To help our students become lifelong learners Pre-K educators strive to create a collaborative learning community in which their social and thinking skills can grow. Partner play is a natural tool that children can use to build their resilience and coping skills, practice leadership and self-advocacy as they learn to navigate relationships and deal with social challenges.
To promote closer interaction and peer engagement once in a while we decide to assign partners for Open Inquiry Time. During the first experience the goal was to find new friends, try new learning spaces as well as practice negotiation and conflict resolution. Our “Magic Bowl” gave us the pairs and the students were asked to stay with their “magic” partner throughout the inquiry time and explore together.
Some students were over excited to have a partner – a new friend to play with. Some others had to take a risk and find a way to cooperate with a new friend.
A lot of students tried something new for the first time in Pre-K: like card making (because the partner has dragged you here…) or building in the Red room…
The range of reflections was very wide, although overall very positive:
“I like having a new friend.”
“I’ve found a new friend and she is great to play with.”
“I like to be with a partner because you never alone.”
“If it is not everyday, it is good.”
“I wait and wait she eat”
“It was so-so because my partner wanted to play in one place for too long.”
” I tried new.”
“I didn’t like building and then I liked it. I’ll go there again tomorrow.”
The second time students had to play with a partner the “Magic Bowl” made a different choice. This time most pares had partners that have a lot in common. The challenge was in the play options the students had. All the learning engagements were designed to force children cooperation and social language, forge connection and trust.
Now children are looking forward for partner-play opportunities. They are more open to play with new friends and try new learning experiences.
Enjoy learning with your child,
The Pre-K Team