Play is effective for learning
According to popular child development theorist Lev Vygosky, play is essential as it helps build cognitive, social and emotional development in children. However, many of us underestimate the power of play in child development.
Take for example the games we used to play as children - Tag, Hopscotch or Galah Panjang. While seemingly “purposeless”, experiencing these games positively impacts the development of teamwork, numerical and strategic skill sets that we subconsciously utilise in our daily lives.
Despite the evident impact fun learning has towards children, education systems across the globe continue to treat learning as a ‘serious’ activity resulting in a school environment that is monotonous and boring.
Photo by MI PHAM on Unsplash
Photo by Hussain Badshah on Unsplash
Create a sustainable learning environment. Fun is just part of the solution!
Photo by Edvin Johansson on Unsplash
Every student is different and their motivation to learn is dependent on their self-esteem.
Are they driven to be the best in class?
Are they motivated by rewards?
Or are they motivated by interest in a topic?
The key to a conducive learning environment isn’t blindly implementing fun activities in classrooms and expecting it to achieve learning goals. Instead, fun initiatives should be used purposefully to motivate students and is a gateway for continuous learning among students. Fun learning in this sense is just part of the holistic solution in crafting a conducive learning environment.
A positive atmosphere within the classroom is important because it encourages students to tackle learning confidently, which boosts their self-esteem and indirectly resulting in a positive association for continuous learning. Here are some examples of how to craft a conducive learning environment.
If your student is:
(i) Motivated by recognition, the best way to craft a positive environment is to celebrate a collective achievement. For example, a teacher can set a collective target of at least a 70% for an assessment, and if students manage to hit the target, their names can be announced during assembly.
(ii) Motivated by rewards, preparing a certificate or a simple gift is a tangible act teachers can do to encourage students. Follow-up with thoughtful discussions that also adds value to a students’ self-esteem to prevent the mentality of expecting a prize in return for good behaviour.
(iii) Motivated by purpose, a meaningful learning environment further encourages a student’s interest and pursuit in learning. For example, bringing in a former student studying to be a doctor or an entrepreneur to share their experiences with your students, can help motivate them to learn better.
Frog is part of the solution
We believe in the power of play. Through gamification and celebrating school successes, we strive to remind schools that lessons can be a fun experience and effective with minimal effort through FrogPlay! Here are good examples from UK schools utilising FrogPlay to help create a positive learning environment:
Westminster Academy (Frog World Championship - Special Mention, 2019)
From a parent’s perspective, student involvement in the Frog World Championship is a good way for students to learn and experience the value of learning.
“During the competition my son mastered the maths quizzes and would challenge himself to do harder questions. He started off in standard and made his way up to the advanced level. This has improved his grammar, speech and spelling which is excellent as these quizzes are a stress-free way to learn.”
Yardleys School (Frog World Championship - 3rd Place Winner, 2018)
Teachers experienced a positive impact from FrogPlay that eased workloads and increased student engagement.
David Poh, Deputy Head shares, “I’ve been at this school for just over 10 years, and for the first time ever we now have a sustainable strategy towards homework and every single student is fully engaged with it, with very accurate reporting.”
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