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Slingerlands students participate in Global School Play Day

Filed in Slingerlands, Student Spotlight by on February 7, 2019

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On Wednesday, February 6, many teachers and students at Slingerlands Elementary School participated in the Fifth Annual Global School Play Day, joining approximately 530,000 students across the nation and the world.

Global School Play Day (GSPD) is a day set aside for students to have time for unstructured play, whether it be for the full day or just an hour. On their website, GSPD organizers urge teachers to follow a few simple guidelines:

  • No Screens: Students are encouraged to bring toys, but electronic toys or any devices with screens should be avoided.
  • No Structure: Teachers should not attempt to organize or structure student play in any way.
  • Stay Out of the Way: Teachers should let students manage their own play and should not interfere.

The idea being that students use their own creativity and imagination to play, along with developing their interpersonal skills by working along side of and problem solving with their peers.

So how did Slingerlands discover GSPD? The answer is Slingerlands Second Grade Teacher Heather Reid.

“After watching ‘The Decline of Play’ TED talk on the Global School Play Day website,” said Reid. “I felt like it was a worthwhile opportunity and thought it would be interesting to see how students could manage an unstructured day in which they were in charge of playing.”

According to Reid, the teacher’s were wonderfully surprised to see how creative their student’s became when given opportunity. Some students naturally stuck to playing the things that they knew – like chess or card games – while others went just outside their comfort zone by creating their own games, building forts out of construction paper, and teaching each other how to use juggling sticks, to name a few.

“I was extremely impressed with their imagination and creativity,” Reid said. “In my classroom, the students quickly organized themselves and created an art show that they displayed around the room!”

The next Global School Play Day is scheduled for Wednesday, February 5, 2020.

Click here to learn more about Global School Play Day.

Click here if you’d like to watch the “The Decline of Play” TED talk.