March 24 #WePlayChat – The Growing Need For Equitable Unstructured Play In Schools

Join us on Tuesday, March 24 at 9:00pm EST as we welcome co-moderators Eric Saibel and Scott Bedley from California to discuss the topic, “The growing need for equitable unstructured play in schools.”

New this year, #WePlayChat has a new look at feel. We are changing the flow of these professional learning opportunities to cover the what, how and why during chat. We look forward to the enriching dialogue this will create each month.

About The Moderators

Scott Bedley is a 5th Grade teacher from Orange County, CA. He is an Orange County Teacher of the Year (TOY) and California TOY Finalist. Eric Saibel is a middle school principal from Marin County, California. He is also an EdWeek and Edutopia contributor and proponent of standards-based grading. Along with Tim Bedley, they co-foundedGlobal School Play Day in 2015. The first year saw 65,000 children participate; this past February, over 560,000 children from 75 nations participated. This growth is due to their collaborative leadership in providing a strong voice to the value of play through their collective networks.

Here are the questions Eric an Scott will be covering during the #WePlayChat dialogue as well as some additional context to guide this topic:

Dr. Peter Gray’s research demonstrates the adverse effects of the decline of play in children of this generation. We can combat the epidemic of anxiety and depression in American youth by embracing unstructured play. Benefits include physical and emotional wellness, collaboration, pro-social skill development, conflict resolution, creativity. It is also an equity issue – many communities don’t have adequate open space or play facilities for kids, or are unsafe for children.

Q1. What are specific ways you are helping students/parents incorporate play during this time of social isolation?

Q2. What obstacles are you facing in adopting more play-based strategies in the classroom? At home?

Q3. Why is it so important that we talk about equity when talking about unstructured play in schools?

Q4. What are next steps we can take NOW to promote unstructured play and inspire more schools to participate in the 7th Global School Play Day on 2.3.21?____________________________________________________________________________________

#WePlayChat is our monthly Twitter chat for anyone seeking to gain knowledge around the wide open field of play. Launched in 2016, it is the longest running monthly play based chat in the world. Our #WePlayChat participants come from 9 countries, spanning 5 continents – all tuning in to connect around PLAY.  This FREE professional learning opportunity is a great way to connect with fellow play enthusiasts, teachers and experts from across the globe.

Join us and contribute to the global conversation around the value of play!  When the time come for our chat, jump on Twitter and search for the hashtag #WePlayChat and follow along on the “Latest” tab.  Feel free to like, reply and retweet.  Just be sure to include the hashtag #WePlayChat so your input is part of the feed!

Learn more about #WePlayChat online at https://usplaycoalition.org/weplaychat-on-twitter


February 24 #WePlayChat on Recess and Play in School with Dr. Michael Hynes

Join us on Monday, February 24 at 6:00pm EST as we welcome co-moderator Dr. Michael Hynes from Long Island, New York to discuss the topic, “The Importance of Recess and Play in School.

New this year, #WePlayChat has a new look at feel. We are changing the flow of these professional learning opportunities to cover the what, how and why during chat. We look forward to the enriching dialogue this will create each month.

About The Moderator

Dr. Michael Hynes works as a public school superintendent of schools for the Port Washington School District, Fulbright Specialist and an associate professor of education and leadership on Long Island, NY. His mission is to spread the message of the importance of a holistic approach to educating children. He emphasizes the importance of play, recess in schools, mental health and yoga and mindfulness in the classroom. Dr. Hynes is a former assistant superintendent, principal and teacher. Hynes is also a public school advocate, TEDx and keynote speaker and has published numerous articles and featured on several podcasts and articles on school leadership. Hynes has focused his work on transforming schools by tapping into Potential Based Education, which focuses on the significance of social, emotional, physical and cognitive development for students as well as developing strategic plans for school buildings and school districts. Dr. Hynes educates the masses on global school initiatives and universal best practices. He has studied and worked with the Finnish school system. Hynes received his undergraduate degree in psychology from Bethany College and his doctorate in educational administration from Dowling College. He has undergone professional training to integrate organizational learning and school leadership into programs at New York University, Stony Brook University and Harvard University. Dr. Hynes has been awarded the “Friend of Education Award” and the “Distinguished Leadership Award” by Phi Delta Kappa as well as numerous other awards related to leadership.

Here are the questions Dr. Hynes will be covering during the #WePlayChat dialogue:

Q1. What can you do to make sure all children receive the proper amount of recess every day in school?

Q2. How can we foster more mix-aged play in school?

Q3. How much recess do you feel all elementary children should have every day and why?

