Play-Based Learning

(This is a bulletin board that my students and I created at the beginning of the year during my internship.)

I saw a commercial on TV tonight about Ontario’s new Kindergarten program, which just started in September 2010.  This new program is called the Full-Day Early Learning-Kindergarten program. 

There are two things that I can see that make this new program different from the old program, or Kindergarten as I experienced and know it.  The first is that it goes the whole school day, rather than just a morning or afternoon. 

The second is that it is based on a play-based learning environment.  I remember Kindergarten as a lot of play, but still with plenty of learning- story time, learning about the weather, etc.  I tried to find the commercial to post here, but was unable to find it.  The commercial made the play-based learning environment appear to be exactly as it sounds- play and learning.  It showed big, life-size wooden blocks that children are using to build something while they are playing.  I really think that this is a great approach to teaching Kindergarten.  Also, it relates strongly to many of the ideas (like experiential learning) that I have learned about in my Education program at the University of Regina.

More about this new program can be read here on the Ontario Kindergarten Curriculum.  Page 5 of the Introduction summarizes the program really well.

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