Planning a Team Teach based on the article, In Defense of Play by Alison Gopnik, was an interesting endeavor. Being a teacher, I often find myself focused on short term goals: finishing a unit, completing a project, turning in a worksheet, etc… The broad context that Gopnik gives for play is challenging to reenact initially. Especially during the lesson planning portion of this project, I struggled to think of something I could provide my students with that fit this definition, yet was something I told them to do. I thought about ‘play’ in my classroom, which led me to our initial idea of index card towers. Receiving feedback that this didn’t really get the message across we were trying to communicate presented us with a new challenge. I think that challenged us to admit we had to think deeper and brainstorm more about the actual content presented in the article. This led us to a more effective lesson plan that conveyed more of what we wanted with our students. I’d never used Socrative before, which was an interesting new tool to learn that I look forward to utilizing in my classroom. I enjoyed seeing various students’ responses presented to the class.
With all the previous work done, teaching the lesson went well in my opinion. It was helpful that we had the students read the article beforehand, otherwise we wouldn’t have all been on the same page about this particular author’s definition of play. If I were to teach it again, I think I would’ve read through the Socrative answers before discussing them or allowed reading time for the students to do that as well. With the longer answers, the screen looked a little overwhelming and was difficult to think through. We had the big ideas we wanted to make sure we touched on during the lesson all over (sticky notes, Google Doc, hands….) so that we would make sure those were communicated. I think this was a big struggle in the initial lesson that we altered. I think our quick visual we made during the lesson was simple enough, but effective. Not only did it help keep us on track with repeating ourselves and reiterating, but it helped narrow down what play really was through our discussion.
Another thing I would adjust for next time would be to do more research before about what other experts of play say. It’s a subject that can be so abstract with subjective definitions. I think it would have been helpful in discussion if I could speak informedly about other researchers of play.
All in all, I believe the lesson went well. It felt good to be a teacher again for a moment!