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Children rushing - how to stop?


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I have a very able child in my class - is soaking things up like a sponge. While lovely he also has a tendency to be somewhat cheeky and recently he's started rushing everything. His writing has become careless and 'scrawly' and where he wrote in great sentences (often accurately punctuated) he is now writing things which can still be read but don't really count as sentences. In maths today we were doing a problem solving activity and he whizzed through it with lots of consequent inaccuracies where I'm sure he would usually have been really throughtful. If I have challenges in class he is always one of the first to do them but never at the level I know he is capable of. It's as if he thinks all I care about is 'finished' not how something is done. Has anyone got any suggestions for how I can motivate him to do things to the best of his ability rather than just do them? PS My apologies for the lack of paragraphs - for some reason my 'enter' key isn't working on here!

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Have you shared success criteria with him? What is it that you expect of him so that he knows what he is aiming for. Also supporting him to take on challenges where the result is about the effort put in not necessarily a 'correct' answer.

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Have definitely shared success criteria with him - maybe I need to try and find a different way to do that. Can you give me any suggestions for the kind of challenge you're talking about? That's definitely the kind of thing I have in mind but I'm struggling to think of one! I am wondering if part of the thing is that in his eyes he's seeing others 'getting away with' doing far less than I expect him to do and thinks he'll try it. They aren't of course - they're doing the absolute best they can but able as he is I don't think he'd understand that. Thanks for your help.

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Why is he rushing? I mean what is his target?

 

Is there an activity he really wants to get to?

 

Does he want to get away from something?

 

Does someone praise him for finishing things quickly?

 

Are the tasks too far below his ability for him to see them as worthwhile?

 

I think you need to work out what is motivating the rushing in order to work out how to slow him down.

 

If being quickest is his target, could you motivate him by giving him a timer and asking him to give you the best work he can do in the time available?

 

I speak as a childminder and a parent, not a teacher.

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Thanks for the questions Upsy Daisy. I think you're right - I need to work out the why. Tasks definitely not below his ability - I'm really pushing him. I'm pretty sure he's not trying to get away from something. He may want to be getting to do something although I've never pulled him away from anything - he's always one that chooses to come to the activity I'm leading so it's not that I've interrupted and he wants to get back to something. I'll have a deeper think about your other questions - really useful. Alabaloo - my enter key is fine in Word - is yours?

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I'll be interested to see what you come up with on this one. I've just finished in my maternity cover role but I had one boy just like yours too. I felt like I was either nagging him or letting him get away with doing less than I knew he could. Will follow with interest if you don't mind.

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I'll be interested to see what you come up with on this one. I've just finished in my maternity cover role but I had one boy just like yours too. I felt like I was either nagging him or letting him get away with doing less than I knew he could. Will follow with interest if you don't mind.

Of course! Glad to hear it's not just me. I'm asking this now with a view to mulling things over the Easter break and tackling him afresh in the summer term. It could of course, be partly that it's the end of term, he's tired but he's essentially a 'good' boy and will do whatever I ask of him - he's just trying to make it as easy as possible for himself.

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You're talking about my youngest son. :D

A sponge was exactly how his reception teacher described him (loveable rogue was another description) , but she said he would day dream, not answer questions, never put his hand up and rushed things.When I spoke to him he said he knew the answers so why should he tell them to anyone else. :blink:

Edited by Rea
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I like it Rea! My one always answers, in fact is really eager to participate, friendly, helpful, kind to others. In fact this afternoon I had to smile - one other boy came up and asked me to make a paper aeroplane for him. I told him that I'd tell/show him how to so he could remember for himself. I was genuinely in the middle of something where I was using both hands at the same time and was trying (and failing!) to explain what 'fold in half' meant. Boy number 1 came over, watched for a moment then just took over and explained beautifully and patiently what to do. Neither plane is likely to fly anywhere mind you but it was so sweet and lovely to see. There must be some EYFSP boxes I can tick with that bit of evidence ;):P

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