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Fern's Freebie Friday ~ Vowel Sorting Short i & Long i Interactive Notebook Activity!
Tonight it’s the turn of our Games Designers, Product Designers, Interior Designers, and advertising students to make fun in the second of LCC’s Summer Shows. Until Friday 14 June, graduating students from Creative Advertising, Interior Design, Games Design, Book Arts, Production for Live Events & Television, Surface Design, Graphic Product Innovation and Media Practice will turn the galleries of LCC into an experiential playground including games, installations, sculptures and screenings. Moving around the college and the fun continues, navigating your way through the veritable forest of plinths some peace and tranquility can be found in the shape of the BA (Hons) Book Arts and Design exhibit. The  BA (Hons) Graphic Product Innovation and FdA Graphic and Spatial Communication room is filled with a range of installations. LCC’s 2013 Summer Show Season sees three graduation shows around the central theme of London College of Exhibitionists.
So, before you play the game, watch the TV show or marvel at your surroundings note the names of these gifted young creatives – because you’re certain to experience their work in years to come. Much has been written about the cognitive, social, emotional, and language benefits of play, as well as the types and stages of play that take place in early childhood classrooms. Teachers should begin by providing opportunities for children to have spontaneous, unstructured child-initiated play experiences.
Large blocks of time (45-60 minutes) in the daily schedule must also be allocated for play so children may develop play scenarios, get organized, and then execute their plan.
The benefits of play are maximized when teachers facilitate play, as limited learning may take place otherwise.
When planning for children’s play, teachers can determine specific goals and outcomes they want the child to achieve during play.
There has been a decline in children’s creativity since 1990, especially in younger children (Carlsson-Paige, 2008).
We know that play is a dominant activity from birth through adolescence and that it is a child’s way of understanding their world.
Teachers, administrators, and families need to appreciate the essential function of play in every child’s development.
This Quello Lecture was organised by MSU’s Quello Center to support and help launch the 2014 Meaningful Play Conference in East Lansing, Michigan.
The identity of the video gamer as young, straight, white, and male is changing to reflect a more diverse group of users, but this transition has been accompanied by struggle and conflict. Lisa Nakamura is the Gwendolyn Calvert Baker Collegiate Professor of American Cultures and Screen Arts and Cultures at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Rabindra (“Robby”) Ratan is an Assistant Professor and AT&T Scholar at Michigan State University’s Department of Media and Information.
Mia Consalvo is the Canada Research Chair in Game Studies & Design at the Department of Communication Studies at Concordia University. The 38th annual Emmy® nominees have been announced by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences – Michigan, and both WKAR and Michigan State University (MSU) have received nominations. Despite the scale of the project and several students painting frantically late into yesterday evening the space has been transformed on schedule and it promises to be an exciting display of up and coming talent in innovative interior design. Guests will be invited to play the games students have designed on computers around the room and on tablets in the lounge area of the gallery.
The library space gives guests the opportunity to look through the students’ work and then retreat to their ‘reading room’, should the excitement of the night become too much. The Lower Street gallery is filled with visionary designs including projections, a huge multi-faceted geometric sculpture and three mannaequin heads mounted on a wall thatl will give guests an insight into the future of practical graphic design.
Usually responsible for planning campaigns, designing spaces and building games LCC graduates aren’t ones to flaunt themselves.
Both the Association for Childhood Education International (ACEI) and the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) recognize and uphold the need for play as an essential part of early childhood education (Bredekamp & Copple, 2009). The daily schedules in preschool classrooms that focus on academics and kindergarten readiness often do not provide an opportunity for exploring meaningful and relevant activities (Nell & Drew, 2013). Teacher support is also seen as a necessary component of developmentally appropriate practice. By helping children when planning roles, encouraging children to talk to peers, posing open ended questions, and becoming involved in play, the teacher extends and enhances learning. Teachers should also individualize for children, keeping in mind their current level of cognitive, physical, social, emotional, and language development.