Q4. Knowing that self-directed play is critical for child development, what is one thing an educator can do to make that happen in school?____________________________________________________________________________________

#WePlayChat is our monthly Twitter chat for anyone seeking to gain knowledge around the wide open field of play. Launched in 2016, our #WePlayChat participants come from 9 countries, spanning 4 continents – all tuning in to connect around PLAY.  This FREE professional learning opportunity is a great way to connect with fellow play enthusiasts, teachers and experts from across the globe.

We love sharing the voice of play on Twitter through our #WePlayChat.  We have our chats at different times on different days to get the most involvement across our membership.  You will not want to miss them! Tune in and to join in and contribute to the conversation around the value of play.


January 2020 #WePlayChat – A New Decade of Play

Join us on Tuesday, January 28 at 4:00pm EST as we welcome co-moderator Ryan Fahey from Ottawa, Canada to discuss the topic, “A New Decade of Play”.

Starting this month, #WePlayChat will have a new look at feel. We are changing the flow of these professional learning opportunities. Moving forward, we will cover the who, what, how and why during each chat. We look forward to the enriching dialogue this will create in 2020.


About The Moderator

Ryan Fahey is a dedicated husband, two-time author, international speaker, teacher, and consultant in the fields of wellness education, leadership and business development. Ryan serves as the Lead for Special Projects and Campaigns at Physical and Health Education Canada as well as Play Ambassador Coordinator for the US Play Coalition. During his free time, you can find Ryan on the trails, reading a good book or drinking great coffee with his wife Amber. Ryan and his wife both reside in beautiful Ottawa, ON and continues to be a strong advocate for play in the north.

Here are the questions Ryan will be covering during the #WePlayChat dialogue:

Q1. Who will lead innovative play initiatives in this new decade?
Q2. What do you think the next ten years of play will look like?
Q3. How will new play programs, initiatives and campaigns look in this new decade?
Q4. Why will it be more important than ever for people to play in this next decade?


#WePlayChat is our monthly Twitter chat for anyone seeking to gain knowledge around the wide open field of play. Launched in 2016, our #WePlayChat participants come from 9 countries, spanning 4 continents – all tuning in to connect around PLAY.  This FREE professional learning opportunity is a great way to connect with fellow play enthusiasts, teachers and experts from across the globe.

We love sharing the voice of play on Twitter through our #WePlayChat.  We have our chats at different times on different days to get the most involvement across our membership.  You will not want to miss them! Tune in and to join in and contribute to the conversation around the value of play.


November #WePlayChat: The Importance of Free Play for Child Development

Join us on Tuesday, November 19 at 1:00pm EST as we welcome co-moderator Kimberly Hart, Content Developer for AAA State of Play, to discuss the topic, “The Importance of Free Play for Child Development.”

Kimberly Hart is a play advocate, hiker, writer and volunteer. Proud mother to two fearless wildflowers, she firmly believes that #PlayMatters!

Below are the questions that Kimberly will use to guide this professional development opportunity:

_______________________________________________________________________

Q1. How would you define “free play” or “unstructured play”?

Q2. What are some benefits of free play that you would like to share?

Q3. How does free play benefit a child’s emotional health and growth?

Q4. How can we create more opportunities for free play for today’s children?

_______________________________________________________________________

#WePlayChat is our monthly Twitter chat for anyone seeking to gain knowledge around the wide open field of play. Launched in 2016, our #WePlayChat participants come from 9 countries, spanning 5 continents – all tuning in to connect around PLAY. #WePlayChat is the largest monthly Play based twitter chat in the world. This FREE professional learning opportunity is a great way to connect with fellow play enthusiasts, teachers and experts from across the globe.

We love sharing the voice of play on Twitter through our #WePlayChat.  We have our chats at different times on different days to get the most involvement across our membership.  You will not want to miss them! Tune in and to join in and contribute to the conversation around the value of play.


September 26th #WePlayChat: “How To Simplify the Messages of Play”

Farrah Zweig (left) serves as the co-founder/Director of programming at Student Fitness Experts and has been a Certified Personal Trainer and Exercise Physiologist for over 15 years.  She is also the physical education coach at a Los Angeles based private school. A graduate of San Diego State, she holds her bachelor’s in Kinesiology with an emphasis in fitness, nutrition, and health. Spending her initial years improving the health and fitness of adults and pre/post natal women, she turned her attention to youth fitness 10 years ago, after discovering a gap in opportunities for children to learn functional and applied movement skills. Her research interests focus on pediatric exercise science, movement and brain development, as well as physical literacy, play, and the social/emotional/behavioral connections with physical activity. Combining her education, experience, and joy of learning, Farrah has created a pathway to creating ideal learning environments for students that subsequently relate to benefits beyond the playing field. Please join us in welcoming Farrah to our chat!
Here are the questions Farrah will be covering during the #WePlayChat dialogue:
_________________________________________________________________________________
Q1. How are we delivering the messages around play and what is most effective?
Q2 . Which populations are being underserved when it comes to reaching every person with a message of play?
Q3. How do we take effective messaging and tweak, add, and improve it to reach more people, more often?
Q4. What are a few quick and easy ideas we can share with families and centers to help make their communities more active and playful?

