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Play in Young Children

This is surely one of the greatest challenges for teachers internationally at the moment. When we first went online, teachers everywhere joked about what a wonderful device the mute button would be in Google Meet. The sad reality is that children generally seem intimidated by the online environment and feel shy to speak out. So, what do we do at Repton to ensure that our students are still participating and verbalising their thinking?

Firstly, fun activities. It's amazing how an exciting game can encourage children to speak (or shout!) out.
Secondly, direct questioning- this is not to put children on the spot, but to give them a chance to answer when the teacher knows that they are confident to do so.

Round robins are another method- everyone in the class has to give an answer. Less confident children can share someone else's idea, but usually they rise to the occasion and want to say something new.Small group meets also give the children the opportunity to speak more. We split into smaller groups at least once a week, where the children can work collaboratively on a JamBoard to share their ideas. Many of the children also like to complete independent tasks in small groups where they can discuss ideas with their friends.

I'm sure I speak for many teachers when I say we are looking forwards to returning to noisy face-to-face classrooms, but in the meantime I am incredibly proud of the level of interaction my class are maintaining online. Stay unmuted, 6B, let your voices be heard!


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