Guiding and Growing the Whole Child
This chapter discusses the systems of routines and transitions. It examines the skills to teach through play. Unlike "free play", guided play assumes that the teacher has definite learning goals for the children aligned to their development. During guided play teacher is keeping three important balls in the air: observing, assessing individual children, and guiding the play. Every good teacher is occasionally tempted to simplify activities, or eliminate art materials, so that it will be easier to clean up. The antidote to this temptation is teaching strong cleanup procedures. Play-alone toys are little sets of things that go together in different ways, but just enough for one child. It may be some small table blocks and few miniature animals or people, or special set of glitter crayons and fancy paper to draw on. The teacher steps in to make an individualized goal for each of children that will help the child learn to be a successful member of the group.