Sunday, April 29, 2012

Winner and Discovery Time!

Okay, so what did I do on my Saturday night? Did I have wild and crazy plans? No, I fell asleep on the couch at about 8:00 before I could post about the winner of the giveaway. I'm sorry! Here is the winner:

I'll contact you soon! Thanks to everyone who entered and thanks for your support of my friend Sara in the TPT banner contest. She didn't win, but it was fun!

Do you have time for your students to play built into the day? I call mine Discovery Time because I don't want it to be thought of as free choice. I want them to have a purpose. While they are playing, I find that I am pulling kids for an assessment or extra help. There is just not enough time in the day to do everything that I want to do!

We have a wonderful Literacy Coach in our district. (Read about her at What's the Buzz in First or New Adventures in First Grade!) She gave our K teachers this idea from another teacher about having a "seminar" during this time where you can can meet with a small group and work on skills/strategies that need extra practice. The day they told me I knew I had to do it so the next day, we had our first seminar. I called it a seminar and told the children what seminars are and why adults attend. I put up a sign-up sheet with 5 slots and it filled up right away! We reviewed /ar/, made pirate patches with paper and string and read pirate jokes. There was a lot of pirate talk going on! Before having any repeats, I wanted to have a few new seminars, so we've also had greater than/less than, (where we made alligator puppets and chose between numbers to eat), and contractions (contraction surgery).

They are EATING it up! They look for the sign-up sheet every day and many who aren't a part of the seminar are watching! The seminars don't last that long, so the children still have time to play, but they really want to be at the seminar.

The kids are loving it and many who didn't sign up, watch!

My hope is that soon, they will start to host seminars of their own during Discovery Time! :)

I have a little Mother's Day craft available on TPT. It looks like this:

 If you'd like to win it, be one of the first three to comment about this post and tell me if you have play at your school and what your kiddos do during this time. Please leave your email. Enjoy your Sunday!


  1. how cute is that craft!!

  2. So cute!! This year, I don't have play time built in my schedule. Last year I had centers and the students had a free choice on Fridays, which was like play.

    The First Grade Dream

  3. I don't have free time even though I know how important it is. I love your idea of having a seminar though! I'd love to incorporate this in my schedule next year!

  4. We do not have free time! I have an SEI classroom and we have a 4 hour language block which doesn't give us any extra time :(
    ❤ Sandra
    Sweet Times in First

  5. The topic of play REALLY gets me fired up. Even as a K teacher, I feel like I have to justify giving my kiddos time to just choose what they want to do (play). See? I couldn't even just write what it is. What if someone sees this comment? I know how important it is, and "they" will find out the huge push for academics is goin to backfire soon. What would us little teachers know about this subject anyway?? Thanks for the seminar idea!
    Mrs. Miner's Monkey Business

  6. Thanks for the shout, sweetie!

    When the weather is nasty, I just may steal this! I take my class outside for an extra recess. Is it play? My opinion is yes. In the winter we head outside 3 out of 5 days. The other 2 are inside play time. Don't be afraid to call it play- it's important :) Play is vital to their growth (says the former kinder teacher!). I'm so glad glad that first is now embracing the idea and carving it into their day :)
    New Adventures in First Grade

  7. I like the seminar idea! Thanks for sharing. :)

    Marvelous Multiagers!