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19 Boys....what To Do?


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Hello,

 

I hope some of you may have some ideas to help coz im losing the plot! hehe :)

 

I've got 19 very lively boys and 10 girls in my Reception class and i am running out of things for them to do, especially in the current rainy weather conditions.

 

I have been in Reception for 5 years, but have not had such a high percentage of boys before. I'm trying all the designs in construction areas, and the outside area as much as possiible. (I know its meant to be all of the time...its is almost all of the time). They just charge around the Reception area like headless chickens with some adults. I'm getting them to choose their activities. I could keep all of them afirly content for a day in the construction area building rockets and flying them around. Would love to hear things others do?

 

Gem

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I really feel for you - I have some quite lively boys, but not 19 of them! My classroon was flooded over the holidays (burst pipe) so we are in the hall at the moment. Some of my boys are really struggling without access to the outdoor area! I try and follow the boys' interests - our themes often seem to be 'boy focussed' as the girls seem to go with the flow whatever we do. These are some activities I have found effective in the past to redirect their energies!

Large construction outside (crates, tyres, boxes, tubes etc)

Large cardboard boxes to paint/decorate (usually end up as rockets!)

Den making

Clipboards and pens

Tool belts with writing equipment in

Making props for role play in Creative Area (child inititiated e.g. a Ben 10 omnitrix from cardboard boxes!)

Drawing/painting on very large pieces of paper

I'm sure some more people will be along soon with some good ideas!

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Oh no...thats not ideal. I hope it wont be too long before you get back in. Thanks thats given me a few ideas...they are so loud when they are all inside...but they do love the big construction. May keep my eye out for large cardboard boxes. We have quite a few boy type topics, which is definitely helping. Hoping it might even out next year :)

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Have you thought of getting them to manage their own noise levels?

 

You could nominate a 'noise monitor', whose job it is to tell the class when the noise is above an acceptable level. You can also buy something called a 'chatter tracker' which is a set of traffic lights and you set the decibel level. When they go over that level a warning alarm goes off.

 

It's a good self discipline for them to learn to manage their own noise but I appreciate it's not easy with that many in the class!

 

Are you also having some 'quiet time' to balance out all that child initiated stuff and to give you and the quieter ones a rest? I sometimes think we tend to cater for noisy, boisterous children and it can be easy to overlook the quieter ones who also have a 'right' to learning in the way they wish.

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Evening, last year I had 11 boys and three girls and I don't think in my 14 years of teaching I have been so exhausted! I know exactly how you feel. I was pulling my hair out this time last year. I will go back over last years plans and try to help with some ideas. I do remember that our topics were very much geared towards the boys but my girls were happy to go along with them not so easy with ten though. Hope to have more for you soon.

Nicky

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It must be a year for boys! This year Ive got 15 boys and 4 girls. The boys are all very physical which has caused a few problems because they love play fighting and their favourite thing to make is guns (not sure this is appropriate for a child initiated topic!).

 

We have free flow for the majority of the morning but a lot would rather stay inside in the miserable weather so don't burn much energy. I have found that I try to fill all my classroom with activities as any empty space is often seen as a great place for wrestling (especially the carpet area!) and too much free choice usually leads to mayhem so try to break the day up a bit with small carpet sessions.

 

We don't have an awful lot in the resource area so would be nice to hear more ideas for areas of provision!

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Hi thanks for all the replies.

 

I know what you mean about any free space, and if i let them all 19 would probably spend the whole day in the construction area making guns and spaceships.

 

Think i may look into ways of sorting the noise levels.

 

Look forward to hearing any more ideas

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Hi thanks for all the replies.

 

I know what you mean about any free space, and if i let them all 19 would probably spend the whole day in the construction area making guns and spaceships.

 

Think i may look into ways of sorting the noise levels.

 

Look forward to hearing any more ideas

 

I am a pre-school and in September I have 30 children on role 6 girls the rest the boys. We are already planning outside activities A LOT

What we have noticed is wqhen there is a high ratio of boys our resources wear out quicker throgh excess use.

 

I find boys are lively but also loving and do love an active story.

 

Hope you get through it

Sue

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I too have a boy heavy class this year - 21 boys and 8 girls. I'm finding it hard work as a lot of the boys just want to run when outside, which I suppose is OK as they obviously have lots of energy - but they are so noisy and don't adjust their voices when they come inside. They don't seem particularly interested in doing anything 'productive' outside - even den building become a quick put 4 crates together, cover it with fabric and then knock it over with whoever is inside getting hurt! They don't talk to each other but just shout - and they don't listen to each other, talking over the top of each other. They don't seem to be getting any better even though we have snack and talk time with key person - so 15 in a group - every day. Sorry, I sound like a real grump xD but it is hard work. And I really feel for the girls who are all quiet and well behaved and a small handful of boys! I really wonder whether so much outdoor is actually benefitting them, or whether they'd be better with more quiet structured time. I know this goes against the EYFS but I'm worried that they're not going to learn much as they can't/don't listen.

 

I just know someone's going to reply being cross with me ... but it's how I'm feeling at the moment. :o SORRY

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I just know someone's going to reply being cross with me ... but it's how I'm feeling at the moment. :o SORRY

 

 

Harricroft how I feel for you it is so tiring with a group as you describe and you have as much right to enhjoy your day as the children do!

 

it sounds as if some thinking very creativitely is needed and perhaps the boys need more challenging so can you put some competition into the environment so fo example a tournament to see who can run to a cone and back as many times as possible in say 1,2,3 minutes then have a board with a scoring pad. That way the boys will have to keep going rather than just who is the quickest. I am sure you could put this type of activity into many of the outdoor resources.

