Welcome to the Summer Book Study 2023

Hello and welcome to our annual Summer Book Study 2023! Each summer, Mr.Greg from The Kindergarten Smorgasboard and myself host a teacher book study. It is totally free and stems from our love of learning and growing as educators. Each week we read 1 chapter from the selected book and then we each share our thoughts and take-aways on our separate blogs. Each chapter has it’s own specific blog post that you can read and respond to if you wish. This year we will be doing an interactive FB Live, after every 2 chapters. Please follow our social media or your Book Study newsletter for dates and times. This year our chosen PD book focuses on MATH and is titled: Exploring Mathematics Through Play in the Early Childhood Classroom.

Looking for our previous book studies?

2016: Mindset: The New Psychology of Success (Growth Mindset)

2017: Making the Most of Small Groups

2018: The Next Step Forward in Guided Reading

2019: Strategies that Work

2021: Shifting the Balance

2022: Know Better, Do Better

Chapter 1 – Introduction “What is Play? Or Do You Know It When You See It? Where’s the Math?

Have you ever had to defend having blocks in your early-childhood classroom? Or have you been told to teach to the test or standards and bypass “play”? This first chapter provides some information and research on the amount of time teachers spend on academics, along with the pressures of assessments and teaching to pass tests. The author then goes into a scenario about 2 young children who are interacting with blocks, without direction or teacher intervention. She provides insight into what is happening, along with the definition of play and what it looks like. But is this considered play or math? Read chapter 1 for all of the details and research.

Take Aways from Chapter 1 – Introduction

What were your thoughts on Summer Book Study 2023 – Exploring Mathematics through Play in the Early Childhood Classroom – Chapter 1? Did anything resonate with you? Feel free to leave a comment here or participate in our bi-weekly chat! See you next week for chapter 2.

Head on over to read what Mr.Greg from The Kindergarten Smorgasboard has to say about chapter 1!

8 Responses

  1. I loved the definition of play– the activity must voluntary to be considered play. We still have to teach the concepts and skills. Students need choice and repetition in the tools we use.

  2. My key takeaway was not to intervene. So many times we as adults tend to take o er the child’s play. We put our thoughts into how play should be done. I believe this is because we have the experience. But the kids don’t. They must work on their own to engage in their own experiences. I was working with an early childhood teacher to help her improve her classroom skills. There was a two-year-old child who wanted to take her large bouncy ball with her in one of those yellow and red cars. It wouldn’t fit. The teacher began to stop Thai child from the play. I stepped in and told her to just observe what the child does. This child tried pushing this ball into every window of the car. It still didn’t fit. After about 10 minutes of trying, the child got into the car, closed the little door, bent over the side to grab the ball and held onto it with one hand and went on her merry little way. She would not have had this great experience with problem solving had the teacher stepped in and intervened. We knew the ball wouldn’t fit, but how many of us adults would have thought to just hold on to it outside of the car? Don’t intervene in a child’s play.

    1. Yes and yes!! It’s amazing to watch little learners discover and problem solve, withOUT adults intervening and removing obstacles. We see this a lot in life. Young children struggling with a task and grown ups taking over. How will they learn? Give them those opportunities to try, which results in authentic learning!

  3. I think one of my big takeaways is that kiddos need play, but it doesn’t have to be a HUGE amount of time. I feel like I can cut out and protect 15-30 minutes of time without losing the mandated instruction time. It makes it less daunting.

    1. It’s amazing that research has shown throughout the years how important play is, yet the ‘education higher-ups’ insist that play isn’t necessary. More admin need to follow the research and listen to those in the classroom!

  4. As a PreK teacher in an urban district, I see the struggle between play and the curriculum expectations set before me. Right now, my schedule includes free choice time before breakfast and one hour of free choice interest centers. I want to figure out how to increase this time for next year.

    1. I love how you are already incorporating free choice time and centers! I am excited to read the rest of the book! Thanks for participating and reading along with us!

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