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Salt Creek Kindergarten Students Join In on Global Day of Play

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On Wednesday, February 1, kindergarten students and staff at Salt Creek Elementary worked really hard at a day of playing.

Because of research that supports the many suggested benefits of play time, February 1, 2017, was designated as Global School Play Day, and kindergarten students at Salt Creek, and other schools across CCSD59, were more than happy to play their part in this special event.

In addition to free and unstructured play, kindergarten students at Salt Creek had play time with their fifth grade buddies, which delighted both grade levels. Fifth grade teacher Margo Pinns organizes the buddy system, where each fifth grader is paired with a kindergarten student and assumes a leadership role in guiding them in learning activities throughout the year. The Global School Play Day provided buddies a chance to spark their imaginations and interact in an unstructured environment.

Heather Iatomosi, whose kindergarten students participated in the event, said the day allows the students to exercise their freedom of choice, problem solve, be creative, and practice what they are learning. “They are allowed to freely move between activities of their choice,” she said, “and are advocates of their own learning, engaging in an activity or topic of choice for as long as they want.”

On a normal school day, students are able to choose their learning centers and how long they spend at each one, but on the Global Day of Play, the students had more play options and more time. They were also able to bring in toys and games from home to encourage additional sharing opportunities.

Many grade levels at Salt Creek participated in some way throughout the day, but kindergarten classes were able to participate the whole day.  

“The kids were extremely excited to be able to guide their own learning, and they were thrilled to bring in toys they like to share with others,” said Iatomosi. “They couldn’t believe it was for the entire day.”

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