They offer play experiences in areas where children are familiar with and have prior knowledge and experience. The facilitation will be the most effective if complemented by a carefully planned classroom environment.
This includes using their knowledge of growth and development to determine what is age and stage appropriate, individually appropriate, and culturally appropriate for each child in the classroom.

Children spend an average of 2 hours per day using computers, iPads, and iPhones, and watching television. We also know that other research indicates teachers believe play is an important part of their curriculum, yet they often fail to plan for play experiences and rely on their instincts in lieu of specific goals and objectives for play (Bodrova & Leong, 2004).
Play allows children to make important discoveries, including what they like and what they do not like. The critical role of the teacher during play must include facilitation, engagement, and appropriate individualization for each child’s developmental level.Planning for play must be intentional.
By securing a prominent place in their curriculum planning for play, teachers will encourage fellow colleagues and administrators to support their efforts.
Professor Nakamura will raise key issues around race and gender within and beyond the context of games that should stimulate discussion on approaches to addressing these concerns in ways that respect the open and collaborative traditions of expression online.
This August, gaming journalist Leigh Alexander declared that “‘Gamers’ are over,” but women and minorities still face significant harassment from other players in pseudonymous multiplayer environments. For those who are not digital natives one group has designed a card game for people to play, so there will be entertainment for everyone to enjoy. A picnic table on astro turf and flowers winding their way around exhibits will transport guests to a sunny field, and quell your yearning for Summer, even if just for the evening.
The theories of Piaget (cognitive and physical development) and Vygotsky (socio-cultural experiences) describe play for children as optimal learning times (Elkind, 2004). Play allows children to be attentive to the process at hand, and children display a positive affect when playing (Nell & Drew, 2013).
Children need a large enough area for playing with two or more peers in an area where they will not be interrupted.
When children are told frequently “to select another center” or “it is time to move on to something else,” they are not allowed to engage with the materials long enough to develop problem solving skills that require persistence and engagement. Teacher interventions during play take on many possibilities from assisting with problem solving, questioning, redirecting undesired behaviors, and enticing children into play themes.
For example, one role of the teacher is developing an understanding of the specific skills and knowledge children need to develop.
For example, the teacher may have the goal of increasing the amount of expressive language a child uses throughout the day.
If a child has not had experience with a particular play scenario, he will not be able to expand on the role during fantasy play. The teacher works to minimize conflict and confusion so that children have consistent time and space for play.
Play serves several functions in contributing to children’s social and emotional development when they assume new roles that require new social skills and take the perspectives of their peers.
One of the problems with “screen time” is that it is a symbolic representation of the real world and not direct experience with people and materials. Teachers must focus on creating opportunities for higher level thinking by incorporating time, space and materials for play.
Lastly, they must work to educate parents on the value of play, building parent understanding and support for play in the curriculum.
Chopsticks and counting chips: Do play and foundational skills need to compete for the teacher’s attention in an early childhood classroom? Taking back childhood; Helping your kids thrive in a fast-paced, media-saturated, violence-filled world.
She is writing a monograph on social inequality in digital media history and culture entitled Workers Without Bodies: Race, Gender, and Digital Labor. Brain research also supports the importance of play during the critical periods of brain growth during the preschool years (Healy, 2004). When creating interest areas in the classroom, careful attention should be paid to the size of the space for both the dramatic play area and the block area, as these interest areas are frequented by children. Providing diversity in the types of play materials and changing the props frequently to relate to children’s real life interests and experiences is a key task for teachers.
Teachers must also teach play skills to children who have difficulty entering into a play scenario. Once the children’s play begins, facilitating social interactions as well as assisting children in joining play is a role the teacher will fill. The teacher might invite the child to the dramatic play area with another child who is very verbal and engages easy in play scenarios. Take for example an “Office Prop Box” placed in the dramatic play center one Monday morning. Children need to be seen as competent individuals who, when given teacher support and interactions with other children, are able to construct knowledge in play settings.
