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Please Help! Have A Mixed Rec/y1 Class


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Please could someone who has a mixed rec/year 1 class explain how they organise and run their day. My first day yesterday was a nightmare!! Never taught a mixed class before and just finding it hard to get my head around it all!! Head already putting pressure on me to provide the year 1's with a more formal approah to learning!!

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Oh, I know exactly how you feel as I was in your position as an NQT last year. I really feel for you as my head was spinning for most of the time! The best advice anyone ever gave me was to view the class as a whole in the first term. Plausibly until Christmas your Year 1s are still entitled to a transition period and until then I would recommend you run the classroom as a sort of Term 5 and 6 Reception classroom so you have Lit and Num input session each day but differentiate the activities so, some of the children are accessing Independent Learning whilst you are working with a group and rotate each day etc. So some of the younger FS don't have to have an adult led activity after the short input. I then tried to link both curriculums with a general 'topic' in the afternoon.

For me I found that by ensuring I had all of the continuous provision and having the environment set up was key because this is obviously what the FS need and they can complete lots of good quality Independent Learning whilst you are working in groups with the Yr1 (and ithe environment only benefits Year 1 too). Then after January reaccess the situation, depending if you have a new intake. This is when a really good TA comes in handy!

I have some of last years plans if this would help you?

I have to say, after my second lot of FS children came in January was when i found it hardest. The curriculums divide further because the Year 1s are really ready to be pushed but the new children are only just starting! I really don't think YR/1 should be mixed. I think I must have whinged so much that we have changed the structure of our school now to have pure FS and mixed Yr1/2! :o

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I just don't know what to do or where to begin!! In my head I am thinking to separate the 2 year groups for teaching sessions and then join together for CIL sessions, having my TA teach one group while I teach the other, but my gut feeling is that I need to keep the two year groups together and just do as you said teach small groups while the other groups access continuos provision activities! I would really appreciate having a look at your plans from last year if you don't mind!

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I just don't know what to do or where to begin!! In my head I am thinking to separate the 2 year groups for teaching sessions and then join together for CIL sessions, having my TA teach one group while I teach the other, but my gut feeling is that I need to keep the two year groups together and just do as you said teach small groups while the other groups access continuos provision activities! I would really appreciate having a look at your plans from last year if you don't mind!

 

Of course, i'll post a couple of my lit and num plans and a topic. I really recommend you start off as a whole class, maybe differentiating how long the FS stay on the carpet, getting your TA to start an adult led activity with some of them whilst you still have Y1 on the carpet may help. As soon as I thought of my class as a whole instead of trying to split them it really did help! Also if you have got children who scored less then 78 on their profile, these children probably need another half term to have a bit more time to finish the Profile and they will really benefit from the FS environment.

Phonics is a bit trickier you do really have to split them but this is fine if you have a TA to help you. Feel free to ask me anything else if you're still stuck. Hope my plans help :) x

Literacy_t1_week1.doc

maths_week2_t1.doc

art_term_1.doc

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I run mine as a Reception class (short whole class teaching/carpet sessions, and the rest CIL with adult focus activities going on during this, so anyone not working with an adult is choosing), and I extend/alter activities for children who need it (Y1 or YR), although I guess this will occur less often as activities will be planned to (in theory!!) target specific children at whatever level they are working.

 

I have a few year 1s who benefit from being in the foundation environment, rather than having the whole year group so don't know if that makes a difference.

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Have you checked the Hamilton trust web site, they may have some mixed year group plans, if not I used their Year 1 plans for literacy as their activites can be easily adapted to fit into continuous provision? I had a mixed class last year and found it really useful to have a 'Year 1' area which they knew was an area they had to work in (we called it the study), in the end the foundation stage children were desperate to do work so they could go in the study!!

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Thank you all so much for your replies & sharing your thoughts and experiences - really so grateful! Had a look at the plans on hamilton trust! They look really good! Been trying to do plans for 2 separate classes and it is a nightmare! Haven't stopped working!! I think I prefer the idea of keeping the class as a whole - have got some very immature Year 1 children they will probably benefit from watching how lovely the rec children behave!! I suppose it's just trial and error until you know what you're doing and finding out what works best for you!! Queline, thank you for the plans!! They look great!! Just wanted to ask you if you if I could have a look at a timetable - just to see how you organised your day as a mixed class - if that's okay. I have 2 timetables at the moment and its just too much. Really lucky that I have such fantastic TA's working with me!

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