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  4. How do I support play schemas?

How do I support play schemas?

In the previous section, you read about what play schemas might look like and what children would be learning through play. In this section, you will consider how to support schematic play. Before you jump in, a little reminder of where you are at so far:

  • Schemas are repeated actions and behaviours that can be seen in different areas of the learning environment.
  • Not all children will show schemas, nor will they look the same between children. You may find children in the same room have different inquiries and schemas. Some children may display more than one schema at a time.
  • Schemas are an opportunity to honour the child as an individual, respond to children’s interests and get to know children better.

Your role in supporting schemas in play?

Your role as an early years educator shifts continually throughout the day. You are constantly in a state of flux, which sees you as an observer, facilitator, documenters, inquirer…and the list goes on.

Click on the cards to reflect on the different roles you play!

What do you see happening in a specific learning area? Do you see these actions repeated in other areas of the room?
Is there a specific schema that this play connects to? Does this make sense to all the adults in the room supporting the play and learning.
What resources, invitations, provocations can you include in the learning area to support these explorations? What questions and interactions can you offer that would scaffold the learning?
How can you share this learning with parents? What ways could they support at home? How can other children be invited to explore?

What next?

You may have already observed the children through this new ‘schema’ lens and noticed that there are repeated play behaviours; now identified as particular schemas. The next step is considering how to support these schemas by providing resources which allow for further explorations in an appropriate way.

We know life as an educator is a busy one, especially as you jump from role-to-role, so we have put together a set of posters to help as you don your facilitator cape! Download this poster set to support schematic play in your classroom.

Encourage children's natural play with our eight schema posters

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In the next section, we shall explore how we can improve our interactions through schematic play.

Disclaimer: This guide has been produced independently of and not endorsed by the IB. Toddle’s resources seek to encourage sharing of perspectives and innovative ideas for classroom teaching & learning. They are not intended to be replacements for official IB guides and publications. Views and opinions expressed by the authors of these resources are personal and should not be construed as official guidance by the IB. Please seek assistance from your school’s IB coordinator and/or refer to official IB documents before implementing ideas and strategies shared within these resources in your classroom.