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How do you manage active group tasks with younger children? Frazzled!!!
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FrizzyHairDontCare · 13/03/2019 21:39

PGDE student in a P3 class.

The teacher is very old fashioned and the last placement I had was in P6, so I've not had much experience of active, hands-on lessons.

I planned a lesson with a group using counters and ten frames and OMFG, it was atrocious. They just did not stop fiddling with the counters to look at me, there were counters on the floor, they got all muddled up with the child beside them (after having spent ages counting them all out into wee bags).

Please help.

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thatone · 14/03/2019 19:24

I teach the younger grades and just through (some painful) experiences have learned to try to pre-empt every possibility. So make resources as accessible and organised as possible - eg I give each child an A4 card which I call a counting mat and they have to keep resources on there.

Also, until they are trained to do things, I give very specific instructions before they set off - so, what to do when they get to tables, how to put things away and try to label everything so they know where things go.

And I always model how to do the task. HTH and sorry if you're already doing all that.

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ScarlettDarling · 14/03/2019 19:52

I teach Reception and have learned that before I try and do any teaching with practical apparatus, I have to give the kids a bit of time to "explore" the equipment, i.e. let them fiddle around with it for a while!

Once they've had a bit of a play they're more likely to be able to follow instructions and use the apparatus as I request.

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HexagonalBattenburg · 14/03/2019 19:56

I do supply so I've not got the chance to have them "trained" into long-term ways of working. Generally at best you have to really reinforce exactly every step you want them to do before you start giving another piece of input - stop and listen won't work... it has to really be - now put your counters onto the ten frame, fold your arms and look at me level and then pointing out the kids who have followed that level of precision if you're lucky and have an obliging bunch - otherwise I just keep bringing them back to the carpet, leaving the equipment they're working with on the tables to give them the next part of the task and model accordingly if required. Cuts into lesson time a bit if you have to do it that way - but we're not generally blessed with the class size of like 12 carefully selected delightfully obliging children like they tend to have on the videos.

There are certain things I now regard as universal laws with maths manipulatives though - there WILL be one child who mysteriously acquires all of the unifix cubes in a pile in front of them; one will always really freak out about the fact they haven't got enough cubes to make a tower of ten in the pretty colour pattern they've decided is much more important than the objective you're trying to teach them; you will be finding the unit cubes from dienes everyfuckingwhere for the next decade after any lesson; numicon odd numbers will always be used as impromptu toy guns; the 3d shape cones and pyramids will always end up as either pretend ice creams or on heads and in any class set of number fans at least 17% of them will have one missing or duplicated number.

It is exactly the same everywhere and it's just how you pre-empt it/contain it/maintain sanity/reduce the amount of it that ends up under the furniture that varies from place to place.

As for counting them out into bags - that's what those wet playtimes with kids who are bored and keep coming asking if you have any jobs that you need doing are absolutely made for! (Or parent helpers - I seem to spend a lot of time re-sorting out the maths equipment into individual sets in my own kids' school when I'm in as a volunteer)

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