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Good afternoon everybody and Happy New Year.

 

Im sure you can help me. I went back to work today (Nursery teacher in a private school) and discovered that we now have 31 children in our class and that means 31 learning journeys. Does anybody have any advice on what you do for your evidence of observations. We currently do Learning Journeys for each child and they are great but very time consuming. I need an alternative method-if possible, to save time. xxxxxxx

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Good afternoon everybody and Happy New Year.

 

Im sure you can help me. I went back to work today (Nursery teacher in a private school) and discovered that we now have 31 children in our class and that means 31 learning journeys. Does anybody have any advice on what you do for your evidence of observations. We currently do Learning Journeys for each child and they are great but very time consuming. I need an alternative method-if possible, to save time. xxxxxxx

 

hi Hannah, i have just cut and pasted this...it's a post i made a little while ago. I hope it helps x

 

just to throw a spanner in the works!...at my setting we do a whole class learning journal which is shared. Each child then has a slimline profile folder. Originally all the children had an individual scrap book to collect work and evidence of skills under the six areas. The teaching team found this approach very time intensive and the logistics of managing the collation of materials and sharing scrap books very complicated. Not to mention the time/cost involved with printing pics for each child's learning journey. With the arrival of a new FS leader a new idea was introduced –the concept of whole class Learning Journeys. This was initially trialled in the Nursery and was then extended into the Reception class and is now FS policy.

We began to implement this in Sept 2007 and was viewed by Ofsted as an outstanding resource/idea. It has dveloped over time and we now structure it with the 3 elements from the KWL assessment for learning. K=finding out what the children already know, W=asking the children what they want to find out, L=summrising towards the end of the learning journey what the children have learnt through the various activities. We have to balance the school's priority of a creative curriculum alongside the children's individual interests. Since Sept we have been thinking about "Children around the World" and this has been created as a learning journal. Alongside that a child developed an interest in scarecrows, which led to the whole classs being interested and wanting to make a scarecrow, which led into harvest and Autumn. So at the moment we have those two learning journeys running and our pets one and a wormery one.

Key Points about learning journeys

 

• The class LJ reflects the class umbrella topics but is flexible enough to reflect individual/group interests

 

• The LJ is shared with children on a daily basis and provides valuable opportunities for reflection

 

• Represents a collective experience but features quotations from individuals

 

• One person oversees the collation of the LJ to ensure that all the children are evenly represented

 

• The LJ is built up on a daily basis and the process involves both children and parents

 

• The LJ is always on display for parents to look at and parents are welcome and encouraged to give feedback

 

• Through LJ parents see the bigger picture and develops community spirit and sense of cohesion

 

• Each child has an individual slim line profile folder which contains the child's profile and any significant observations.

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We have learning journals (large project book) for all the children in the class (25 between myself and TA). We use address labels to write observations on, we then add the area/s of learning that it relates to and stick in books in date order. Also stick in photos (and write obs or link to sticky label) and do one learning story (long obs) for each child per half term which include next steps.

I prefer sticking the labels in in date order (opposed in areas of learning) as I feel it shows their journey in a holistic manner and that most of the time the obs refer to more than one area of learning.

We have found that this system is manageable if we keep up to date with it every 2-3 weeks (we each do our own key groups).

Parents love looking through and reading observations - we have invited them to contribute but have had no takers so far!

Hope this helps

Green Hippo xx

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We have learning journals (large project book) for all the children in the class (25 between myself and TA). We use address labels to write observations on, we then add the area/s of learning that it relates to and stick in books in date order. Also stick in photos (and write obs or link to sticky label) and do one learning story (long obs) for each child per half term which include next steps.

I prefer sticking the labels in in date order (opposed in areas of learning) as I feel it shows their journey in a holistic manner and that most of the time the obs refer to more than one area of learning.

We have found that this system is manageable if we keep up to date with it every 2-3 weeks (we each do our own key groups).

Parents love looking through and reading observations - we have invited them to contribute but have had no takers so far!

Hope this helps

Green Hippo xx

 

 

How many observations are you doing on each child? Do you focus on x amount of children each week and plan for them the following week or all the children all the time ?

Long obs once a term I think is realistic but Im trying to ascertain how many obs is sufficient for each child other than the long one?

x

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Could I just ask a different question, though related to the Learning Journeys.... should they be in a locked cupboard or filing cabinet? Ours are kept in the childrens 'trays' which are not locked (like the ones you get in schools). We do it this way so that they are accessible to the parent.

As a parent would never be left on their own in the room, it would make it difficult for them to access another childs folder. But part of me feels we are wrong and they should be locked in a cupboard.

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Ours are half and half. The non 'private' bits like 'who i'm playing with at the moment' etc are kept in the child's ringbinder and the more private, observations and the like are kept in the locked cupboard in key person files

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Hi

Myself and my Ta both take 2 children each week to do long observations on, we then assess the learning that has taken place and fill in the next steps section accordingly - this then feeds into the next weeks planning (an enhancement/focused activity/teacher support for that child in a specific area). Each day we do short (significant) observations on any children - it varies from day to day how many we do - somedays 5, somedays 15 (just depends what you've observed) plus we take photos. It's hard to tell how many obs each child gets - probably about 2 per week. I don't like putting quotas on how many and what sort in terms of observations as I feel that it puts pressure on staff to write observations that may not be significant. We have a simple tick sheet which has the names down the side and the aols across the top and each day week tick what the observations we've done for that day relate to e.g. Owain PSED & CLL - this gives us a quick guide to where we have gaps or who hasn't got many observations etc

The following weeks planning is then informed by individual and groups observations - I do try to make sure that the focused activities are accessible for all children if they choose to be involved but may have a particular group of children in mind.

Currently I don't put next steps on every observation, and my current feeling is that I just wouldn't be able to follow up every next step if I did this but may be I'm getting the wrong idea of how this works??

 

I keep the children's learning journeys in magazine files in their key groups. The parents can ask to see them at any time (although none have yet!) and from this term I am going to send them home with the children who have had long observations that week and ask parents to add things that they have done at home.

 

I often get myself in an absolute tizzy about observations/next step planning/planning for individuals etc but I keep telling myself that I have to do what works in MY setting. A lot of the great ideas on here relate to much different settings so it's difficult to compare?? However, I still don't know whether I should be planning focused activities just for individual next steps?? With 13 in our key groups it would take such a long time to do this.

 

Hope this helps, would appreciate any advice on my worries!

Green hippo x

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Thank you for your thoughts and ideas. I feel very tired after first day back. I feel exhausted as Ive been working since 7.45 and It's now 5 and I had a 15 min lunch break! Im sure it shouldnt be this hard! Sorry , just needed a moan.....

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Thank you for your thoughts and ideas. I feel very tired after first day back. I feel exhausted as Ive been working since 7.45 and It's now 5 and I had a 15 min lunch break! Im sure it shouldnt be this hard! Sorry , just needed a moan.....

 

It's ok to have a moan Hannah, we all understand and can relate to it. It's my first day back too and I feel the same. It never gets any easier does it xD And to think my 16 year old son thinks I just sing songs all day. :o

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