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Discussion in 'Early Years' started by emilystrange, Feb 4, 2012.

  1. emilystrange

    emilystrange Star commenter

    on thursday, i thought i'd do a frozen scene in the tuff spot outside for a bit of a talking point. they've all been talking about the coming snow, etc... so in went polar bears, whales, penguins, a nice rocky beach, some water to freeze, etc.. bit of glitter... looked lovely on friday morning.
    after 5 minutes, it had been smashed up with a trowel, sand poured all over it, and buckets and spades chucked on top of it.
  2. MissMynett

    MissMynett New commenter

    We had almost the same problem. I put water in the water tray with sea creatures and glitter on Tuesday. On Wednesday i managed to discourage the children from breaking it up with sticks and we had some interesting comments about freezing. But by Thursday temptation had proved too great and someone got hit in the eye :(
  3. emilystrange

    emilystrange Star commenter

    we had a quiet but very serious 'chat' about it... 'i saw some ice so decided to smash it up' 'did you see all the penguins and polar bears?' 'no...*shrug*'
  4. This is what chidren do - it's their kind of un-adult-erated fun.
    I have a police station for role play this half term and I'm at the end of my tether with it (and the children!).
    They are using it as an excuse to break every rule, running round madly, shouting, hurting each other accidently and deliberately, messing up the classroom, breaking things - and then they come up to the police station and shout in through the window "I've been naughty!", so they can get arrested and then be in there when it's someone else's turn.
    And I'm left thinking "Yes, you have - really!"
    I've put lots of adult support in there, including myself. I've explained that real criminals do not hand themselves in like that. I've gone over our rules and asked why we still have to keep them, which they seem to completely understand. We've talked about what pretending is, and what sorts of pretend crimes we could do. I've introduced the idea that 2 children are PC's, 2 are members of the public reporting a crime and 2 are the criminals, but we still get others doing random 'naughty' stuff, others reporting crimes, and the 2 police officers arrest anyone that takes their fancy!!
    I would dearly love to let them get on with it, but I can't allow the total lack of discipline that ensues when I do!!
    And it's not the first time we've had a police station. But it's the first time the behaviour has descended so far down. Considering getting really cross with them and shutting it!
  5. emilystrange

    emilystrange Star commenter

    yes, there's a lot of blatant disregard for rules, lately... this is just one in a list of broken things, ruined roleplays, etc.
    i think i will remove some outdoor play/resource priviledges, whether they're supposed to have them or not. am fed up of things being trashed and the kids not giving a toss. this isn't only YR - my Y2s are equally heedless and they've been working to the same rules for 2 and a half years.
    also fed up of 'circle time will mend everything'. sometimes a good telling off and not allowing certain things works. am very cross, can you tell?
  6. On your side emilystrange!
  7. Go for it!
  8. I'm also with you on this one.When my class trash the role play I close it. The message is finally getting through to them. If you never teach them to respect things they simply won't learn!
  9. Those who really speak 'rules and regulations' to you are the police? Not so your students. Anarchy is alive and well, eh? I can understand your frustration. What you need to do is a) either discuss the role of the police (and reinforce on YOUR terms) or b) choose a topic that does not elicit such a rule bound response. I never do dinosaurs because I cannot stand the roaring component that is inevitable in the topic. So... choose a topic that suits you. Sounds obvious in many ways and not CI but if you can't stand the play that evolves, stick with what you can stand!
  10. emilystrange

    emilystrange Star commenter

    this was wanton destruction, not play! it wasn't even part of the theme, it was in response to their interests.
    if only they'd compared and contrasted the ice to the climate of ancient egypt...
    thanks, all. they've been told that outside play will be severely limited. am considering not having a roleplay 'area' as such next half term. that may pass when i calm down, but at the minute, they can whistle for it *frown*

  11. Yep .. wanton destruction .. young children. Set the strong boundaries very early on or don't let those children engage in that area. Some years ago I set up a beautiful display on healthy food, included some very exotic tastings, cost me a small fortune.. And guess what?... A 5 year old ate all the goodies. She wasn't being disrespectful or disruptive or anything else.... she was being a 5 year old with different values from mine. Taught me a massive lesson!
  12. marymoocow

    marymoocow Star commenter

    Glad it's not just me then. I'm at the end of my tether. Last week I ended up putting lots of resources away and closed off one of the rooms, leaving them with very little to play with. I also threatened to charge their parents for the broken things. Am seriously considering this too. My partner teacher wants to do superheros next term, oh joy! Like they need another excuse to run around wild. Did it once before and swore never again.
  13. emilystrange

