Capstone Project Title
Jana Lo Bello Miller
Can we even call it kindergarten anymore or should we rename it to be called first grade part one? Students entering into kindergarten today are now expected to meet much higher academic standards that were once designed for first grade. Five-year-olds are now expected to write complete sentences, and even read and comprehend complex texts by the end of the year with play having been removed from the kindergarten classroom completely. This leaves children with no prior exposure to school settings with a much steeper hill to success. Re-incorporating play-based learning experiences back into the kindergarten classroom could be the answer to this problem by providing vital hands-on learning experiences that will increase overall knowledge retentio. This capstone analyzes current literature surrounding the importance of play, developmental benefits of play, and the consequences to over-valuing academics in the kindergarten classroom to help answer the research question: How can teachers increase play-based learning (PBL) activities in order to supplement a rigorous kindergarten literacy curriculum and increase overall knowledge retention? The culminating project provides a wide variety of play-based learning activities that any primary educator can use in their classroom to better meet the needs of their learners. Final reflections upon major learnings, the literary analysis, and this project make evident that more needs to be done for our youngest learners in order to place them on a path to success in their coming school years.
Horstmann, Katherine, "Re-Integrating Play-Based Learning (PBL) Activities into the Primary Classroom" (2022). School of Education and Leadership Student Capstone Projects. 824.
School of Education Student Capstone Projects