One of the key Expeditionary Learning Design Principles is "The Having of Wonderful Ideas". This means that every EL classroom should be fostering students' curiosity for the world. Research shows that primary-aged students learn best in hands-on, project-based learning situations. Not only are we incorporating this into daily learning at DAA in our mini-lessons, centers, and fieldwork, but we are also doing this during recess and free play time!
In Second Grade Crew, recess has been especially fun and hands-on this past month. Thanks to the support of friends, family, and some all around awesome people, we were able to provide new costumes and dress-up clothes for thoughtful creative play during indoor recess! Daily, our second graders are delivering the mail as mail people, building homes for a better Detroit as construction workers, looking for treasure as pirates, sporting crowns as princesses and princes, and of course their favorite, SAVING THE WORLD as super heroes and super heroines. Their imaginations have really gotten the best of them; they have come up with some of the funniest, wittiest and most elaborate of stories and scenarios.
Recently, a princess turned pirate was attempting to recapture buried treasure at Dollar General. And on another day, a "DAA bunny rabbit" was delivering candy to all DAA students because she was "sick of all the carrots at this school". It is incredibly pleasing to see the kids use uninhibited role play to attempt to understand the world: their voices change when they are speaking as police officers with authority, and when they describe with tantalizing language a pizza they just prepared as "Chef Neubian". This freedom to escape their current reality and take on a different persona has helped all of our kids grow in confidence and in self-awareness. There have also been lots of problem solving, and the inclusion of some of the characters we have been reading and writing about in our literacy units! All around, these costumes have been a wonderful addition to our recess time.
Many many thanks to all who contributed to Mrs. McMillan's Donors Choose Page. Stay tuned for future projects and needs!