#WePlayChat is our monthly Twitter chat for anyone seeking to gain knowledge around the wide open field of play. Launched in 2016, our #WePlayChat participants come from 9 countries, spanning 5 continents – all tuning in to connect around PLAY. #WePlayChat is the largest monthly Play based twitter chat in the world. This FREE professional learning opportunity is a great way to connect with fellow play enthusiasts, teachers and experts from across the globe.

 

We love sharing the voice of play on Twitter through our #WePlayChat.  We have our chats at different times on different days to get the most involvement across our membership.  You will not want to miss them! Tune in and to join in and contribute to the conversation around the value of play.


July #WePlayChat On The Value of Recess

Join us on Tuesday, July 30 at 1:00pm EST as we welcome co-moderator Lynn Campanella, CEO of Playocracy to discuss the topic, “The Value of Recess.” 

For over a decade Lynn has led workshops on Play, Recess and Physical Literacy. As an advocate for child development and creativity, she has mapped out an educational platform that utilizes play as the conduit to help increase the physical, mental and social well-being of children. Lynn has developed a comprehensive recess leadership program called L.E.A.D. Recess and has lead a school board in Canada be the first to create a board-wide recess policy and supporting action plan to assist schools in establishing a quality recess experience for all. Playocracy Inc. is a Canadian social innovation company.

Here are the questions Lynn will be covering during the #WePlayChat dialogue:

Q1. What are some strategies we can use to create a positive recess experience for school administrators & teachers?
Q2. What are some of the tools you could use to teach good social skills at recess?
Q3. How do you maximize the benefits of recess to help children come back into class ready to focus and learn?
Q4. What are some best practices for sharing information about recess with parents and getting them engaged in creating a quality recess?

#WePlayChat is our monthly Twitter chat for anyone seeking to gain knowledge around the wide open field of play. Launched in 2016, our #WePlayChat participants come from 9 countries, spanning 5 continents – all tuning in to connect around PLAY.  This FREE professional learning opportunity is a great way to connect with fellow play enthusiasts, teachers and experts from across the globe.

We love sharing the voice of play on Twitter through our #WePlayChat.  We have our chats at different times on different days to get the most involvement across our membership.  You will not want to miss them! Tune in and to join in and contribute to the conversation around the value of play.


June #WePlayChat with AARP: “The Value of Play at All Ages”

Join us on Tuesday, June 25th at 11:00am EST as we welcome co-moderator Erwin Tan, Director Thought Leadership—Health from AARP to discuss the topic, “The Value of Play at All Ages.

Erwin J. Tan, MD, is a internist and geriatrician and the AARP Director of Thought Leadership—Health. While at AARP Erwin has developed the research that supports the health impact of perceptions of aging and age stereotype threat.

Erwin is currently working on healthy longevity and how play is important to health throughout a multi-stage life. Erwin previously served as the Director of Senior Corps at CNCS and as faculty a the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine where he was a co-investigator in the Baltimore Experience Corps Study. From 2003–2004, Erwin was a White House Fellow serving as a Special Assistant to the Secretary of Veterans Affairs. Erwin was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the United States Army Reserves and was born in Indonesia and is a naturalized citizen of the United States.

Here are the questions Erwin will be covering during the #WePlayChat dialogue:

Q1. We know play is valuable for children. How is it valuable for adults?
Q2. How is play related to health at all ages?
Q3. What healthy behaviors does play encourage at all ages?
Q4. How can we get more adults to play?

#WePlayChat is our monthly Twitter chat for anyone seeking to gain knowledge around the wide open field of play. Launched in 2016, our #WePlayChat participants come from 9 countries, spanning 4 continents – all tuning in to connect around PLAY.  This FREE professional learning opportunity is a great way to connect with fellow play enthusiasts, teachers and experts from across the globe.

We love sharing the voice of play on Twitter through our #WePlayChat.  We have our chats at different times on different days to get the most involvement across our membership.  You will not want to miss them! Tune in and to join in and contribute to the conversation around the value of play.


Wednesday, March 27th #Weplaychat: “Recess is Essential For Developing Young Minds” with the Voice of Play!

Join us on Wednesday, March 27th at 7:00pm EST as we welcome co-moderator Kariann from IPEMA (The International Play Equipment Manufacturers Association) and the Voice of Play, an initiative promoting growth in the quality and quantity of children’s free play and the use of playgrounds, Our March #WePlayChat will be focused on “Recess is Essential for Developing Young Minds”.

