Whatever you do, don’t throw out all your garbage. That’s the advice from Shavon Frazier, a kindergarten teacher at PS 41 and panelist at the Robertson Center’s inaugural Thought Starter event, The Power of Play: Using Playtime to Help Kids Thrive. The mini-summit brought together parents, educators, and early childcare providers from across the city to learn about how and why to ensure kids get enough productive playtime, at home and at school.
Last year, Success Academy doubled down on our commitment to play with the introduction of “Choice Time” in Kindergarten. Now, five days a week for hour-long periods, our youngest scholars head to the Blocks Room, or stay in their classrooms and choose among stations dedicated to sensory materials (clay, play dough), building materials (Legos, Tinkertoys), dramatic play, art, reading, creative writing, and board games.
When I sat down for our first pre-k teacher training session, I was thrilled to learn that, instead, we would be borrowing the best concepts from many different programs to mix together a set of principles, goals, and plans that perfectly matched our vision.
Recently, The New York Times published an article about Success Academy, and it left me with a heavy heart. Success Academy is known for its joyful rigor, but the Times reporter described only the “rigor.” So I felt that I had to share my family’s experience and talk about the “joyful” part.
I’m not a typical classroom teacher, but what I teach students is no less valuable than the math and science they learn every day…