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Sharing Planning With Parents


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Hi,

Hope you all had a good break - I certainly needed mine!

 

Just wondering if any of you lovely people would describe how you share planning with parents. I am really keen on having a planning board for parents to see what is available for their children during the day/week but am unsure of how much and in what format I need to share so that I don't confuse them.

My planning currently consists of a continuous provision plan for indoors and outdoors and a focused activity weekly plan. I only show learning intentions for the focused activities. My concern is that I don't always do a different focused activity everyday (sometimes it takes 2 - 3 days), and sometimes the activity changes or is abandoned for something the children have initiated. Is it maybe better to show them what they did yesterday?

 

Just 1 other question (sorry!). I had a parent asking if their child ever made anything at school as she had never taken anything home. The answer I gave was yes she has made models in the workshop and made paintings - they have access to that all the time - she mustn't have picked hers up on the way home. The parent seemed ok with this explanation but it got myself and my TA thinking. We wondered whether she meant does she make things to take home e.g. a planned model of a ... (where all the children make the same thing!). I am really keen to stay child-focused and let the children create their own models with guidance e.g. we made pet beds together but they were definately the children's ideas and work with support from us. Of course there will be times when the children will make, for example, a card or a decoration which may all look similar but I don't want to go down the route of planning something for the children to take home every week?

What do you do/think?

 

Thanks, Green hippo xx

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Regarding the showing the planning for the week to parents: we are similar in that we have planning for our long term and a weekly plan. The long term plan is displayed in different places around the building and we have sent letters home to parents explaining what the sheets are about. If we see a parent looking we usually swoop in and talk about it too. During the session we have the evaluation sheet for each area stuck up there too so if a parent shows interest we can show them what their child has been doing in that area. Our short term plan is written a whiteboard and we usually complete it on Monday and Tuesday. However we often throw our plans out for the slightest reason, and the whiteboard means we can then change the display. We also just scribble over any printed plans to show the changes.

 

Interestingly we also had a parent asking if their child had made anything today. This particular child had been upset at other children taking things home when she had nothing to take. It might be she hasn't been in on the days others have done something, or she has not chosen to take part, or her work has been put on display. Her parent just said if we make sure she knows where the work is displayed the child will be happy. But we are laos going to actively show the child where the creative activities are as she is quite new, so she has every opportunity to take part. Perhaps your parent is getting similar questions from their child?

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Thanks Holly35

I think the parent (after a further discussion with her!) was wondering where the child had put the 'work' she said she had done - she wasn't really questioning what we are doing with them.

It just got me thinking about what parents expect/want - my TA said that when her son went to nursery (3 years ago) he would come home with something each week but everyone had made the same thing. She wasn't critising just pointing it out. I think it's fine to make things like that with them from time to time as it is a nice keepsake etc but I feel children get a lot more out of creating from their own ideas with a bit of guidance - it shows their creativity, problem solving, ability to talk through what they are doing, their evaluative skills etc?

 

I like the sound of your evaluation sheets in each area but with only 2 of us this would be impossible to complete and follow up on a daily basis. Do you write on these as well as writing obs on sticky labels/notes? I often think that when I write my daily evaluation or obs for an area I'm repeating what I've written on a sticky note?

Thank you for sharing your whiteboard idea - I was thinking along these lines. Do you write up your enhancements for each area? What about learning intentions?

 

Thanks Green Hippo x

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We find our parents are very interested in our learning intentions so we don't waste time putting these on. It is as simple as a board which says "this week we are: ...." and then lists the main adult led activity or theme for the day under each day. If it changes for any reason we stick a note on top saying something along the lines of changed to.... or postponed to.... and then we know if a parent has read it in the morning it will be clear it has changed by the time they return so will not expect little jonny to be talking about xyz.

 

Most of our parents breathe a sigh of relief when we send their children home with nothing, and I have been horrified to see one parent drop their child's hard work in the bin on the way to the door! With that child we started to add everything he did to a display to show him we liked it, and told mum to look at it in his hearing so he might have at least thought she liked it too.

 

Sticky notes do tend to say what the evaluation says, but we have coded these so they are not words but symbols in columns. The sticky notes then expand upon the evaluations and read more nicely for parents and can tell you something else about the learning that the evaluation might not (although there is a comments box on there too).

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Hi all

Talking about involving in planning..

Do any of you give the learning journals to parents to fill out themselves about their child on a regular basis? We have the intial all about me sheets when they first start.

 

Our learning journal has all the areas in it and is the document provided by LEA that we highlight when we have seen /evidence that a child has reached that particular goal. From this we then get their next steps and plan accordingly. We code our highlighters for different terms but also label and date post its and photos in there.

 

I was just wondering if it would be useful to give out say once per term to parents, give them their own highlighter colour and ask them to highlight what they know their child can do? Or do you think this is something we should be doing on our own? I am have only just started at the pre-school so please be gentle with me (sorry if it is a daft question etc etc). What would be the for and against points?

 

Another question...how many/long are your keyworker meetings?

 

We are entitled to be paid for 3 hours per term! We spent 2 hours last week and there is still lots more to be done. Im wondering if we should ask the committee for more hours (its in our contract this) so would like to know what others are paid to do...if at all.

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Hi all

Talking about involving in planning..

Do any of you give the learning journals to parents to fill out themselves about their child on a regular basis? We have the intial

all about me sheets when they first start.

 

When I had my preschool the learning journals were available for parents to access at every session, each journal had pages headed with "Activities/events I've enjoyed at home" plus a page at the back headed 'Parent Comments', things said / asked verbally at beginning and end of sessions, these were more about information on child health & well being, behaviour or development queries or concerns. We were reluctant for journals to go home but also had 'open days/twilight hours for working parents to get a chance to contribute.

 

Our learning journal has all the areas in it and is the document provided by LEA that we highlight when we have seen /evidence that a child has reached that particular goal. From this we then get their next steps and plan accordingly. We code our highlighters for different terms but also label and date post its and photos in there.

 

I was just wondering if it would be useful to give out say once per term to parents, give them their own highlighter colour and ask them to highlight what they know their child can do? Or do you think this is something we should be doing on our own? I am have only just started at the pre-school so please be gentle with me (sorry if it is a daft question etc etc). What would be the for and against points?

 

Not a daft question, I personally wouldn't ask them to highlight areas, to me the journals are to celebrate the actual doing with child and parent, the actual assessment of what this means in terms of development levels, I see as the staffs role.

 

Another question...how many/long are your keyworker meetings?

 

We are entitled to be paid for 3 hours per term! We spent 2 hours last week and there is still lots more to be done. Im wondering if we should ask the committee for more hours (its in our contract this) so would like to know what others are paid to do...if at all.

 

I used to pay my staff 1 hour per week non contact time which they took when they could arranging with each other to support.cover to enable this during the working week. I also paid 2 hours per week staff meetings to discuss key children and any other preschool business. The staff meetings used to last longer but that was sometimes due to staff not being prepared for the meeting (something to be encouraged ie: have a clear agenda prior to meeting) and sometimes due to chat going off agenda items. By paying for a fixed 2 hours this helped staff to ensure they were prepared for the meeting and to 'keep on track' so to speak. :o

 

Each setting is different due to budgets, staff competence, etc etc.

 

Peggy

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Thanks Peggy.

I think you have come up with some excellent uggestions on how we can get parents to add to their files! Will get sheet sorted out now!

Bit disheartening is the fact that we are to do parent/keyworker meetings this week and only one parent has put their name down! I think im going to have to look into this further as to why this is? Not even those mums that we know dont work have put their names down.

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