Getting pupils to challenge themselves by @TeachAdele

Allowing Children Aged 5&6 to Challenge Themselves

Differentiation. Challenge for all. Same thing, different wording. Something I’m trying very hard to consider when planning for Year 1 at the moment. Especially ways to ensure the children are fully challenged when working independently in their continuous provision areas. The children sign a sheet in each area so that I can see that they’ve completed that activity (or wandered past and signed it quickly so they can work outside!!) but I wanted to enable them to challenge themselves.

We had a practical maths twilight a few years ago so I raided the network to remind myself of the good ideas that were shared with us by the Lancashire maths team.  Number square jigsaws were one of their suggestions.

Envelopes labelled tricky, trickier and trickiest with a corresponding star rating contained number squares that had been “jigsawed” if that is a word.  Each envelope was also labelled with the colour of the number square jigsaw, this was because I am a fan of colour and so that they could put them all back in the right place!  I’ve done this sort of activity before but this time, I included a “completed” sheet.

This showed clearly the hierarchy of challenge and could only be signed by the children if they completed a particular jigsaw.  I think this extra sheet gave the activity that extra lift that I have been looking for.  The children were determined to challenge themselves and were excited to show me which level of challenge they had aimed for.  They even went home and told their parents, I received a tweet saying “J tells me he tried trickiest.  Glad he’s aiming high #mathsteachermother”.  This child had also helped other children to complete their challenges.

This is a re-blog post originally posted by Adele Bamber and published with kind permission. The original post can be found here. The article was originally published in 2014 and updated in 2020 by UKEd Editorial in accordance with website and policy updates.

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