Can I describe Choice Time in three minutes? My book, Choice Time: How to Deepen Learning Through Inquiry and Play, was recently published in Mandarin by the Beijing
Normal University Press and they requested that I send them a three minute video talking about the book.
Where do I begin? What should I emphasize? I want to stress the importance of play in the life of the child and also in the life of the classroom. How can I best and concisely describe how play looks in a first grade and a kindergarten classroom? It is important to include that the book gives teachers concrete information on how to prepare an environment that entices children to explore, create and collaborate while they play and how, through playing in these centers, they also become more independent in using space and materials.
What does the room look and sound like when children are playing in the Dramatic Play Center, the Block Center, the “Science Lab,” the Art Studio? What might teachers observe happening in these centers? What is the role of the teacher before, during and after Choice Time?
There’s so much to include! I’m almost frozen because I don’t know where to begin and how to fit it all into three minutes.
I tried to record a video and it was more than seven minutes!
Oh no! This won’t do!
I asked my friend Laura Wagonlander to share with me some important ways that my book helped her create a vibrate Choice Time in her kindergarten classroom in Fenton, Michigan. Here’s some of her feedback: “I think my big “aha” moments were that Choice Tim empowers children to be learners and show their understanding of what they are learning in a context that is meaningful to them. It (the book) guides educators in how to set up the classroom environment so they can honor children’s interests and abilities while at the same time teaching them skills they can use to nudge their thinking deeper. …When we teach in isolation or we do an activity with an expected outcome, even if it’s “playful,” it isn’t the same as giving them true choice …If you can give kids enough time in choice, magic happens…It’s all like a beautiful dance.”
I wondered if I should start all over again, creating a new 3 minute video. Then, to the rescue came my grandson, Adrian Greensmith. Thank goodness for 17 year olds! In a few minutes he cut my seven minute video down into just a little over three minutes. This is what I’m sending to Beijing. I hope it does the trick! There is so much to say about Choice Time and how I hope my book helps to support teachers.
What would you have included in a three minute video about my book on Choice Time if you could?