistance to including play exist in many school settings, and what role might you play as a member of the teaching team in one of these setting?

"Despite the power of play, somewhere between childhood and adulthood, many of us stop playing. We exchange play for work and responsibilities. When we do have some leisure time, we're more likely to zone out in front of the TV or computer than to engage in creative, brain-stimulating play. By giving ourselves permission to play with the joyful abandon of childhood, we can continue to reap its benefits throughout life."

* Interview with Ms. Wilson, who taught in the public schools for over 20 years, and who taught pre-kindergarten for some time.
As a teacher for over 20 years, I lost my sense of playfulness with regard to teaching for some time. I also worked with many teachers who had lost their lightheartedness and joy with regard to infusing play into teaching and into the classroom. Our school district, principals, teachers, and staff thought being professional was being all business all of the time. They viewed play as something that you did during free time, and not as a fun way to learn. It didn't seem acceptable to bring play into the classroom, and so many teachers and staff didn't. There was no one suggesting or encouraging us to use play in our classrooms.
From the time I started teaching, the focus seemed to be on the three R's, which are respect, responsibility, and readiness. There was NO P for play, or no I for imagination. It seemed like everyone in education had hit the grindstone and the magic idea of playing to learn simply disappeared. It made learning in the classroom seem so ordinary, so scheduled, so mechanical, and so mundane. The spark of learning was buried beneath schedules, routines, and rules. As a teacher, it took away part of the art of teaching.
I couldn't exist in a classroom devoid of play. As a member of a teaching team, I had to try to positively influence my team members by infusing play into whatever activities I could. I figured if they saw the students having fun and learning more, they might duplicate the idea of play in their own classrooms. The students learned the definitions to their vocabulary words, and then wrote definitions they could chant and act out with hand gestures. We would say them together each day together. One example is stoic = like a statue. Students would snap into a face front, hands folded on desk, staring at the wall, frozen position as they said the definition. They loved it! From that point on we did all of are vocabulary words this way. I have students that are now adults and still to this day can remember most of those vocabulary words. I was proud of them and it was fun for all of us. It breathed life energy back into our learning environment and positively influenced our entire school. It spurred me on to infuse fun into as many activities as I could, and my team members began to follow suit. Resistance became futile. It is hard to argue with what works. : )
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Include strategies and developmentally appropriate activities that support play to meet the needs of young children in this discussion.
Preschooler Settings:

1.Preschoolers and Rough and Tumble Play
http://raisingchildren.net.au/articles/rough_and_tumble_play.html

Why children play rough
Rough play might have developed among children as a way of learning the fighting skills they'd need to survive.
These days, play fighting helps children avoid actual fights. This is because it helps children learn who among their friends is stronger and weaker. It allows them to work out who they can beat and who'll beat them. It's a way of setting up a hierarchy of stronger and weaker children in the play group.
Climbing over one another and rolling around also helps young children:
? understand the limits of their strength
? explore their changing position in space
? find out what other children will and won't let them do.
Play fighting vs real fighting
You might worry that your child is being aggressive, but you can usually tell rough-and-tumble play from genuine fighting:
? In rough-and-tumble, children will be smiling and laughing. Once they're finished, they'll keep playing together.
? Children who are really fighting each other will separate once the fight is over.

Rough-and-tumble play can easily lead to real fighting, so try to establish some rules about what is and isn't acceptable during play.
Play fighting: ages and stages
Babies and toddlers enjoy exciting movement, as long as they feel safe. Toddlers and babies like to be bounced on your knee or lifted into the air. It's best to be gentle with young children, though, to avoid any accidental injury.
Toddlers love playing chasey or tiggy, spinning around and dancing. This kind of active play works best when your child is wide awake and not expected to go to bed or sit quietly any time soon.
Primary school children are the biggest rough-and-tumblers.
Play fighting is most common among boys (both because of their hormones and because grown-ups tend to play more roughly with boys) during primary school years. Boys tend to like wrestling and holding each other down. Girls who enjoy rough play prefer chasing each other around.
Application #6 Teachers and caregivers should appreciate the importance of rough-and-tumble play. Safe areas for rough play, such as soft mats and grassy hills, can be identified. Rules for rough-and-tumble play, such as taking your shoes off when wrestling on the mat, can be instituted. Careful monitoring will ensure that rough play does not lead to injury. More about large muscles development and play: http://wps.prenhall.com/chet_trawicksmith_earlychild_4/37/9577/2451942.cw/index.html
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2. Preschooler and Tantrums
When a child is in the middle of a tantrum, it can be tough to keep yourself from having your own meltdown, too.

"Meltdowns are terrible, nasty things, but they're a fact of childhood," says Ray Levy, PhD, a Dallas-based clinical psychologist and co-author of Try and Make Me! Simple Strategies That Turn Off the Tantrums and Create Cooperation.

"Young kids -- namely those between the ages of 1 and 4 -- haven't developed good coping skills yet. They tend to just lose it instead." And what, exactly, sets them off to begin with? Every single tantrum, Levy says, results from one simple thing: not getting what they want. "For children between 1 and 2, tantrums often stem from trying to communicate a need -- more milk, a diaper change, that toy over there -- but not having the language skills to do it," says Levy. "They get frustrated when you don't respond to what they're 'saying' and throw a fit." For older toddlers, tantrums are more of a power struggle. "By the time kids are 3 or 4, they have grown more autonomous," Levy adds. "They're keenly aware of their needs and desires -- and want to assert them more. If you don't comply? Tantrum city."

So how can you stop these outbursts?

