Case Study: The Day Play Became A Problem

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The Day Play Became a Problem
A fifth-grade classroom in a Coastal Carolina town was tasked with preparing for a science investigation. The room hosted six clusters of six desks, with various supplies sprawled out along the top of the desks including rods, wheels, blocks, and plywood. In addition to the supplies on the desks, students were given packets that featured an experiment guide, guiding question sheet, and paper for construction diagrams. “All right, everyone,” says their teacher. “Before working with the materials on your desk, I want you to fill out the first section of your experiment guide, questions two and three on your guided question sheet, and draw a diagram of what you expect to build with the materials on your desks.” The students began to record questions, but moments later, students from each group began to play with the materials on the table. The teacher gave a warning call, instructing students to return the materials to the center of their table and not to touch them until the paper is complete. Select students had the materials in hand yet again, less than a minute later. This prompted to teacher to make a class announcement that clearly outlined her philosophy regarding the role of play in the classroom.
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54). This engagement ensures that students are interacting with subject matter and materials in a variety of ways, forming life-long relationships with learning and the strategies one might use to do so (Ackerman, 2011). Play in the classroom includes a surplus of supplies and materials, along with a network of connected student workers who share ideas, becoming independent learners. Once an educator, much like the fifth grade teacher, recognizes the negative connation they associate with a word that is not negative, they can explore the importance and role of play in the

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