Gerbil TV

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'The Gerbils ' have landed! Not that anyone knew that they were gerbils mind you! Not quite sure what they thought they were – at least no one suggested they were slugs today!

They have caused no end of discussion and general giddiness. Parents were brought in to see them at the end of the session and they too were full of discussion and giddiness! But at least they were all talking about something that they have in common to talk about!


Gerbil TV
One of my new starters is clearly not used to having to comply with anything  and has struggled in school when asked to do the simplest of tasks.  So when it came to story time at the end of the day and she refused to stop what she was doing, tidy up or sit down…I had a quiet word with her.

Today her mother came in to ask me not to speak to her daughter about anything in future as it had upset her. When I explained what had taken place, she said she didn't believe  me – NICE!

Had a meeting tonight about getting our oudoor area working a bit better as, after a great start, it is faltering. Partly it is due to other things taking precedent , but mostly because the adults are not sure exactly what they should be doing!

So I am slowing my development plan down a bit and revisiting the two areas (art and workshop) and strengthening the systems that support them. It is the simple things like setting up and tidying away on top of the everyday ' stuff ' that is getting in the way.

We have also had a slight change of plan for our den making area outdoors. It came up as a result of a discussion about the ' boy's ' play! Basically – any object becomes a gun and they chase. There is LOTS of imagination going on but they literally run through everything – so lots of work is being (unintentionally) interrupted or destroyed.

In my book it is perfectly acceptable to say to the boys that htey can play their game but not when it destroys the work of other children because that is inappropriate.

It was suggested that we ' ban ' gun play – but I know from experience that that would be fruitless as they we would just drive it underground and they would do it anyway. So…

I asked the team to identify the play that the boys were engaging in. I also asked them to accept that it was ' normal ' play for children of this age and talked a bit about why they play that way.

I then asked the team how we could use that play to our advantage rather than fight against it. If the boys only ever run around day after day playing the same game in an environment as big as ours you have to ask what is NOT going on in the other areas to tempt them.

The upshot is that we are going to turn the soon to be den making area into an army camp where they can play out their gun play  and we can interviene and use it as a teaching opportunity.

We also talked about having a target shooting area to encourage/assess number recognition/bonds! Obviously not real shooting but an activity based around that theme. When this was mentioned the staff all said how much the children (particularly, but not exclusively, boys) would LOVE that and how the engagement levels would be really high.

Which brings me back to my well worn point… If you know that they do it and will do it even if you tell them not to then do your job and use it as an opportunity to educate – both about the reality of guns and to teach them something. I will of course let you know how ' boot camp ' goes and its impact on the outdoor environment.

I haven't forgotten about challenge cards but it is a more complicated post rather than just an ' outpouring! ' So it will probably be the weekend.

Am now spending Friday lecturing to students at Hope University on emergent phonic recognition and reading which I am looking forward to very much and it is a later start and an earlier finish which is never a bad thing. Especially on a Friday!




3 Comments on “Gerbil TV”

  1. Hi Sandy
    I would always plan LandS as a separate entity and certianly would not re invent the wheel or rewrite in triplicate what is just your everyday stuff. More indepth planning only really needed for specific L and S activities rather than your games etc…
    Hope it is all working out!

  2. We to have lots of gun play at the moment but with space ships and also police. I have found it hard as yes in the past thought i can’t have them running around shooting at people. My husband is PS so i’m hoping i can drag him in next week in his uniform to talk about what police actually do and let them try on the cuffs etc and that he doesn’t run around shooting at people!! but i too thought about a target area with numbers but love the boot camp idea.

  3. Are you doing any Letters & Sounds yet? Do you do a separate weekly plan for L&S, with the whole palaver – revisit, teach, practise, apply – just to say that you are playing Granny’s Footsteps?

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