Thursday, April 5, 2012


My principal emailed me asking me for my schedule a couple of days ago. At first I was scared that it was because I was doing something wrong (I won't get into that) but it turns out it was because another principal really liked what she had been telling him about my 1/2 day program and he was interested in how we did things.

I got a chance to talk to her a little bit more about that today and apparently the other school is having problems with fitting everything in, (aka they still have playtime daily). Their scores are reflecting that fact.

 This made me really conflicted and sad.

On the one hand, I am SUPER proud of the accomplishments of our 1/2 day kinders at our school and would LOVE to share how we do things at our school. We do some things that other schools in our district do not (i'm sure they have wonderful things we don't do, too) but it saddened me to think that what we are doing might take away playtime from another school.

I told this to my principal and we talked about how I feel that play is seriously lacking in our program, but given the standards we are working towards it is simply the only way to get it all in. We try as best as we can to get "fun" in while teaching to the standards, but it doesn't come close to free play. I SO wish it did. but it doesn't. Our playtime is limited to once a week on fridays as a positive behavior support incentive.

I am so torn.

Do you have time to play in your 1/2 day program?
Bee's Kinder: once a week

 How long is your day? 
Bee's Kinder: 2 hr 20 minutes

How long do you play?
Not long enough (about 15-20 minutes) Best Blogger Tips
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Kelly B aka Queen Bee! said...

Gee, I am a fulltime Kindergarten teacher and honestly I have a hard time getting everything in! It is sad; the kids need to LEARN how to play-for many of my kids this is their first experience away from home since many didn't go to preschool or daycare. I can totally understand it; however, my county/state demands that the kids get 30 minutes PE every single day!

Chrissy said...

I teach full-day K (8am-3pm). I do "Friday Fun Time" for 40 minutes. During this time, we pull out a huge box of Little People/Littlest Pet Shop stuff, the Lego collection, and Zoob Tubes/Gears. This year, 90% of my class is female; my daughter donated a bag of tiny purses and toy food to our Friday Fun Time! I agree with Kelly--some children need to 'learn' how to play. Over the years, I've also noticed that children have more scheduled playtimes, rather than spontaneous, imaginative play. I love to see children in a sand box, making mud pies, etc.!

Check out this post on play:
And this one, too:
Great thoughts :-)

Happy weekend! ReadWriteSing

Chrissy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chrissy said...

OOPS! Sorry--I am messing up your comments!

Of course, Friday Fun Time only occurs on Fridays!

Here are clickable links to my suggestions:

Mrs. M said...

I've just tagged you! Stop by my blog to see your questions if you would like to play! =)

Sharon Dudley said...

Mrs. Bee, I really feel for you! I see your dilemma. I currently teach half-day (morning and afternoon) pre-k, but I've also taught full-day kindergarten for many, many years. One strategy that works for my pre-k students is to integrate as much as I can to get through the curriculum. For example, our theme is "Let's Move" right now, so I integrated science/math/reading by making animal cards that we sorted into fliers, swimmers, and walkers. As we sorted the animals, we sounded out the name of each animal, said what letter it started with, classified them, and even got in math by counting the amount of animals in each group and telling whether there were more or less in the different groups. I do this kind of thing all the time with my pre-k students since I only have them for about 2.5 hours. My children have 20 to 30 minutes every day to play in centers. It was the same for me in kindergarten as well.

I think it's crucial that children have time to practice their speaking skills, fine motor development, creative abilities (whether it be dramatic arts, painting, sculpting, etc.), and exploring manipulatives and scientific phenomena. Playing in centers is really the only time when children get to create, build and explore using their whole body. It's really sad that administrators and higher-ups usually don't understand this. I'm a huge follower of Eric Jensen and Dr. Jean Feldman, who both have really fabulous ideas for integrating play in the daily life of the classroom while meeting Common Core standards.

Sorry this comment was lengthy. I just feel so passionate about play that I had to say something. Let me know what you think.

Sharon Dudley, NBCT