PreK-20 Recess: Play in the Time of Pandemic

In this unique moment in education, it is increasingly difficult to have the bandwidth and space to think about how play can fit into our students’ learning. It is also difficult to be able to focus on our own academic and pedagogical pursuits.

Recess is an opportunity for students to engage in open-ended play– and is often considered a break in the routine. Recess allows students to be social, take risks, and step outside of many of the constraints of the day. ‘Recess’ brings an opportunity for educators to reconsider what we often think about in traditional educational paradigms — and bring a time to consider what an alternative, more play-based narrative might look like in school settings — both in remote and in person contexts.

In this workshop, we will engage with participants in providing both experiences and resources to legitimize the importance of play, providing both personal connections to play-based experiences and resources to help legitimize the practice of play as essential to the learning process. Participants will work on an individual project throughout the week, with opportunities to engage with multiple people to elicit feedback and co-generate ideas. This session provides the group of early childhood, elementary, secondary, and postsecondary folks an opportunity to find both the space for their own recess (reset and recharge) as well as explore, imagine, and plan for how their own practice can be more play-centric.


Andrea Laser
Andrea Laser works as a Senior Instructor in the Early Childhood Education program area at the University of Colorado Denver.
Dennis DeBay
Dennis DeBay works as a Clinical Assistant Professor, Math Teacher Educator and student-teacher mentor at the University of Colorado Denver.
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