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Planning considerations

Students learn about and make sense of their world through creative play. Because creative play requires students to interact physically with the environment, they need a secure domain in which to explore and discover themselves and their relationships with others.

When planning creative play learning experiences, teachers may wish to consider the following:

  • Learning will be more effective and meaningful for students if learning experiences are fun.
  • Movement skills are inherent in the creative play experiences described in this book. (The links between Movement skills and creative play are described in the Teachers' notes for each concept.) Creative play encourages students to explore a range of movements appropriate to their individual needs.
  • The learning experiences included in this book may be altered and adapted to take advantage of the "teachable moment". Teachers will recognise these moments if they are aware of their students' worlds, of their local environment, and of what is relevant to their students at any particular time.
  • Creative play enables teachers to plan integrated units of work across the curriculum.
  • Teachers can promote an inclusive curriculum by incorporating a range of experiences that are relevant to the knowledge, skills, and aspirations of all their students and by using language, resource materials, and illustrative examples that promote inclusiveness. For example, they can provide opportunities for students to experience and understand aspects of Māori, Pacific, Asian, and other cultures and can acknowledge students with special needs and abilities.
  • Students need to feel emotionally safe when exploring their creativity, so teachers should work with their students to develop a classroom climate that encourages positive attitudes, trust, and mutual respect.
  • Safe-practice strategies are included in the teachers' notes in this book.

Learning outcomes

Learning outcomes provide a clear focus for teachers and students and describe the learning that is expected to occur as a result of particular activities. In this book, learning outcomes are linked to achievement objectives as follows.

A learning need is identified. For example, your students may need to say what they enjoyed about taking part in an imaginative activity. This learning outcome can be linked to level 1, strand B, achievement objective 2 and is therefore identified as related to achievement objective 1B2 (students will participate in a range of physical activities and identify the factors that make the experience personally enjoyable).

To help students achieve this learning outcome, teachers could refer to the learning experience In Search of Tarzan and assess students' learning when the students say what was enjoyable about taking part in this activity and what could make it more enjoyable.

Factors affecting learning

Research into key factors that have a positive effect on students' learning (Hattie, 1999) indicates that innovative, responsive teachers can make a real difference to the achievements of their students. The single most significant factor is feedback. Teachers who provide feedback to students, giving them frequent information about how well they have understood and performed the current learning task, are giving them real, practical help that will have positive results.

Effective teachers give feedback; they also set specific, appropriate, and challenging goals for their students. Students who are involved in setting these learning goals and who then receive feedback while working towards them are more committed to achieving the goals and do in fact achieve better results.

Innovation is important. Teachers who consistently review their practices and try out new models, methods, and processes are likely to improve the quality of learning for their students.