See below for information on the following playful learning related resources:
The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education's (DESE/Department) Early Learning Team has launched a Playful Learning Institute (PLI) pilot initiative. Please read below for more information regarding the PLI.
The Institute is designed for district and school administrators, PK–3 inclusive classroom educators, and Out-of-School Time (OST) program staff and administrators. Participants gain tools and strategies to intentionally design and embed playful learning across the course of the day. Playful learning supports deep dives into content, creates equitable access to learning for all children, and creates many varied opportunities for authentic assessment, particularly during instructional blocks across the content areas.
The Department released a competitive Request for Proposals (RFP) (through Fund Code 347) in early January 2023 and five school teams/districts representing 7 early childhood/elementary schools have been awarded the grant to participate in the pilot of the Institute. Each school team consists of district and school administrators as well as two educators from each grade (PK–3) from the selected schools. The Institute consists of professional development (PD) for the school teams, some of which takes place in-person and some of which takes place asynchronously. District educators and leaders create an action plan for each team that is focused on the adoption of Boston Public School's Focus Curriculum and/or implementation of the playful learning/instructional practices that are utilized in this integrated curriculum. Teams decide which path they want to follow.
For the 2023-2024 school year, coaches are working with educators, preschool through 3rd grade, for 3–5 hours per month, as well as coach district/school leaders for 1–2 hours per month. This in-classroom/school coaching model is aligned with and supports implementation of the action plan created by the district/school team.
Additionally, the National Opinion Research Center (NORC) at the University of Chicago has been hired to evaluate the PLI pilot. The evaluation plan includes tools to (1) support improvements to the PLI; (2) understand the implementation experience; and (3) inform decisions about possible replication of the PLI and future DESE support for playful learning.
The Early Learning Team is partnering with the Boston Public Schools Early Childhood Department to develop the PLI. Many resources, guides, and other helpful documents will be shared throughout the planning and implementation phases of the PLI. Please check this section frequently for additional materials.
1 References in this document to any specific commercial products, processes, or services, or the use of any trade, firm, or corporate name is for the information and convenience of the public and does not constitute endorsement or recommendation by DESE. Our office is not responsible for and does not in any way guarantee the accuracy of information on other sites accessible through links herein. DESE may supplement this list with other services and products that meet the specified criteria. For more information, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or 781-338-3010.
Last Updated: September 19, 2023
Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
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Disclaimer: A reference in this website to any specific commercial products, processes, or services, or the use of any trade, firm, or corporation name is for the information and convenience of the public and does not constitute endorsement or recommendation by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.