 

 

Here are the questions Kariann will be covering during the #WePlayChat dialogue:

Q1. Does your school currently have recess? If so, how long is it and is it structured or unstructured?
Q2. What are the consequences of taking recess away from a child?
Q3. Do you think recess positively changes a student’s behavior? Why or why not?
Q4. Do you think recess helps students socially? What about academically? Why or why not?

#WePlayChat is our monthly Twitter chat for anyone seeking to gain knowledge around the wide open field of play. Launched in 2016, our #WePlayChat participants come from 9 countries, spanning 4 continents – all tuning in to connect around PLAY.  This FREE professional learning opportunity is a great way to connect with fellow play enthusiasts, teachers and experts from across the globe.

We love sharing the voice of play on Twitter through our #WePlayChat.  We have our chats at different times on different days to get the most involvement across our membership.  You will not want to miss them! Tune in and to join in and contribute to the conversation around the value of play.


February #Weplaychat with The American Specialty Toy Retailing Association (ASTRA)

Please join us on Wednesday, February 27th at 12:00pm EST as we discuss, “Play Across The Lifespan” with Ahren Hoffman from ASTRA! Ahren is a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS) and Certified Play Expert (CPE) and began her career in the toy industry in 2007. In her past role as Manager

of Industry Relations & Partnerships at the National Lekotek Center, Hoffman evaluated toys and play products beneficial for all children of all abilities, at AblePlay.org, a project of Lekotek. Hoffman also provided support services to members of the toy industry to share the developmental potential and possibility of toys and play products for children. These collaborations allowed Hoffman to contribute to the creation of multiple toy gui
des and have the opportunity to be published in a manual related to the benefits of sensory play. Hoffman is active in the lecture circuit presenting to organizations and professionals in the field of child development as well as within the toy industry creating presentations and webinars for retailers, manufacturers and sales representatives. Hoffman also regularly contributes to a variety of print and online publications to advocate for the power of toys and play. Hoffman received her Bachelors of Science in Therapeutic Recreation with a minor in Psychology at Central Michigan University.

Here are the questions Ahren will be covering during our #WePlayChat dialogue:

  • Q1. Why is play across the lifespan so important?
  • Q2. What do play patterns look like across the lifespan?
  • Q3. What exactly is ‘play’ and what can you do to play across your lifespan?
  • Q4. What are the benefits of play for people of all ages and abilities?

#WePlayChat is our monthly Twitter chat for anyone seeking to gain knowledge around the wide open field of play. Launched in 2016, our #WePlayChat participants come from 8 countries, spanning 4 continents – all tuning in to connect around the value of PLAY.  This FREE professional learning opportunity is a great way to connect with fellow play enthusiasts, teachers and experts from across the globe.

January 24th #weplaychat: “Mental Health, Play & Whole Child Education” with Kim Hordal-Hlewka!

Please join us on Thursday, January 24th at 6:00pm EST (4pm MST) as we discuss, “Mental Health, Play & Whole Child Education” with the incredibly enthusiastic Kim Hordal-Hlewka from Alberta, Canada! Kim Hordal-Hlewka is the Assistant Principal of Michael Phair Junior High that opened it’s doors in the fall of 2017. Kim has taught Kindergarten to Grade 9 Physical Education and was the Physical Education, Health and Comprehensive School Health Consultant for Edmonton Public Schools. Recently Kim spent four years as the Provincial Comprehensive School Health Consultant for Ever Active Schools. Kim is extremely passionate about the importance of connecting to the whole child through physical education, health, and well-being. In past Kim has presented for @EverActiveSchoolsAB, @AlbertaHPEC, @PHECanada, Early Childhood Conferences, New Teachers Convention,

International Physical Literacy Conference, National Healthy Schools Conference, and Shaping the Future Conference.

Kim firmly believes that mental health, play & whole child education are interconnected pieces. Let’s give her a warm welcome!

Here are the questions Kim will be covering during our #WePlayChat dialogue:

  • Q1. How does a whole child approach to play & education support healthy brain development? 
  • Q2. What are the necessary elements to taking a whole child approach to play? Education? 
  • Q3. How does whole child education and play prepare students for tomorrow? 
  • Q4. How do we know when we are supporting mental health through a whole child approach?

#WePlayChat is our monthly Twitter chat for anyone seeking to gain knowledge around the wide open field of play. Launched in 2016, our #WePlayChat participants come from 8 countries, spanning 4 continents – all tuning in to connect around the value of PLAY.  This FREE professional learning opportunity is a great way to connect with fellow play enthusiasts, teachers and experts from across the globe.