They negotiate roles, share space and materials, express different points of view, resolve disputes, and persuade their peers to assume certain roles (Kostelnik, Whiren, Soderman, & Gregory, 2007).

The more time children are watching screens, the less opportunities they have for play and interaction with nurturing adults – both of which are critical to healthy development and learning. The different descriptions of the value and purposes of play add to the dilemma of what and how classroom teachers can support learning and development for young children by providing carefully planned and supervised experiences.
Language supports symbolic thought in the play setting and is seen as a vehicle for the development of self-regulation, cognition, and social competence (Bredecamp & Copple, 2009). For example, using a block and pretending it is a telephone, or pretending a pegboard with pegs is a birthday cake. The teacher must also provide stimulating materials to enhance and entice children into play. The teacher also might provide scaffolding to support children’s learning and development by asking, “Why does the baby need to go to the doctor?” or “How do you think the doctor can help the baby?” This not only provides the child with an opportunity to use expressive language but also provides an opportunity for the child to think and formulate an answer.
The prop box included many typical things that an office would contain – a keyboard, telephone, calculator, notepads, staple, tape dispenser, paper clips, etc. Play becomes a springboard for investigating play materials, art materials, the ideas of peers, and the world beyond the classroom. Children are also given the opportunity to work out feelings, emotions, and fears they are unable to address or acknowledge overtly.
Research also indicates this screen time has a negative impact on attention and self regulation for young children (TRUCE, 2012).
Although research supports the value of play in the classroom, the jump has yet to be made from theory to practice. This article will explain the importance of the teacher’s role in supporting play in the early childhood classroom. Materials should include loose parts that are open-ended and empower creativity by providing children opportunities to think, plan, and carry out their play. For example, children may place materials on top of a low shelf, turn a box over or use a chair – expanding their play space beyond the table and floor.
By Tuesday, the teacher noticed that no one was using the materials for more than a few minutes and the children’s involvement was fleeting. This approach to curriculum focuses on the development of the whole child, with content presented in meaningful contexts. Academic expectations have been pushed down and early acquisition of skills and content knowledge have left little room for play in the early childhood classroom.
Rote and drill activities have replaced providing time for children to construct knowledge and understanding in order for children to arrive at the correct answer.
The consistent organization of materials in the space is important so children can be purposeful in selecting and placing materials back when they are finished. Soon the teacher came to the realization that they had no “real life” experiences to base their role play on as they had never been to an “office.” When the prop box was changed on Thursday to a “Pizza Palace,” children were quickly involved in assuming the roles of a waitress, cook, busboy, and customer. For example, your classroom might visit a train museum and instead of focusing on all of the parts of the train (which leads to rote memorization), the teacher might facilitate the focus on the roles of the people who would work on and ride the train: the conductor, engineer, stoker, cafe attendant, and the passengers. Many classrooms have replaced play with structured, teacher-directed activities leaving little time to nurture children’s exploration and creativity.
Many opportunities are lost in early childhood classrooms every day because the contributions of play to children’s learning and development are ignored or underestimated. With organized materials on shelves and in bins, children can clearly see their choices for the day. In this way, children’s play becomes a catalyst for optimal growth and development and more complex play than just focusing on props (Elkind, 2004). Structured and competitive group sports have taken the place of playing with neighborhood peers, and children are joining teams as early as age three. By depriving children of play opportunities, we are also depriving the opportunity to learn critical social skills and develop flexibility and strength to cope with difficult situations. Children often will act out themes they are familiar with such as family roles, doctor, school, fast food restaurants, and shopping for food and clothes. Realistic toys and props that do not allow children to use their imagination and be creative have lined the shelves of stores leaving little room for open ended and creative materials. Children also need freedom to explore the play environment and the materials in a way that interests them, providing a sense of wonder and encouraging creativity. When a child puts on a raincoat and a firefighter hat and rushes to rescue his teddy bear from the pretend flames in the playhouse, he is practicing what he already knows about firefighters.

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