This week, I was told to take time out of my schedule to “play.” When I was asked to do so, I realized that I hadn’t really taken time to play something in a long time. I spend time with family and friends, but I asked myself how often do we really play or do something we really enjoy? For me, I love crafting and baking. Since Valentine’s Day is coming up, I figured I could make a special something for my students and coworkers. I decided on a Valentine’s Day “puppy chow” because who doesn’t like chocolate, sugar, and peanut butter?! As I was creating my “puppy chow,” I was relaxed and focused on making a delicious treat. I noticed I did not touch my phone once! Shocking. Not only did I enjoy mixing my ingredients, but I realized I felt like a learner. I had never made “puppy chow” before, so I needed to reflect on the recipe multiple times. This feeling of being a learner reminded me of an article we read in class titled “How Playing with Math Helps Teachers Better Empathize with Students.” (https://ww2.kqed.org/mindshift/2017/02/06/how-playing-with-math-helps-teachers-better-empathize-with-students/) As educators, we sometimes forget what it is like to complete a task and work through difficulties. It is important to be reminded of how our students feel when they are learning, so that we understand their feelings towards the learning process. Also, I enjoyed “playing” because I was learning and having fun at the same time. Since the learning was incorporated with something I was interested in, I enjoyed the progression. I feel that in this day and age, fun and learning are not necessarily considered connected, but why not! Learning can be and is fun. Relating to connected learning, teachers must connect content to their students’ interests. Therefore, students will have fun while they are learning and will learn to appreciate the learning process.
Here is my messy (but exciting) process….