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Challenge in continuous provision...

Discussion in 'Early Years' started by giggles_88, Mar 3, 2012.

  1. I've been doing a lot of research this morning about challenge within continuous provision. I've read a number of threads and the ABC does blog and picked up a few ideas but I'm still not clear in how I am going to make this work in my classroom.
    I thought about having a 'Challenge area' but how can I make this open ended enough to be accessible to all abilities? I do not have another adult that can support and challenge children within their CI play every day.
    Looking forward to any help on this matter!! [​IMG]

  2. You can't guarantee that children will 'rise' to challenges you set them to be met in continuous provision areas. After all the idea of CI play is that children should decide their own goals. But maybe you could consider challenging children through providing 'raw materials' which lend themselves to problem solving. This would be about sometimes limiting the resources available in CP areas. For instance, instead of having plastic boats in the water area have junk modelling materials, plasticine, balsa wood. Instead of having a set up role play area have baskets of fabric pieces, pegs, rope etc. instead of having paintbrushes and readymix paint available at the painting easel have powder paint and water, spoons, lolly sticks etc. See what children make of what is provided. To introduce it you could say that you have lent the eg water toys to another class so have put some other stuff out that could make boats. But of course the children may very well not make boats but do something else!
  3. Clevercrocodiles

    Clevercrocodiles New commenter

    The only way that this actually works in class, especially if you do not have any support is to talk to the children about it first, usually in great detail and get them excited about it. if you just leave it there usually lots of mess and lost pieces happen! Continuous provision in Reception really is beginning to worry me. I am looking into the research too and am not sure that it is very worthwhile unless you have spent time modelling and allowing children time to share 'thinking' with you and the rest of the class. Sorry not much help on this matter, as I too am giving it lots of thought.
  4. I agree. If you want the children to do something specific then you have to talk (a lot), demonstrate and monitor. The problem then is that children try to reproduce what you have done and it ceases to be CI.Basically, the powers that be have to decide - if they want CI learning to happen they have to acknowledge that this cannot have an objective (and a challenge is an objective in disguise) without ceasing to be CI learning because it is being initiated by an adult. On the other hand they might say they want to see progress and evidence of progress in every lesson, in which case the children need to be working to some form of objective or challenge following adult instructions. You can't have it both ways. CI learning is important in foundation partly because of assessment (80% through CI), and partly due to practicalities. Young children find it difficult to follow instructions independently, so if the are not enough staff to support the learning objective is unlikely to be met.
  5. We've started to use "talk tins" to provide little challenges/extend the children in certain areas. I record myself and leave the tin near to relevant toys/areas of the classroom. I guess if its a set challenge then its not technically child initiated...for example on one of my talk tins last week I recorded myself saying "Can you build a beanstalk using only green lego? How tall a beanstalk can you build?" So if a child chose to do this...its not technically child initiated. But it helps to extend the children/provide them with ideas..and the messages you record dont have to be quite a directed/challenge based as the example ive just given!

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