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Play is a joyful, innate, socially engaging, activity that promotes reasoning, learning, and empathy. Play promotes creativity and offers students the opportunity to take risks in a safe environment. In this academy, participants will learn to harness the benefits of play to address Virginia Standards of Learning across the curriculum in the elementary classroom. Through interactive and playful sessions, we will co-create learning experiences that integrate children’s play into existing curriculum to enhance learning for all children.
We will address questions such as, what is the role of play in elementary schools. How can we teach science, math, social studies, and English using play in elementary classrooms? What is the role of a teacher in children’s play? How can we incorporate play when our schedules are already full?
The 2018 Content Teaching Academy sessions begin at 8:30 Monday, June 25 and conclude at noon on Friday, June 29. On Monday-Thursday, the daily schedule is set up much like a high school 4x4 block schedule, with two 1.5 hour sessions in the morning and two 1.5 hour sessions in the afternoon. Breaks with snacks and beverages are provided between sessions in both the mornings and afternoons. Participants who are enrolled in an Academy for graduate credit must attend two additional sessions scheduled from 6:30 to 8:00 pm on Monday and Wednesday evenings.
The primary check-in period is from 5 to 7 pm on Sunday, June 24. Late arrivals and commuters may check in early Monday morning between 7 and 8 a.m.
Dr. Smita Mathur teaches in the department of Early Elementary and Reading at James Madison University. She serves on the board of Association for the Study of Play (www.tasporg). She teaches courses that relate to Child Growth and Development and Inquiry in Education. Smita Mathur studies play across cultures and strategies of using culture-specific play-based pedagogy in early and elementary classrooms.