​​Stephenville Elementary School​

Introduction

Our project

Our play project is Story mapping using Ozobots. Students will create their own story, inspired by NL culture and literature.They will build sets using a 3D printer and create codes for Ozobots to move through the set as their pre-recorded story is told. There will be many roles to accommodate different learners, such as writers, storytellers, editors, coders, and builders. These smaller groups will collaborate together to produce a final project. Our goal is to engage students in learning through play using the elements of screen, machine and in between. We hope to promote oral language storytelling in a fun, playful manner. We will guide the students through the project, allowing for student voice and choice to demonstrate ownership of their learning and the final product. We will document the learning processes and share these with our school community to highlight the value of the project and its play-based approach.

Tell us about your team and your school community.
Keshia is a Teacher Librarian and Core French teacher. She will teach our students how to use various technologies, such as the circuit, ozobots and 3D printer. Monique is a reading specialist, language arts teacher and assistant principal. She is the language art specialist and will organize the students and resources for the project. Ricki is a grade 4 teacher with a masters in special education. She will take the lead on promoting diversity, collaboration and ensuring we support struggling students. Michele is the principal of SES. She provides financial organization and supports the implementation of this project. SES is a grade 4-5 school in a small town. We have English and French immersion classes. Our students come from a range of social and economic backgrounds. Our school community is interested in exploring different approaches to learning that engage students, are inclusive to diverse learners and provide life experiences.

Tell us about the importance of learning through play for your team and for your students.
We often see students struggling to find good quality or interesting experiences to write about in our language arts classes. Sadly, the element of play has been lost on our students because of their lack of opportunities to play (especially due to the pandemic). Our teachers are reminiscent about our own childhood play and want to provide some similar opportunities for our current students at school. When our students are learning through play they are more likely to be engaged in the learning. Play is an activity that all children regardless of intellectual ability, physical ability, economic background or skill can engage and participate in. Students often flourish when given the opportunity to complete hands-on activities. The engaging nature of learning through play motivates students to rise above when they struggle and to problem solve, reflect and succeed. Learning through play encourages valuable lifelong skills such as collaboration, citizenship, community and character.

Tell us about your interest in joining the Canadian Playful Schools Network.
We are excited to see what we can accomplish with this project. We strongly believe students can be successful when learning through a play-based approach. We currently provide students with sport and music experiences and we are interested in expanding the learning experiences we provide and tapping into multiple student interests, such as art, science, engineering, and coding. We also want to ensure the activities we implement and the experiences we provide will be valuable to student learning and support their growth and development. Through this experience we hope to learn different ways to approach learning through play by connecting with multiple schools across the country to learn what has worked for them, and how they have overcome challenges and obstacles. We also want to learn more about the research supporting learning through play as we attempt to get other teachers and parents on board with this different approach.