Northern Oral Language and Writing Through Play

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Participants’ Voices

    1. An Alberta early childhood educator provided a metaphor to explain the flexible, child-controlled nature of play: “Rather than saying, ‘Here’s a bag of flour and you can only make a cake’, you are recognizing that you can make so much more with flour than a cake.”

    2. And here’s another quote from a Manitoba principal: “Students will learn from each other. They will also develop socialization skills. It seems like now there are more technical games and the kids are on the couch and they’re playing all kinds of games and they’re lacking social skills. There seems to be less human interaction so I think through natural play, they will develop better socialization skills, relationships and friendships. That’s important too.”

    3. An Ontario teacher shares her experiences with action research: “It is interesting how action research … this idea that […] we tell them [the children] ‘Okay, go and play’ and we don’t think about it, we take these things for granted. But then the research, you see it in action and it gives you that reflexivity; it gives you that chance to really study it and see how it’s working and how it’s such a good thing. And it’s mindful, right? It makes you more aware…. I’m more focused too; I’m more attentive now.”

    4. Speaking of the Project, a teacher from an Indigenous community in Ontario shares this: “It’s a project that everybody wants to be a part of… Because people hear about it and they’re like ‘Oh, what’s that? Oh, what’s that? Well, why are you there? What are you doing?'”

    5. A principal from Manitoba weighs in on the NOW Play practices in the field: “…It’s been positive in our elementary [school]. And then so my staff have done some studying on inquiry-based learning for the whole school to move to that style, much more than prescriptive teacher lessons…. anyway, [a Kindergarten teacher] made a comment about [it], she says ‘You know, when I have them in centres, Math station centres, which you know in itself is play … They’re much better than when I ask them to do paper and pencil work.'”

    6. Another teacher shares their thoughts on CCCA (Creative Collaborative Curriculum Activities) “…doing play in Grade 1 is a little bit, you know, I guess controversial. Some people agree, some don’t. And it depends. So it’s kind of neat that they took the approach that they’re going to do play through using curriculum at the same time…. You’re still learning curriculum as you play. So that should take care of anybody that’s skeptical about using play as a way to learn.”