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Hi everyone! I am really excited about starting my first teaching post (in reception) in september. I never stop thinking about all the things that i need to organise. I would really, really welcome any ideas from the more experienced out there on things like what self registration ideas you have in your reception class (such as apple names cards to go on a tree!) and the names you give your differentiated groups-e.g as opposed to just colours! I love all these aspects of being in reception but would love to be inspired by any of you!!!!

 

p.s do all reception classes have a staggered intake? XXX :D

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I have a train with many numbered carriages- Children insert their name card in the carriages and we talk about who is in which carriage and who is between, 1st and last etc. For nursery i have added photo of each child so it loks likes the child is in the carriage and even those who can't read names can locate people.

 

I vary my name card according to topics. When we didi plnats and growth, each child had a flower shape(card on a stick)with their name on in the middle. They 'planted' their card every morning.

 

On transport, their names were on different modes of transport and they had to decide if it went on the tranck, road in the farm or in the air. on the display board set up with the scene. We then counted diff set etc.

 

Nursery rhymes- Clock with many mice, so children could decide if they wanted their mice to be on the numerals, on the pendulum or anywhere else on the large clock.

 

Just breaks up the monotony and chidlren(and parents) wait to see what they have each half term.

:o

Hope this helps. I can send you a photo of the train- It's in use at the minute

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Ps they all stick on with blu tak- what did they do before blue tak?

 

I did not have groups in my reception class as i set activities for different groups of chidlren depending on the activity. We were a pretty homogenous bunch and I encouraged :o peer tutoring which worked better without groups. So can't help you there.:(

 

To gorup or not to group is a whole other debate- should we start one?? xD

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HI Leo & Aleysha,

 

Congratulations on your job Aleysha, your first job is always very exciting. What sort of school are you going to?

 

Staggered intakes are not always usual. The school I have worked in has part time attendence for the first week and children attend in the morning or afternoon as their nursery provision. then on the second week its all in together. we had complaints from the parents when we tried to extend the part time element to include lunchtimes etc, they wanted the children in school and in school all day!!

 

I have never used a self registration activity in reception as I always felt that 30 children in a small space would be counter productive. Leo's ideas sound lovely although how she has the time to do all that preparation I don't know!

 

I do use groups in my reception classroom and although they are very loosely ability grouped to aid differentiation they are initially and essentially for organisation, for lining up or getting coats or going to dinner etc. Only later do I ask children to work in those groups, and then it might be again for controlling numbers at an activity or ensuring everyone has participated! Also it might enable me to easily work 'more able' children with those needing more support, with the computer prehaps etc.

I aslo use colour names as I find this the easiest way to remember what I am doing. We coordinated our colour names within our 3 classrooms too so that when we were planning we would have common ground, so purple group need langauge support for example.

Try not to think about top group and bottom groups and try not to let the children work out your groupings- some are more astute than others of course and I never admit to having ability groups to the parents, they are for classroom organisation! I display my groups so that I can see at a glance how to write a childs name but never in a hierarchical order either and when I change the groups i put them on the wall in a different order,

 

Good luck.

Keep asking the questions :D

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just the same way that I worked Susan except that I had 20 children and it was easy to work thiat number without grouping them for lit and numeracy. Now that i'm in Nursery there are no groups- mind my TA would like them grouped acc to ability!!!! :(

But amaazed how many KS2/1 teachers come for observation and say "can I observe the lower ability group?" or "give me one group to work with" :(

 

I often have to say "i'll give u a group but don't take it personally if they all move away as soon as u join them!!!" xD

 

And yes I am sad-:( i spend all my time thinking of ways to make life exciting in nursery- something missing in life , I think :o

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Hi Leo, yes it surprising how much difference a few children make.

I too have had small classes which have eliminated much if the need for groups, although I have still had some groups to aid transition.

 

In Nursery the children were grouped according to age, oldest children with me, the teacher in the term before they went to school and others split between the 2 NNs. These were story and small group time groups, though.

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Hi susan

 

I seem to be stuck at 20( it's a 26 place) in Nursry as well. But never all 20 usually between 15-17. So I sually take whole class for story and circle time and literacy since they seem to bounce ideas off each other.

 

We live a potakabin wiht not much space outdoors- English weather being as unpredicatble as it is, I can't send the rest out to concentrate on my oldies. so our small gorup sessions are newstime and focus group activities.

 

I have 1 adult on a focus task and the other 'floating' around the classroom. My TA finds it difficult to 'float' so I end up doing a lot of it. But i am determined not to stick her in the 'traditional' TA role of doing the art work. It's been hard work getting her out from the art table to 'float and 'do' observations.

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My children self register in the morning by putting their name on the lunch boards.

They all have their full names writtien out on a large peice of card and tham every morning came and put it on the appropriate boqrd as to whether they are having sandwiches or dinners.

 

I like all the ideas posted and may try some of them next year to make things a little more exciting.

 

Have a good half term break all.

L :o

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I had missed this one somewhere along the line and it makes interesting reading.

 

well done alysha on the job, you will love it. :D

 

we use velcro by the tonne rather than blutack...... :o

 

I think there is a really interesting discussion idea there Leo about grouping children. we do group for the logistic reasons Susan gave, but not by ability generally. NOT popular with our lit and num coordinators, (although when I was MACO, we did mixed abilty grouping across the school).

