Kids only want to PLAY!

Discussion in 'Early Childhood Education Archives' started by Grammy Teacher, Sep 8, 2006.

  1. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    I have a group of kids this year that only wants to play...every second of the day...either inside our preferably outside. They continuously ask if they can go outside. When we have circle or do art, etc, they say they want to go play! I have never had such a group and frankly, I HAVE ABOUT HAD IT!!!!! Do any of you have a class like this??? Suggestions? What would you do? OH...they are 4 and 5 year olds.
     
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  3. clarnet73

    clarnet73 Moderator

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    I usually do "first _____, then play." At least, that worked with my kids last year, who also had individual schedules they followed, so they could SEE when "play" came up.

    I'm sure the answer to this is "yes," but do you have a picture-version of your schedule posted, so they can see when playtime comes?
     
  4. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Do mini games inside and mini excercises inside. They do need to "play" at that age, but make it EDUCATIONAL too. Also keep in mind, beginning of year is always like that. You described my first grade group too!
     
  5. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    Clarnet, no I don't have a visual of the schedule, but I do tell them as DefinlySmart said, "First we work, then we play." Also, circle and art are really fun things to do since we play games and read great stories. It isn't that it's not fun, but the kind of play they want to do is build with blocks and play in the dramatic play area. Those are great ways to learn, but that is ALL they want to do...no art, morning message, etc...sooooo...although they do what I want them to do, it's just so annoying to hear them always telling me during circle, "I wanna go play!" I wonder if it's partly due to the teacher before me not having much structure time all summer with them. I had a NEW boy start on Friday and he was all ears in circle...really listening and participating. I just hate to blame prior teachers, but I am beginning to wonder if it's her fault for letting them spend their days just playing inside and outside and having very little in between? Should I just let them play all day??? This is really driving me crazy! Last year's group was just the opposite!
     
  6. clarnet73

    clarnet73 Moderator

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    Sep 9, 2006

    Soundsl ike they're not used to your structure.

    Try posting a schedule and see if it helps... someting I think kids just need the assurance that they WILL get to play, and seeing it helps.
     
  7. mrod

    mrod Rookie

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    Sep 9, 2006

    "Environments that encorage play are environments that are preparing children for kindergarten, future elementary school academics and a love of a lifelong learning" - Lisa Murphy

    Play is what we do in early childhood, it's okay that your children want to play. When in circle time tell them let's play a game, and do a small group activity. When in block center children learn all sorts of things, if they want to build all day let them, they are hitting so many kindergarten standards such as number sense, computation, algebra and functions, geometry, scientific thinking, coomon themes, listening and speaking, crating art, measurement and the list goes go. Playing is what children do and we should foster it, if the kids don't want to do art like painting take it outside the children might try it there, in dramatic play and blocks they are learning about art in a different way but it still is art. When children are outside you can incorporate centers so that way they are still learning and it's not just all running around.

    "Play is the cement that is holding our foundation together. Picasso says we do not stop playing when we get old, but we get old because we stop playing" - Lisa Murphy
     
  8. PREKNEWBIE

    PREKNEWBIE New Member

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    Grammy Teacher, you have described my classroom to a "T". I have been so upset because this is my first year at a Head Start preschool and things are not going as I had expected. The kids are WILD!! They will not even sit and listen to a story. I tried doing at different times of the day to see if it would work better but no luck. My associate teacher has been doing this for 15 years and if she wasn't there to tell me that it is not us doing anything wrong then I probably would have quit already! I just wanted to say I feel your pain and that this is my first posting. Thanks!
     
  9. BeachTeacher61

    BeachTeacher61 Rookie

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    the picture version of the schedule is brilliant! i'm definately going to incorporate that!
     
  10. BeachTeacher61

    BeachTeacher61 Rookie

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    i am copying your reply and taping it to my parent's bulletin board. you said what i've been trying to explain to them perfectly. would it be ok to post your words?
     
  11. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    There is no way I am going back to the "letting them play all day." I am preparing them for Kindergarten and part of the preparation is teaching them to sit in circle and listen. They are given plenty of
    "play" time, but they need to learn to sit still and listen...which they DO...that is not the problem I am having. The problem is instilling in them an appreciation for more than block building and dolls. I have tried the "let them play" approach. We had no circle time. At the end of the year they didn't recognize letters and had no idea how to sit and behave in a formal circle time. That was failure as I see it. Failure on my part to prepare them with the necessary skills they will need when they go to Kindergarten. I think I will go with Clarnet's idea and post a visual.
     
  12. mrod

    mrod Rookie

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    Using a play based curriculum you are supposed to have circle time, a play based curriculum is structured, did you not know? It's not let's play all day and you do whatever you want, no that's not how it is. Child-centered play based curriculum is not chaos, It does not mean the absence of rules, structure, boundaries or curriculum. It means that as an early childhood educator you realize the power of play and the importance of creativity. -It means you respect children's individual developmental timetables and that you have an understanding of the RESEARCH that impacts our profession. If people read the kindergarten standards they will understand that you are hitting all the standards by having a play based curriculum. Also having a print rich environment helps children recognize letters and begin to write letters, having a writing center is crucial in a early childhood classroom.
     
  13. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    mrod, You did a good job looking up all those quotes...
    I don't think you are understanding my posts. I am not against play...of course I know the importance of it...I have been doing this for 16 years. What I said is, this year's class only wants to PLAY all day...and they do not want to do any reading or writing...inside or outside makes no difference with them. They are very good when they PLAY , so that is not the problem either...but that is ALL they like to do...PLAY ALL DAY...not have circle, no matter what we do...just PLAY.
     
