Global School Play Day #SOL19 #GSPD19

“Best day ever!” claimed one student. “Can we do this every day?” said another.

The reason for their excitement was Global School Play Day (GSPD). (Click here to learn more.) This was our first year participating, and I can’t wait until next year! Inspired by a TEDx talk by Peter Gray, GSPD’s organizers believe children in today’s world do not have enough time to play, and it’s time we return the gift of play to them. I couldn’t agree more! We committed to playing for one entire school day. We are lucky in our district because GSPD falls on the first Wednesday of February each year, and we have early release days at 11:30 AM the first Wednesday of every month. This made committing to play for the entire day of school a no-brainer.

My class split the time between indoor and outdoor play. We began with an extended outdoor recess, taking advantage of unseasonably mild weather. Another Kindergarten class joined us and it was fun to watch them get together and joyfully play without the usual time constraints. Next we moved indoors for snack and our regular 30-minute Art class. This left them with an hour+ of time in the classroom to pursue whatever struck their fancy. One rule about GSPD is that adults don’t make any choices for the children, so it’s truly authentic choice and play. Even our Art teacher got in on the act, setting up a variety of stations for children to work at — their choice! Back in the classroom, some chose to work in the Police Department set up in the Dramatic Play area of our classroom, others took out favorite board games, LEGOs, art materials, and books. All we adults had to do was join in!

This past Friday, poet/author Laura Purdie Salas issued an equation poem challenge to the Poetry Friday community in celebration of her new book, Snowman-Cold=Puddle: Spring Equations (Charlesbridge, 2019) This collage of photos from GSPD inspired my entry to the challenge, and pretty much summed up the day.

Equation Poem

We’ve already signed up for next years’ Global School Play Day on February 5, 2020. Perhaps you’ll join us?

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Many thanks to the crew at Two Writing Teachers, and the extended SOL community, for giving us the time, space, and encouragement to live the writerly life here each Tuesday. Won’t you join us?

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Rainbow and Equation Poem #PoetryFriday

Happy Poetry Friday, all! Poetess and author Laura Purdie Salas is hosting this week’s gathering on her blog, Writing the World for Kids.  Won’t you join us there?

Equation Poem

Related to her new book, Snowman – Cold = Puddle: Spring Equations, Laura has a fun, quick writing challenge for us this week: write an equation poem. What fun! She’s even set up a Padlet to collect them. My class’ participation in Global School Play Day 2019 on Wednesday inspired my offering.

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On Tuesday morning, the most magnificent rainbow appeared in the sky just as families in cars and buses filled with excited children were making their way to school. Cars pulled over, parents and staff snapped pictures as children squealed with joy. What a way to start another day of learning and growing together!

With this image still vivid in my memory, I scrambled for pen and paper when my students were safely delivered to PE class. I scribbled down words, thoughts, and feelings that came to mind, knowing that there was a poem amongst those faded pastel hues. Later that day, I curled up with a cup of tea and my scribbles. Wondering what more I might add to my ideas, I searched Wonderopolis (a great source for poetic inspiration) for a wonder about rainbows. I found Wonder of the Day #116: Why Do Rainbows Appear? and mined a few more descriptors and facts from the text. After some gentle nudges, a rainbow appeared. 

Rainbow (3)

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Thanks for wondering and wandering a bit with me today. I hope you’ll join us on this Poetry Friday by posting a bit of poetry — your’s or someone else’s — and leaving a comment here or there. Thank you for hosting, Laura!