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#1 SallyQ

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Posted 31 January 2009 - 11:05 AM

Hi

I am struggling with the child initiated and adult led activity balance in the EYFS and would really appreciate some help.

We are a pre-school and currently run with free flow play from opening to tidying up time during the morning. My long term planning is evidence that all the activites offered in the session provide for each element of the EYFS. So basically the child initiated is in hand. I really struggle with the adult led. If children are playing and engrossed, adults interacting and scaffolding and supporting learning where does the adult led come in? Currently we plan an adult led. This week for example, from child interest, we have magnets, a scientific activity set out that the children can access freely during the session with adults interacting and taking observations. We have a tick list so we can ensure we work with each child on this activity during the week, often it goes into a second week.

However with staff duties and time limitations, etc, etc, finding time to ensure we can do the adult led is often hard and it dosen`t get done. I am reluctant to pull children out from activities they are engrossed in to "perform" for the adult led activity. Basically am struggling with fitting in an adult activity which means pulling children out from free flow play. Given a choice I would abandon the adult led, children are acheiving according to records we keep. But according to EYFS we need a balance between the two.

Help anyone?!


Sally
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#2 aliamch

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Posted 31 January 2009 - 12:01 PM

We plan two adult led focus activities a week which works for us, most children come and ask for their turn, but those that don't aren't forced to take part. Our EYA was in this week and she said that though some activities like circle time, snack time, story time, circle/ring games, singing, sticky kids etc might be child initiated, they are usually adult led so maybe you could show this in your planning.
Karrie
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#3 SallyQ

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Posted 31 January 2009 - 12:40 PM

We plan two adult led focus activities a week which works for us, most children come and ask for their turn, but those that don't aren't forced to take part. Our EYA was in this week and she said that though some activities like circle time, snack time, story time, circle/ring games, singing, sticky kids etc might be child initiated, they are usually adult led so maybe you could show this in your planning.
Karrie



Hi Karrie

That`s a big help.

We do plan circle time, singing, music and movement etc regularly. The penny just hadn`t dropped but yes - they are adult led so we are doing more of this than I origianlly thought. Great!!

Sally
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#4 HappyMaz

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Posted 31 January 2009 - 12:56 PM

We do plan circle time, singing, music and movement etc regularly. The penny just hadn`t dropped but yes - they are adult led so we are doing more of this than I origianlly thought. Great!!

And this, together with the data you have showing that children are achieving within your current environment should will be powerful evidence that you have the right balance. As you say, there is no point in dragging children away from a meaningful learning experience towards another one just because there's an adult waiting...

I'm sure that in your continuous provision planning (in whatever form that takes!) you show how adults are on hand to support and scaffold children's learning, too.

Sounds like yours is a great group for children to learn and play in!

Maz

#5 SallyQ

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Posted 31 January 2009 - 01:58 PM

Thanks for that Maz, am feeling much better about this subject already thanks to help and support on this forum.

Would be interested in what people think and do for their adult led activities.

Given that I am showing in long term planning that we provide for all EYFS areas of learning. Plus I have adult led activites daily in the form of story time, circle time, music and movement etc at the end of the session would I be able to ditch the specific focused activity during the session. Or do I need to keep this? In an ideal world with not having to pack away and all the hassle involved, plus lots of money to employ extra staff there would be no issue with finding time for this activity during the session. But unfortunately I am not in such a world and restrictions mean this activity is another pressure on practitoners who could be spending time interacting with the children, observing and working with key children etc.

Any views welcome.

Sally
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#6 lenaberry

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Posted 31 January 2009 - 02:02 PM

Hi

We are having the same problem in our nursery. I currently plan one adult intiated in each area of learning but have some children which never access them. My staff feel that they have to 'call' the children over to the activity. That is a great suggestion of showing adult intiated is circle time etc. I would love to get away from adult intiated altogether and just having adults interacting and making observations.
Any more suggestions would be great - OFSTED DUE!
Thanks

Edited by lenaberry, 31 January 2009 - 02:06 PM.


#7 northernbird

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Posted 31 January 2009 - 02:35 PM

hi

just wanted to say that im in exactly the same position and glad im not the only "crazy" one who like the children to get invovled in play activities of their own choice rather then the "oh charlie come and do this with me"

i say "crazy" as im part of a chain of nurseries and collegues at another centre do quite alot of adult led activities, including set guided reading and one to one reading times- when i questioned this and suggested that i dont like to take children away from their play i was told "well they have x amount of hours to play so taking them for 10 mins doesnt worry me"

i find it hard to fit them in more then anything aswell. theres only 2 of us at the moment, i like to have someone based outside, so with children toileting, snack to oversee, managing behaviuor etc etc etc, its hard to get involved in an adult led activity. like u we have set times for carpet and music sessions, and these are ver much adult led.

#8 lenaberry

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Posted 31 January 2009 - 02:48 PM

I think these lots of us in the same boat.
I try to plan from look, listen and notes so using ideas which interest the children adn develop their learning but still have those children who refuse to do anything else unless encouraged by a adult and I know this is not EYFS friendly. I would rather by in the play with them and extending their play through questioning and interaction.

#9 Cait

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Posted 31 January 2009 - 04:20 PM

We tell children each day what activities could be on offer for them, for example; 'So, tomorrow, if any of you would like to print with balloons to make circles, Ms ... will be doing that in the painting area' and show one. We tell them that we'll put one in their special file and they can take any others home straight away.
(This is actually a fab activity if you've not tried it - fabulous patterns and fractals)
Then it's their idea to come and do it if they want to. Occasionally we may see a child who looks a bit 'lost' and undecided what to do and we may suggest it to them.
It works for us anyway, and at the end of the day, that's what we need to keep in mind I think

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#10 SallyQ

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Posted 31 January 2009 - 05:16 PM

Um, interesting - it looks like lots of us are in the same boat. That`s the thing I love about this forum, help,advice and support. I enjoy my job but boy can it be a challlenge!

Am moving more towards ditching the focused activity at the moment, think I might contact my development worker for some advice. Does anyone out there follow the free flow play only and adult led activity via stories and circle time etc?

Sally

Edited by SallyQ, 31 January 2009 - 05:17 PM.

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#11 Peggy

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Posted 31 January 2009 - 05:21 PM

What may also help you to identify your adult led provision is for staff to do staff observations, I am sure that at one time or another a member of staff will take from a childs initiative an idea to enhance a childs' knowledge and understanding, or promote a particlar skill, or 'direct' consideration of a particular attitude for a child to think about. All these would be classed as adult led. Even though initiated by a child, any time an adult changes the focus (even slightly) or introduces a variation or new concept they are leading the child or childrens thought processes, and thus their learning.

Maybe spend 5 minutes at your next staff meeting and discuss each others definition of what they think 'adult led' is. Consider that adult led is shown in many ways, it is when an adult leads the learning with either one, two or a whole group of children.

The balance in your setting sounds great to me, and more importantly the fact that the children are engrossed in constructive play provided through your continuous provision so much that they don't have the need for adult direction says a lot to me, in that you are providing good quality play. :o


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#12 Cait

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Posted 31 January 2009 - 05:23 PM

Some days we do, yes. We only plan a couple of adult-led things a week, and these are generally to pick up on something we've observed, or to enhance the general theme - like the balloon printing, or the pentagon den

The nice thing about living in a small village is that when you don't know what you're doing -someone else always does!

Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we are here, we might as well dance





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