Liked Kids Need Play and Recess. Their Mental Health May Depend on It. by Michael J. Hynes (Education Week - Peter DeWitt's Finding Common Ground)
Let's provide more opportunities in school so children learn how to make decisions and develop an internal locus of control. This way a child can influence events and outcomes in their own lives and in return, we will have more children who are potentially less anxious and depressed, all which inhibits their true potential as human beings. It's time we rethink the purpose of education and how invaluable free play and recess can be for all children. Their mental health and lives may depend on it.
Bookmarked The anti-cottonwool schools where kids stare down risk in favour of nature play - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) (mobile.abc.net.au)
Mr Smith said whereas students would previously come to the office complaining of injury, they are now too busy to make a fuss. "Students are becoming more resilient and getting on with it." The school has just three rules โ€” no stacking milk creates, no walking on the large wooden spools and no tying rope to yourself.
This article from the ABC discusses a couple of schools in Western Australia that have reduced the rules on outdoor play. THis reminds me of Narissa Leung’s use of old bricks and Adrian Camm’s use of odd material to enage with play.
Bookmarked Learning in and with Nature: The Pedagogy of Place by Diane Kashin (Technology Rich Inquiry Based Research)
From the beach as place to the forest as place, what is important is the meaning making. Cumming and Nash (2015) discovered that not only do children develop a sense of place from their experiences learning in the forest, they also form an emotional attachment to place that contributes to place meaning. Place meaning can help to explain why people may be drawn to particular places. Place meaning helps to support the development of place identity, and to promote a sense of belonging. I am grateful for the opportunity this summer to experience the beach and the forest. It is my hope that children will be given the gifts of these places too.
Diane Kashin discusses her interest in nature as a space to learn and play. She shares the story of collecting beach glass on the shores of Lake Huron. This reminds me of Alan Levine’s reflection on ‘106‘ and Amy Burvall’s focus on looking down. Kashin’s story of collecting that which was once rubbish reminds me of Shaun Tan’s picture book The Lost Thing. Actually, most of his books can be appreciated as noticing space, place and belonging.

Bookmarked Messing About with Messy Play: Messy Maths and More (Technology Rich Inquiry Based Research)
By messing about and getting messy, teachers learn the value of messy play. They see the potential of open-ended exploration with loose parts indoors and outdoors. Perhaps a belief in the Theory of Messing About will support the reconsideration of โ€œPinterest Prettyโ€ and โ€œInstagram Beautifulโ€.
I recently attended a regional meeting which involved a focus on ‘STEM’ involving random objects. It was amazing to watch the creativity with the seemingly scrap materials. This is a hat that my table made with that being our brief:

One of the interesting things that I observed through the activity was the storytelling that naturally came out of the activity.

Replied to My Growing Lego (First) Obsession | Graham Wegner - Open Educator by Graham Wegner (gwegner.edublogs.org)
Don't let anyone tell you that you're just playing with toys when you are involved in FLL. You are developing skills to become the future engineers and future scientists of our nation.
I think that Lego can be powerful in so many ways. I remember my Year Fours furiously constructing worlds and vessels with the basic of blocks. It was fascinating and gave me an insight into a whole other world. I have also seen some students really dive into the NXT world.

My only question about the power and potential of First League is how many students it impacts? Too often such activities are restricted to a lunchtime club. I think that this applies to a number of STEM projects. I have a real issue with Fullen, when he says in A Rich Seam that the answer for ‘personalisation’ is often out of class:

We collected over 2000 cards from local businesses which was good but we only had one disc cutter so it too a long time to cut out the bracelets. Actually making the bracelets took a long time with split rings so we changed to regular rings. We got a lot of orders and spent nearly every lunch time making the orders. We were still making and delivering them on the last day of school! We met with a jewellery store buyer in Birmingham and she is giving us a table at a street event in the summer which is awesome.

Apologies if I have misread (or poorly read) your reflections Graham – and I think what you are doing is awesome – I am just wondering about the rest of the students.