    emilystrange Star commenter

    those children WON'T be engaging in that area. there are strong boundaries set from day 1, sanctions given when needed - some of them really don't seem to learn from it or care much.
  14. I've only had about three children like that this year but they drive me mad, I have had broken roleplay items, broken pirate ship and when its tidy up time they just throw everything everywhere. As I've only had three I put them onto sticker books whereby they get a sticker for each good session and these go home with them each evening and come back next morning - this is after liaison with their parents of course. They also have time out and I have threatened to take all the toys and activities away if they can't be looked after. Children respond to and respect firm and consistent boundaries, even if they still break them. I did one year sit them all down at their tables with the toys away (only for five minutes) but it worked as if any nonsense started again I only had to remind them what life was like without them. I haven't done that yet this year but would be prepared to if necessary. I get fed up when people ***** foot around children, you can be very firm, even quite strict with high expectations and still care massivley for them and give them fantastic opportunities, my children love me to bits and we have lots of laughs and of course I prefer not to be strict but I will be if I have to because otherwise how else will they learn? I really feel for you with a class full of them though - very tiring and soul destroying!

  15. emilystrange

    emilystrange Star commenter

    :( i know
    some of mine are ok, they just forget sometimes. but that on top of the majority is wearing... tidy up time is as you say just chucking things on a pile near where it should go. IF they tidy up at all - i have some very clever avoiders and one who raises an eyebrow at me when i tell her to get on with it. red rag to a bull... or in this case, miserable cow!
  16. I am reminded of a criticism I was given once, which was that my classroom (nursery) did not have the wow factor. What was the wow factor? They liked floaty bits of material (the children pulled them and ran through them), a book reading tent I had made on a metal frame with fabric (the children demolished it by sliding under the fabric or pushing it back, each day), a display of children's work with objects they had made of salt dough (children disassembled this each day and broke items). They wanted more of this type of stuff.It strikes me that SLT have no idea what young children are like, and indeed, what they like. There are certain things that are wasted on them, or that are unsuitable for them, and it is a waste of time providing these things, except perhaps that they look good to adults who know nothing about young children.Young children are doers, not viewers. They are not impressed by the look of things for more than 1 minute. They become totally absorbed in doing and exploring with their hands, and with changing anything that can be changed. This is the attraction of sand and water.I take from this the policy of never presenting children with the ready-made, because they have to make things themselves (except, occasionally, as examples - but I'm hardened to the fact that examples will be 'misused' and destroyed).I don't expect children to have the same standards as myself when judging what is worthwhile. But I do try to tune into their judgements and thoughts, what they are getting out of activities, and basically how they're little minds are working. This does not lead to the 'wow' factor, which is a shame as then the environment gets marked down by snoopers. If children are not playing with items as intended then it is important to judge what the child is doing with the items, what is positive and useful about it, and changing the activity to cater for this. If their behaviour in the role play is destructive, give them a box of items to play pretend games with so they have nothing to destroy. You will not resent the time you spent making the role play area 'wow'. If they chuck the snow scene around and smash up the ice, put the snow scene items away and give them ice in the water tray or a tuff spot with tools to smash it up.
  17. Much of what you say thumbie absolutely hits the nail on the head.
    We have had our police station outdoors before. The 'station' was always a complete tip, but we had lots of helmets and there was more scope for running around shouting and it mattered less than it does in the classroom.
    Boxes of stuff is a good idea - I have just used dressing up clothes for role play before. Once we made the costume shop, after watching Mr Benn.
    But it is heartening to see so many of these posts here advocating the firm hand. I actualy like the idea of a mass time out (probably not everyone though) when they wantonly break rules that were well established before the police station was there.
    hope to continue following this thread with interest!
  18. katycustard

    katycustard Occasional commenter

    Excellent advice thumbie. I think tuning into the children's thinking and behaviour is the way to go, if possible. Why are they doing what they are, what can you do to aid them to do what they want and what you want? I think having the police station outside where running and shouting can be okay is a good idea. Ice does cry out to be smashed up doesn't it? Sometimes trying to see things through the eyes of a child is the right way to go, rather than through the eyes of the teacher!
  19. emilystrange

    emilystrange Star commenter

    all true, and i don't often give them such ready made items. and yes, ice is meant to be smashed - in the right context. if the tuff spot had just been filled with plain water, fair enough, and i probably would have intended for that to happen. but it wasn't. it was clearly set up as a large scene. the plastic animals aren't small, neither are the stones put in it for the beach, etc. it wasn't even the rowdy ones, this time. it was two small, sweet, pretty little princess girls. (pffftt!)

  20. inky

    inky Lead commenter

    Why do I feel a sneaking admiration for them? [​IMG]


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