* IGNORE:
The reason this works is fascinating: "During a tantrum, your child is literally out of his mind. His emotions take over -- overriding the frontal cortex of the brain, the area that makes decisions and judgments," says Jay Hoecker, MD, a Rochester, Minnesota, pediatrician. "That's why reasoning doesn't help -- the reasoning part of his brain isn't working." Says Alan Kazdin, PhD, author of The Kazdin Method for Parenting the Defiant Child, "Once you're in a situation where someone's drowning, you can't teach them to swim -- and it's the same with tantrums. There's nothing to do in the moment that will make things better. In fact, almost anything you try will make it worse. Once he chills out, then you can talk."

* GIVE THE CHILD SOME SPACE:
"Sometimes a child just needs to get his anger out. So let him!" says Linda Pearson, a nurse practitioner and author of The Discipline Miracle. (Just make sure there's nothing in tantrum's way that could hurt him.) "I'm a big believer in this approach because it helps children learn how to vent in a nondestructive way. They're able to get their feelings out, pull themselves together, and regain self-control -- without engaging in a yelling match or battle of wills with you." This trick can work on its own or in tandem with the whole ignoring bit.

* CREATE A DIVERSION
This is all about a deft mental switcheroo -- getting your kid engaged and interested in something else so she forgets about the meltdown she was just having. Being playful could be such a diversion. If your child is about to go off the deep end at the supermarket because you won't buy the super-frosted sugar-bomb cereal, try quickly switching gears and enthusiastically saying something like, "Hey, we need some ice cream. Want to help me pick a flavor?" or "Ooh, check out the lobster tank over there!" Explains Levy: "Children have pretty short attention spans -- which means they're usually easy to divert. And it always helps if you sound really, really psyched when you do it. THE words "LETS PLAY A GAME" usually gets any childs attention. It gets their mind off the meltdown and on to the next thing that much faster." Fitzgerald agrees: "You have to channel your inner actress and be an entertainer -- one with props!"

* FIND OUT WHAT'S REALLY FRUSTRATING THE CHILD
Try to talk to the child once he or she has calmed down. It is better if he or she is playing with a toy or coloring or involved in some activity. Then just let the conversation play out naturally. Lets's play a game you ask me a question and I will answer, then I will ask you a question and you will answer. You can turn almost anything into a game.

* HUGS
"This may feel like the last thing you want to do when your kid is freaking out, but it really can help her settle down," Levy says. "I'm talking about a big, firm hug, not a super-cuddly one. And don't say a word when you do it -- again, you'd just be entering into a futile battle of wills. Hugs make kids feel secure and let them know that you care about them, even if you don't agree with their behavior." Cartwright Holecko, of Neenah, Wisconsin, finds that it helps: "Sometimes I think they just need a safe place to get their emotions out."

*OFFER FOOD OR REST
"Being tired and hungry are the two biggest tantrum triggers," says Levy. Physically, the kid is already on the brink, so it won't take much emotionally to send him over.
http://www.parents.com/toddlers-preschoolers/discipline/tantrum/tame-your-kids-tantrums/
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3. Preschoolers and Difference
Frogs and Toads Preschool Printable Lesson Plan Activities
a. the differences between a toad and a frog by creating different textures and/ or ... What are the main differences between a frog and a toad? ...
www.first-school.ws/activities/animals/amphibians/frogsonline.htm
Bat Crafts | Alpahbet Letter B Theme | Preschool Lesson Plan ...
Learning real facts about bats and these other animals is important to dispel fears and instead children can learn the difference between facts ...

Solution Summary

"Despite the power of play, somewhere between childhood and adulthood, many of us stop playing. We exchange play for work and responsibilities. When we do have some leisure time, we're more likely to zone out in front of the TV or computer than to engage in creative, brain-stimulating play. By giving ourselves permission to play with the joyful abandon of childhood, we can continue to reap its benefits throughout life."

* Interview with Ms. Wilson, who taught in the public schools for over 20 years, and who taught pre-kindergarten for some time.
As a teacher for over 20 years, I lost my sense of playfulness with regard to teaching for some time. I also worked with many teachers who had lost their lightheartedness and joy with regard to infusing play into teaching and into the classroom. Our school district, principals, teachers, and staff thought being professional was being all business all of the time. They viewed play as something that you did during free time, and not as a fun way to learn. It didn't seem acceptable to bring play into the classroom, and so many teachers and staff didn't. There was no one suggesting or encouraging us to use play in our classrooms.
From the time I started teaching, the focus seemed to be on the three R's, which are respect, responsibility, and readiness. There was NO P for play, or no I for imagination. It seemed like everyone in education had hit the grindstone and the magic idea of playing to learn simply disappeared. It made learning in the classroom seem so ordinary, so scheduled, so mechanical, and so mundane. The spark of learning was buried beneath schedules, routines, and rules. As a teacher, it took away part of the art of teaching.
I couldn't exist in a classroom devoid of play. As a member of a teaching team, I had to try to positively influence my team members by infusing play into whatever activities I could. I figured if they saw the students having fun and learning more, they might duplicate the idea of play in their own classrooms. The students learned the definitions to their vocabulary words, and then wrote definitions they could chant and act out with hand gestures. We would say them together each day together. One example is stoic = like a statue. Students would snap into a face front, hands folded on desk, staring at the wall, frozen position as they said the definition. They loved it! From that point on we did all of are vocabulary words this way. I have students that are now adults and still to this day can remember most of those vocabulary words. I was proud of them and it was fun for all of us. It breathed life energy back into our learning environment and positively influenced our entire school. It spurred me on to infuse fun into as many activities as I could, and my team members began to follow suit. Resistance became futile. It is hard to argue with what works. : )

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