The Importance of Play in Elementary Schools

The Importance of Play in Elementary Schools

I was currently published in the International Journal of Play Therapy for my research done during my graduate work at the University of Saint Thomas. I focused my research on the effectiveness of using play activities during small group lessons to help improve appropriate classroom behaviors. I wish I could freely share my research here, but I think the IJPT wouldn’t appreciate that much. Please take some time to look for it though. The article title is Examining the Use of Play Activities to Increase Appropriate Classroom Behaviors. Below I have given you excerpts from the unedited version of my manuscript, including all the research I did on people who previously utilized play in schools. Read more


Connecting With Others

I have two major things to share . . . Read more


Comfort Food for Chilly Weather

My mom came to visit this weekend.

PS. By the looks of this photo you may need to know that on Saturday it was NO WHERE near chilly. So not only were we sweaty, but our skin had some nice color added to it (I clearly need to defend the looks of me).
Anyways . . . It’s one of her many trips to visit me, but this one we started 5 years ago when I moved to Houston. Each year she comes down to run the Race for the Cure Houston. Read more


To-Do Lists

In an effort to hold high expectations for myself, I decided to make a to-do list yesterday and cross off the items as I went along.

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Me, As Dancer and Student

Friday Update:

I sent home permission forms to all the Kindergarten parents asking them to let me use their son’s data in my Action Research Project.

Also, in case you don’t know the reason for my research is to investigate the outcome of teaching social skills strategies practiced through play activities to address a child’s social needs at school. So, through my hope is through these mini-lessons, the boys will choose classroom behaviors that promote learning and achievement for everyone.  I will meet with the boys in small groups to practice these social skills through play activities.

It took me so long to send these home because I was/am afraid parents will say no. My fear originated from a few parents not giving permission for their son to participate in the New Knight Lunch Bunch. And in my mind who wouldn’t want their son to participate in that??

Well, here is what they don’t tell you in Grad School . . . parents say no, it’s nothing against you or your program, they just say no. Let go and let God!

So, I was brave and sent those permission forms home. Everyone please say a little prayer that 80-90% come back saying YES.

I also have to share this hilarious story with you (and yes I’m sure it’s one of those stories that is only funny because I was there witnessing/actively involved in it).

I went to dance at So Real Dance Studio. Seriously, click on the link, go to the website, and just watch the video on their home page. Doing those 3 steps may help you understand my story a bit better.

Okay so I attended class there Friday night with my HSC (Houston Stallions Cheerleader) pal Jackie. We decided to take So Real’s Jazz/Funk and Hip Hop classes. First of all, Jazz/Funk in my mind was some serious, dirty hip hop and their Hip Hop class was some serious non-white girl, dirty, swag hip hop. So, all in all this blonde hair white girl stuck out like a sore thumb.

Let’s do a little math. There were about 20-25 people in class. 5 of which were white, 2 of which were white girls, 1 of which was blonde . . .  yep ME! Yep I was the whitest girl and yes I lacked the most swag.

Especially since the hip hop I normally do looks like this. Seriously, watch it and compare the two videos! It’s impossible to compare, hence the suck factor that was my dancing on Friday night.

I’m telling you I was out danced by a 6 year old boy! This boy probably walks around his Kindergarten class telling his peeps that he don’t listen to no stinkin’ Kidz Bop. Also, I’m pretty sure at age 6, this kid is already a ladies man. If it wasn’t against the rules at So Real, I would have videoed him to prove my point. And actually, assuming he is in Kindergarten, I want him in my research study!

Anyways. let’s fast forward.

Saturday Update:

Remember how I told you I woke up with a sore throat Friday am? Well, yes I know going to two hours worth of serious hip hopping was not helping matters, but I woke up Saturday with a fever. I sat at home for as long as I could, but was destined to get out for a manicure.

And I know I shouldn’t be out running around with a fever, but I couldn’t help myself.


Today, has been filled with homework and coffee.

They recommend that you have a study buddy. Well here is mine:

I wanted to show you a little bit about what me, as student looks like.

Mainly it looks like trying my very best to keep this perfectionist organized.

1. I like to make lists.

2. I like to cross things off.


3. I like to highlight as I read.

4. I then have to go back through the chapter as the professor is lecturing to write in pencil extra notes.

5. And to make it a permanent fixture in my brain, I go back for a third time and outline the chapter.

With three classes on the board this FINAL semester, I organize all my documents on my flash drive.

So, I guess this work-avoidance/blogging session should probably come to an end, so that I can finishing studying my foreign language/descriptive statistics.


Pretty much all I’ve gotten out of it so far is mean, median, and mode, which is also the extent to which 3rd graders understand statistics, so I pretty much have a load of work to do . . .

Happy restful Sunday all!


Scenes From This Morning

After Spencer’s alarm went off this morning, I realized I had a sore throat. Yep, I have officially lost my immunity to the sniffles, coughs, and sneezes that accompany boys under the age of 8. So, after racking my brain for what exactly to do for a sore throat, I came up with nothing. With nothing else to do while I waited for my alarm to go off signaling the mad dash to get ready for work, I decided to make my self a cup of coffee and catch up on some reading. Read more


11 Days And Counting

There is nothing worse than “renting” textbooks for a small fortune.

All this reminds me that I do indeed start my last semester of grad school in exactly 11 days. Read more