Chris has been working in my class with small groups since September. The individuals within the group have a range of extremely challenging behaviour issues. Chris has built up an excellent rapport with these children. They look forward to his sessions and are enthusiastic upon their return. He has developed their ability to take turns, accept that they are not always going to win and to follow rules within the game. For these children these skills are quite a challenge!
I have witnessed the improvement in these children since having whole class gaming sessions with my Chris in my class. This original small group feel empowered since they can explain rules of the games to others. They can give tips concerning useful strategies to be successful in a game. They ensure that everyone has a turn and have ways to decide who goes first. In short they are role models and proud of their new skills.
Chris begins the session by stating his expectations in terms of noise levels and participation in the games. He uses his knowledge of the children to slightly adjust groupings in order to ensure gaming sessions are enjoyable for all. He carefully selects the games they start within in order to match the nature of the group. The games are varied promoting both language and maths skills. He allows the children to change the game when the group are ready to.
Initially I thought they would be changing all of the time however this is not the case as they are keen to play all of the games and ensure they complete a game once or twice before selecting again. Chris often suggests games to groups to target a particular skill – for example the fairy story family times table game. He recommends adaptions to games to suit the level of the group playing. The children respect the games and ensure all pieces are put away without any prompting.
The class love playing the games and can now run the sessions themselves with minimal adult intervention. It is useful for me to play alongside them or watch their game in order to recognise their strategies, application of skills and reasoning abilities. Their teamwork skills along with their language and mathematical understanding are definitely being developed under the watchful eye of Chris.