Purposeful Play: A Teacher's Guide to Igniting Deep and Joyful Learning Across the Day

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About the Author

Kristine Mraz is coauthor – with Christine Hertz – of the new Kids First from Day One, which provides a practical blueprint for increasing the child-centeredness of your teaching practice. She and Christine previously teamed up for the bestselling A Mindset for Learning (coauthored with Christine Hertz), which provides practical and powerful strategies for cultivating optimism, flexibility, and empathy alongside traditional academic skills. Kristi has also coauthored – with Alison Porceli and Cheryl Tyler – Purposeful Play, the book that helps you make play a powerful part of your teaching. She and Marjorie Martinelli wrote Smarter Charts and Smarter Charts for Math, Science, and Social Studies ?to get the most out of this classroom staple. Their popular blog Chartchums keeps teachers in touch with ongoing and relevant classroom issues and ways to use charts as a make stronger. Chartchums is also on Facebook and on Twitter @chartchums! Kristi teaches Kindergarten in the New York City Public schools. Along with writing and teaching, she consults in schools across the country and as far away as Taiwan. She primarily supports teachers in early literacy, play, and inquiry based learning. On the off chance she has free time, you can find Kristi reading on a couch in Brooklyn with her husband and with baby Harry. You’ll be able to follow all of her adventures on twitter @MrazKristine or on her blog kinderconfidential.wordpress.com.

Alison Porcelli is coauthor (with Kristi Mraz and Cheryl Tyler) of Purposeful Play. She also coauthored A Quick Guide to Boosting English Acquisition in Choice Time, with Cheryl. Alison is Vice Principal at PS 59 in Manhattan and worked for eight years as a senior staff developer at the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project at Columbia University, where she consulted nationally and internationally to bring exceptional literacy practices to schools. Before that, she was a kindergarten teacher. Alison’s playground is in Bedford, NY where she resides with her husband, Tom, and son, Preston.

Cheryl Tyler is coauthor of Purposeful Play with Kristi Mraz and Alison Porceli. She has worked extensively in New York City schools as a kindergarten teacher, staff developer, consultant, and the principal of PS 277 in the South Bronx. She is currently the director of Reading Rescue at Teachers College Reading and Writing Project. Cheryl and Alison are coauthors of A Quick Guide to Boosting English Acquisition in Choice Time, K-2.

Play is serious business. Whether it’s reenacting a favorite book (comprehension and close reading), negotiating the rules for a game (speaking and listening), or collaborating over building blocks (college and career readiness and STEM), Kristi Mraz, Alison Porcelli, and Cheryl Tyler see each day how play helps students reach standards and goals in ways that in-their-seat instruction alone can’t do. And not just all through playtimes. “We imagine there is play in work and work in play,” they write. “It helps to have practical ways to carry that mindset into all aspects of the curriculum.” In Purposeful Play , they share ways to: optimize and balance different types of play to deepen regular classroom learning teach into play to foster social-emotional skills and a growth mindset bring the affect of play into all of your lessons across the day. “We imagine that play is one type of environment where children can be rigorous in their learning,” Kristi, Alison, and Cheryl write. So they provide a host of lessons, suggestions for classroom setups, helpful tools and charts, curriculum connections, teaching points, and teaching language that will help you foster mature play that makes every moment in your classroom instructional. Play doesn’t only happen when work is over. Children show us time and time again that play is the way they work. In Purposeful Play, you can find research-driven methods for making play an engine for rigorous learning in your classroom.

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