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Advice needed please Boys not engaging.


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Hi!

 

Sorry the title is so vague.... Basically I have a question to ask... I have 4 boys in my class who only ever choose to play in the construction corner which we often leave as an imagination lead area, rather than setting specific tasks and objectives. We try to engage them in other areas, try to tailor the activities around their interests etc. but unless the activities are adult lead they rush the activities in the other areas if we direct them there to get back to the construction. Due to this my head has said that my area is inadequate as they are not engaged in their learning. The head comes in and asks them what they are learning from building... and they say 'I don;t know'... However this is something that I believe any 4 year old child would be answer with no matter what area they are in when they're engaged in their 'learning time'.. maybe I'm wrong?

I have tried to get them to make me diagrams of their buildings and I pay them for their buildings with toy money, trying to direct their attention elsewhere etc but nothing works!

Any advice would be highly appreciated.

 

Thank you!

Amz

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this is a bit drastic, but how about shutting this area down in the mornings or for a week or so? this will force them to go elsewhere and they will probably realise other activities are fun too. we had a girl in nursery last year who only engaged in mark-making, so every day for the last half hour, in between the teaching time and story time we put all mark-making items away for a week. the result was she had to try other things, and she began to use the doh and small world as well as mark-making. i would say denying everyone this for 2 and a half hours in the year was worth it...... or have a band system, and only allow 4 at a time to use the area, and once they have had a go, that's it for the morning/day - explaining about fairness for all - it's not fair for a few people to monopolise resources.

and i agree having had reception before moving into nursery that a lot of children would not be able to say what they are learning, especially so early in the year x

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I think Sooty99's idea is definitely worth trying.

Also, I can't think of a single child in our Pre-school Room, even bright 4-year-olds who could say what they are learning from their activities/play. It's our job to work out what they're learning! :1b

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Can you try a high-scope type approach when your children have to say where they are going and what they are going to do there?

Model and teach some ways of using the areas and then ask them in a plenary where they have been and what they have learnt.

It will take time but it is possible to start talking about learning objectives to put some purpose into the play/work. It will then become easier for the children to respond when asked what they are learning.

Can you put some learning prompts within your continuous provision areas such as the construction as that might help you too.

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have you seen Alistair Bryce Cleggs blog - he talks a lot about engaging boys (he also has books out too)

www.abcdoestypepad.com

 

We've struggled with this previously but on the positive side what is such a strong interest is also a strong motivator so can be used to 'hook' them into the challenges you plan in to their play

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