“Those Boys are Just So Naughty”

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I seem to hear this comment quite a lot in primary school staff rooms and I wonder why?

Sure there are many factors to consider when you sit down and think why a child is behaving poorly, girl or boy. However after being a primary school teacher for more than 15 years, teaching in decile 1 to 10 schools I know most children love to MOVE  and HAVE FUN.  Whether it is games, play, dance or sport  one thing that I have found to have helped behaviour in the classroom is to get kids moving at-least every 30mins. Funny thing is when I took those so called ‘naughty boys’ on camp they were not so naughty.

Just imagine yourself staying in one position for over 30mins with something you find difficult….I can remember doing university assignments, and believe me as an ‘active boy’ doing something called Curriculum Theory and Practice  – A NZ Perspective I could sit no longer than an hour with out doing something active! I have also noticed since dropping my daughter at kindergarten that most boys play in the sand pit and most girls sit down doing art stuff. Then when they get to school at 5 years old we expect them to sit down and do writing, reading and maths while they sit down….does it make sense? Sure I know they have to do the learning and we have to do the sitting down stuff and thats what I expect too, but just add in that physical activity to break it up or maybe a different deliver to a lesson to meet the needs of some kids. Such as doing graphing on the courts using chalk, cones and physical material.

I can also hear teachers saying when I take them outside they go silly…well routines and expections are the key. Start it at the beginning of the year or term with clear guide lines and rules such as “Find a space on the court with out talking or touching any one”… if they do they can sit out for 2mins” or if these kids sit out of a fun game they won’t like it. Make moving, games, dance they norm and make sure they love it! Start with Statues…you know play the music then stop the music or Stuck in the Mud…a use 4 cones to make a square or rectangle and two taggers. What I found worked was introduce a new game/activity each week, by the end of term you will have  10 movement activities. Ask your head of Sport/PE/Health or The Arts to give you a few ideas or have a staff meeting and brainstorm movement activities.

Make these physical activities positive like a reward  such as “Work quietly for the next 15mins and we will play musical statues for 5mins”. A good place to do this is between reading and writing or maths and writing…long periods of sitting.

This is just one teachers opinion (and a boy who did not like to sit still too long!) …you can take or leave it… but it helped me to not have so many so called ‘naughty boys!’

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