  14. Butterfly4

    Butterfly4 Comrade

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    Sep 10, 2006

    I got some nice daily schedule cards from the following website...
    http://members.abcteach.com/directory.php?id=2082

    I printed them and printed some cards with times on them and hung on a couple pieces of poster board (taped together).

    You could even use a clothes pin on the side of the schedule, have a "helper" move the clothes pin each transition -they could see where they are within the day.
     
  15. JaZMum

    JaZMum Rookie

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    I'm with you mrod.
    my daughter has some fantastic Kindy teachers who run a play based program. The really good ones can facilitate the children's learning through their play. Literacy and Numeracy skills, not to mention Gross and Fine motor skills, social skills, and emotional development can all be facilitated through children's play.
     
  16. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    As I said, my program is play based. This is not a thread to debate. We are in agreement and I am not trying to decide whether or not my program or your program should be play-based. Even in play based programs, the teachers should be having a circle time with the class. So, please don't start a debate over this thread and try understanding what I am saying here...my children do not like stories or writing or sitting and listening to a teacher...as in circle.
     
  17. MorahMe

    MorahMe Habitué

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    Grammy, I just finished reading this thread...have they been "listening" to a WORD you just said?! They do sound like they haven't had much structure over the summer. Not that I have any ideas for you at the moment, but I can sympathize...Good luck! I hope the picture schedule works!
     
  18. mhcooley

    mhcooley Companion

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    I haven't had any experience with that age group so I am only offering a suggestion. Could you tell them that they will not be able to play until they finish listening to the story, ect. Maybe reward those that are on task. Keep praising the children that are listening. Good Luck. I do know what it is like to be frustrated.:)
     
  19. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    Thank you butterfly...I can't remember my password for ABCteach, so am working on getting that straightened around and will copy the schedule.
     
  20. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    mhcooley...thank you for the suggestions.
     
  21. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Call on the inattentive ones to answer a singsong question then when they can't answer it, say "oops Johnny wasn't listening, who can help Johnnny?" Then let the other kid answer. "Wow, what a great listener you are!"
     
  22. Dzenna

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    Granny, My group is kind of like that at circle time. They do fine in small groups, but when we are all together they cry out for attention, "Here is my booboo", "Can we go outside", "I'm hungry", etc. I am going to shorten my circle time (then build it up), and structure the seating.
     
  23. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    Partly, I was spoiled with an extremely smart class last year. They were eager to learn and if we didn't have circle they would have a fit...and say, "We forgot circle!!!!!" This is not a smart class,sorry, but true and I can see why...no love of books or letters. So, I am just plain disgusted with how they are...
     
  24. Dzenna

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    No love of repetition type books? (Brown Bear, etc) Mine like those. Do you think you could wean them on those to start?
     
  25. Pre-K Teacher 1

    Pre-K Teacher 1 Comrade

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    Grammy, Take a breather. YOU are doing a fine job! Just meet the children where they are! You are in the unique position of molding the children you have the privilege of teaching. It will be your unique challenge to get these children ready for kindy without the prep you are used to children having! You will be the inspiration that sets them on the right track. Just think, you will have such an impact on their lives, because you will lay the foundation for future learning. It is your challenge to instill the love of learning they do not have now. Just love them, as I know you do! Through love and understanding they will begin to understand that you care and before you know it they will be looking to please you the teacher, and then look to please themselves. Your class IS smart they are just waiting for someone like you to see their potential! If they are interested in play then start there and try to incorporate as many literacy and math concepts into their play. I just came from a fantastic training where the trainer said that a child should be able to practice and learn all the skill concepts in EVERY center. Meaning...if they spend all of their time in dramatic play, they should be able to learn every concept in that one center. A very novel idea I must say, but very enlightening to the group. So instead of forcing them to come to group time or another center, add things and activities to that center that will help them meet those goals. When you do use group time, start with a VERY short circle time but make it as interactive as possible. Find out as much as you can about the group and go from there. I hope that helps. I hear your frustration. You are a great role model and look to this as a blessing and an opportunity to really make a difference in the lives of some special children that need a great teacher like yourself!
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2006
  26. gracieh

    gracieh Rookie

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    Hi, I think most of us have your problem at the beginning of the school year.... What I do is when we have circle time ... I start with a song... finger play... jumping jacks... or game.. then get to the teaching part..finish up with more activity... they seem to respond to this pretty good... except for one or two.. I agree they can't play all day... at the beginning of the school year we play more and slowly work into the other things... We do try to get them to love school and want to be with us... Good luck!
     
  27. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    I think I have solved the problem...with a little help from my friends(you guys!) As Pre-K Teacher 1 said, "Meet them where they are!" Well, I changed my schedule. After breakfast, they get to PLAY!!! I introduce art/project to them during this time and work with them one on one(usually a couple more show up,) and then they get to go back and play some more. I give them about 45 minutes to PLAY...then we clean up for either circle or outside. They are doing better now...but I have to slow down a bit for them. They can't tell me what a letter is 30 seconds after I told them and showed them. They are just not ready...hard for me because my previous groups have been miles ahead of them for some reason. Anyway, thanks everyone!
     
  28. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    We are still adjusting in our class too. I think that's normal in the beginning of the year. We have one kid who is miles ahead and one kid who hasn't started reading anything and says "It's too hard" before we've explained it or told him what to do. Then we have kids in between and with various other problem. When we only have 6 kids, it's not like we can pair these kids with other similar kids in the class. We are learning how to meet the demands of a diverse group.

    Sounds you are doing fantastic re-evaluating your class and deciding what works for them. That's not an easy task.
     
  29. Dzenna

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    Grammy, I did the same with my class. I cut circle time in half, we are reading a lot of repetition books, and are playing a lot more while I'm working one-on one. We're providing a lot more supervision during center time. Its working for me, too!
     

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