 

The in adult directed time could you begin with a very physical warm up so they need to catch their breath for the input something like the parachute, skipping, etc.

 

Then I am sure you have done this but the boys need to know that their behaviour is not acceptable and perhaps they could come up wioth some ideas of what they would like to do but if they breech the boundaries they will have to know the activity will cease! Alastair has some excellent ideas on his blog.

 

You got me thinking so I surfed for a while and found this interesting article!

 

http://www.teachingexpertise.com/articles/...arly-years-6493

 

Good luck and keep up your spirit!

 

Lorna

Edited by LornaW
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Really interested to read all of these comments - they just go to show that we all share very similar issues with most (not all) boys!

 

I have found that the secret to managing all children, but especially boys, is engagement. If they are causing you issues with bad behaviour during free play or continuous provision it is probably because they are not engaged at a deep enough level.

 

Look at what they are doing when they are highly engaged (even if you don't like what it is they are doing at the time) and try and base your teaching around the 'essence' of that.

 

What you absolutely can't do is just let your boys roam your outdoors for a year. Without direct teaching they will not learn enough of the right things. You need to try an shoe-horn your teaching into the spaces where they like to be.

 

When boys are given the choice in continuous provision, they tend to go for the familiar and easy. Rarely have I seen the sort of boys that we are talking about independently take on a challenge. They like to do what they can do!

 

A lot of that decision is to do with self esteem - what you might call male ego! Even very young boys can have one and they don't like it dented! So rather than take on a new challenge and fail - go for the familiar. This is usually especially the case in all things academic. Boys tend to be more confident about their 'physical' self and therefore happier to take a chance.

 

The single biggest inhibitor of children's attainment is not poverty of gender, it is self esteem.

 

I have been working with a number of settings recently looking at how you can effectively put challenge into your continuous provision for all children. You cannot guarantee what those boys (or any children) will do in those areas when you are not there but what you can do is maximise the potential for their learning and minimise the risk of faliure.

 

In one setting we took the very antisocial behaviour of boys with guns etc and rather than ban it, we set up 'Boot Camp'. Once we had given them a designated place to play with guns and got them involved in writing the rules etc. (which we stuck to like glue! ONE strike and you were out until an adult invited you back in) We found that we maintained high levels of engagement whilst reducing the levels of anti social behaviour. Once established we added, CLL, PSRN, Den making, problem solving and LOADS more. It gave the setting some brilliant results.

 

Imagine doing a shape assessment when you can shoot the shapes with a water pistol as opposed to pulling them out of a bag. You know which these boys would rather do. Same objective just done via an activity based on children's learning preferences therefore higher levels of engagement - RESULT!

 

 

 

Hope this helps a bit!

 

Alistair

 

blog: www.abcdoes.typepad.com

post-31596-1295357766_thumb.jpg

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Some wonderful ideas there Lorna and Alistair - I'll definately have a go at some of these. Particulary like the idea of making things into a competition (I know immediately which of the boys would rise to this!) and also the boot camp :o

 

It's always reassuring to know we're not alone with the problems we're having, and also that someone's ready to offer advise.

 

Thanks

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Have you come across ‘Confident, capable and Creative: supporting boys’ achievements’ it includes ‘real life’ examples from EY practitioners. It can be downloaded for free from http://www.education.gov.uk/publications/s...DCSF-00682-2007

 

Last year my class were 2 thirds very active boys. I found linking my teaching with books that will really appeal to boys, such as Superhero ABC, worked well during teacher directed sessions http://www.amazon.com/SuperHero-ABC-Bob-Mcleod/dp/0060745142

 

Other books that were a hit included

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Traction-Man-Here-...y/dp/0224064959

 

http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_0...n+its+scary+poo

 

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Naughty-Bus-Jan-Ok...5945&sr=8-1

 

Hope that helps. All the best

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Guest lucyevans

Thanks - I've just ordered some of those :o

 

Have you come across ‘Confident, capable and Creative: supporting boys’ achievements’ it includes ‘real life’ examples from EY practitioners. It can be downloaded for free from http://www.education.gov.uk/publications/s...DCSF-00682-2007

 

Last year my class were 2 thirds very active boys. I found linking my teaching with books that will really appeal to boys, such as Superhero ABC, worked well during teacher directed sessions http://www.amazon.com/SuperHero-ABC-Bob-Mcleod/dp/0060745142

 

Other books that were a hit included

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Traction-Man-Here-...y/dp/0224064959

 

http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_0...n+its+scary+poo

 

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Naughty-Bus-Jan-Ok...5945&sr=8-1

 

Hope that helps. All the best

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I too have many boisterous boys many with additional needs and am finding it hard to cope. Also because I am in year one we have no outdoor area to let them run off steam in!

 

I've started a listening skills group which six of them go to twice a week with my TA. It gives all the quiet ones in the classroom (and me!) a bit of a break and actually seems to be helping them develop their concentration. It might be a bit against the EYFS but I think small group time where they can be quiet in an environment with no distractions is good for them.

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I too have many boisterous boys many with additional needs and am finding it hard to cope. Also because I am in year one we have no outdoor area to let them run off steam in!

 

I've started a listening skills group which six of them go to twice a week with my TA. It gives all the quiet ones in the classroom (and me!) a bit of a break and actually seems to be helping them develop their concentration. It might be a bit against the EYFS but I think small group time where they can be quiet in an environment with no distractions is good for them.

 

 

Listening is an essential skill, without it future learning is going to be severely inhibited, It can not be against EFYS to develop this skill.

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My thoughts exactly Susan, but I have come across some EYFS people who have a fit at the suggestion of groups like this for EYFS children!

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