by Ann Rankowitz
For the past several years, districts have emphasized the importance of traditional-style learning for kindergarten students nationwide. Recently there has been an interest in moving back to a play-based model. This is an acknowledgment of the extensive research that shows why play is so important in the development of the average 5- year old. Studies have shown that children who receive traditional style instruction in kindergarten perform more poorly on social-emotional skills.
Ask any parent, children learn so much more than reading, writing, and arithmetic through play. Play helps children develop communication and problem-solving skills while interacting with their peers.
If we value children’s social-emotional learning it’s time for kindergarten classrooms to return to playtime and help children learn through interacting with other children and adults.
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