Free play describes how children learn to make sense of the world around them. Free play can as well be described as learning through play for children. It is through play that children develop their cognitive and social skills, gain self-confidence and mature emotionally. Self-confidence in children later helps them engage in new environments and experiences. For children, play is pleasurable and enjoyable, lacks prescribed learning, and play is voluntary, involves active engagement of the player and involves an element of make-believe. This report aims at studying free play among children in the classroom and producing the report of what is observed. The report is further divided into three sections and will give the details of what is observed depending with available demands of questions.
Free play is made available to children through group instruction profile, individual instruction profile and scaffold learning profile. In a classroom of children, they are allowed to put away their belongings and play until the playing period is finished. For this report, the children mostly involved in hide and seek, clapping of hands and singing with all kinds of voices. The classroom centers that seemed so much popular for the children were the corners and areas around the door. Most children were singing and clapping their hands towards the corner of the classroom where they would hold each other in several styles. Those who were involved in hide and seek ran across the classroom towards the door with a few rushing out of the classroom to hide. The most observed materials during the play were sticks that were counted in songs and gloves for handclapping. A skill that was mostly observed in the children was again of self-control. The children had control over themselves and their lives and did not require instructions and several points in order to behave themselves. Even those who played hide and seek and at times ran outside the classroom came back without control and it was even observed that they could lock the doors after getting back to the classroom. Concepts that were clearly observed in the children were self-esteem by being autonomous, cognitive development that involved making choices when solving problems especially when any member of the class could cry and moral development that enabled them to determine what went on in the room. Other concepts observed were maximization of learning, minimization of conflicts and responsibility acceptance.
The curriculum that were used in the center included awareness and engagement. The use of such curriculum ensured the children were responsible and aware of what they did at any point. Use of the absorbent mind also ensured that the children mastered whatever they were taught, and instructions given to them by the instructors. The mastery was great in their cognitive development. The teachers prepared daily lesson plans. The teachers’ response for preparation of daily lesson plans was because the children could not all master what was taught. In the evening, the teachers could evaluate their students on their understanding and later develop the next day’s lesson plan depending with how the children responded in the evaluative report. In literacy, mathematics, social studies and science, the children developed differently depending with their abilities in certain subjects. Some had concepts of problem solving, decision making, independence and others minimization of concepts. The concepts were at good levels in each child giving more information that they were good learners. In the lessons that the children learned, critical thinking was the most common core standard learned. Critical thinking emanated in all the subjects they learned, and this made them flexible especially in dealing with fellow students who were disabled. Another core standard was acceptance and funnily the children could accept anything that was said by their teacher. Child-initiated learning experience that was mostly observed was silence during learning. Others included sitting upright and observing the teacher. Teacher initiated learning experiences observed in the classroom were repeating words after the teacher and telling those who were stubborn to be good.
I would state that my field observation is developmentally appropriate. It is because my observation involved a very conducive environment for children to learn. The teacher would be around but let the children control themselves. The teacher could only involve herself when necessary and during teaching. The observation was also developmentally appropriate because the teacher was a great guide to the children, and she directed the children before letting them conduct their activities. The developmentally appropriate practices that were observed in the children in relation to five guidelines for effective teaching were nurturing their emotional, physical and cognitive development. Some of the evidences were that he children used their individually identified strengths during play and were left to play without their teacher. The teacher also involved authentic assessment during the learning of the children especially when she expected a case of children who were leaving the class during play. My field work program uses the developmentally appropriate practice statement’s ten effective strategies. It is because the children are taught acknowledgement, and the teacher encourages them during learning, and the teacher further assists them in whatever they do. For purposes of acknowledgement, the children are taught how to acknowledge their fellow students, and the teacher also acknowledges them wholly. Assistance by the teacher is observed during learning including reading and writing and encouragement appreciates what they do.
Hobart, C., & Frankel, J. (2004). A Practical guide to child observation and assessment. Cheltenham: Nelson Thornes.