 

We also have the 'float' idea which we call the 'facilitator', and I agree with you leo, that not everyone can take on this role, but it is a very important one.

 

Not all reception classes stagger their intake. We do allow time in the frist week for home visists, then we take in teh children who did not attend our nursery first. Our nursery is currently all full time, so it be seem abit odd for them to revert to part time in reception, so they usally start in in one go, and full time immediately.

 

Unfortunately our reception classes dont self register, although we do in nursery, which is a shame, something I would like to change next year.

 

But does anyone have experinece of 'signing in'? I have done this with reception before, about half way throgh the year and they responded really well to it, and their improved confidence to write was wonderful to see. But I dont hear much of this these days, as I think its not fashioable at the moment. But since Im not one to go twith the latest fahion, that doesnt bother me. But it would be interesting to hear of others' views or exprerieneces on this?

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Congratulations Alysha ! I'm excited for you.

A really interesting discussion. We love laminated velcro labels too as they are virtually indestructible. In the Nursery we have a board with the question 'Who is here today?' The children have their name labels which are red backed on one side and green backed on the other. When the children arrive they turn their name label to green (they are ready to go and join in) and when they go home they turn it to red (as they have stopped their school activities for the day)...it works well.

 

Our Reception has three areas which each have a name and the children are in groups which connect to the theme. We have a Rainforest room with a Parrot and Spider group based there first thing and a Safari room with a Lion and Zebra group (our groups are loosely ability based and move around the unit each day) each room ahs a different focus e.g. the Safari room is our Literacy/small role play room. The Rainforest room is our Creative / Scientific / large role play room and our bay ( a large corridor) is our Mathematical / construction area. We wanted to move from 2 very separate Reception classrooms to a unit feel.

 

Our Reception to Year 2 classes all have Sign in boards where the children write their name and perhaps answer a question, draw a picture or sign up under their favourite option ( which can be anything from their favourite holiday brochure destination to their favourite toy) I don't think it's old-fashioned...well it works anyway ! In Reception to Year 2 we have the first 15 minutes of each morning when parents/carers come in and share activities with the children so the children do come in gradually...a lovely start to the day. Obviously in the Nursery they stay longer!

 

Our Nursery is also full time but we have two intakes to Reception (September and January) and staff from the Nursery move upto Reception with the children to ease their trasition.(so staff work with a group of children for 2 years which is great)..our Nursery is physically a long way from the Nursery so this does help ease any worries and really supports the children as we already know them so well.

 

Enjoy your new job Alysha. :o:DxD:D

Best wishes

Galleon

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Hi galleon, id be interested to hear how you organise your signing in. We have very limited space for 30 children so would need soemthing that can be referred back to later but doesnt result in crowds of children in one place all at the same time.

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Hey everybody! thanks so much for the replies, it's really interesting to hear ideas from other settings. I particularly like the red and green idea galleon! I also think the idea of signing in would be a good idea later in the term. Do people generally put the child's first and second names as i have not seen this in any of the settings on my placement?

 

Look forward to reading any more ideas!! :D:D:D

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Hi, I think thats the real problem Mundia.

Many years ago on a final placement in Nursery, I had a self registration using an easel with large sheets of paper with childrens names on and they came and ticked themselves off. I sat with this to help them and to facilitate the formal registration but it wasn't easy and often necessitated a queue which I didn't like.

Also meant I wasn't available to greet the parents. I always stand outside my classroom to door to greet the parents and children on their way into the room, I think this is really very important.

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Hi Mundia and Susan,

Our signing in boards are just your typical easels with big sheets of paper....but we do have between 8:55 - 9:10 a slot where parents work on activities with the children but don't have to be there until 9:10am. It seems to work itself out as children go to the board with their parents when it's not crowded. We have time to chat to Parents and greet everyone too. Each school is different though..our routines just seem to make it possible. Eac to their own !

 

Galleon

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Well done Alysha!

I have a self registration chart which is a sunflower. The children's names are on the petals which are laminated and fixed with velcro. I only use first names. I also added my name and my Teaching Assistant as leaves on the stalk! (I like to think that we are helping them to grow!). This stays the same for the year.

My children are ability grouped but only for my task board activities, it helps me to know where to place any adult support and also differentiate the activity accordingly. They are grouped in colours (I know this is boring, but I have been able to accessorize easily with coloured trays, white board pens etc. so it suits me).

There is so much to learn and try in your first year that you will probably change things about when you find what suits you!

Good luck and enjoy! :D

Shelley

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we have self registration but we also sit down and do a formal register. I know i am repeating what has already been done by the chidlren but I feel it is a good time to get together at the beg of the day and also gives us time and opportuntiy to talk about anything that we need to. I do a lot of scribing at this time- talk about the dya of the week, the snack and we use it for counting how amny girls/ boys different types of clothes sorting etc.

 

My 4 year(boy) old informed me- ' if we stand with a (girl) partner and there is nodbdy extra without a hand to hold on to it means we (boys and girls) are the same. If there are extra (boys/girls) then they are more' :o It has taken us 3 months to get here but I am thrilled.:D

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