FIND THE FUN by Kelli Gander, Guest Blogger

Find The Fun

You can’t argue wPreschool childrenith Mary Poppins, who we all know is ‘practically perfect in every-way’ and there is more than one lesson to be learned from the timeless tale she has to tell. This one, for me as an educator, is the most important of all.
In every job that must be done
There is an element of fun
you find the fun and snap!
The job’s a game
This has become my teaching mantra and I endeavor to ‘find the fun’ in every lesson that I teach. Imagine if kids got excited about the times tables, eager about spelling, enthusiastic about parts of speech! Learning does not have to equal boring, we just have to find the fun for our students.
How do we do this? The same way that Mary Poppins did, with a game! Games not only provide the hands on experience that children need to be effective learners but also makes even the most boring concept a whole lot more exciting.
A simple pack of cards becomes a speed game to make number bonds to 10 or a spirited competition to multiply the face values. Older children use them to learn about adding, subtracting, regrouping and multiplying. Younger children use them to sort, match, do shape work and learn 1-1 correspondence. Games do not need to cost you money either, there are so many fantastic sites where enthusiastic and dedicated teachers post and share their amazing, free ideas, on how to create that ‘element of fun’.
A treasure map is a perfect way to teach children about prepositions. Lego is an awesome way to learn about volume and measurement and you would not believe what can be done with a paper plate in terms of fractions and equivalent fractions!
We often do this naturally with younger children but our older ones do not outgrow this need for ‘fun’. In actual fact, the sometimes dry topics that are curriculum essentials, would receive much greater benefit from applying a ‘games based’ approach.
So step away from that smart board. Put down those worksheets and open your mind to games. We know it worked for Huckleberry Finn, when he managed to cleverly persuade his friends to trade him small treasures for the privilege of doing his work! Just find that element of fun and snap! The job’s a game.

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