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Adult Planned / Initiated / Led Activities: I Need Some Advice Please


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Hi...

 

I need some advice on Adult led activities please...

 

I have just had an argument with my TA about these: she says i shouldnt have the children sitting in groups doing activities because they are too little, and that during an activity we should just pull individuals to come and do the tasks and work one to one with them.

 

I have been trying to explain to her that it is important for children to work in small groups and that the discussion part of the task is really important.

 

That task in question was to do with jack and hjill... i drew some wells on the computer and the idea was for the children to have a discussion with the adult about jack and jill, wells, wishing wells, what a wish was and talk about the things they wished for. Once the discussion had taken place the children were to be given the sheet with the well drawn on it and hopefully this would encourage the children to mark make and wrie down thier wishes (the objective for the activity was 'to give meaning to marks as they draw and paint)

 

After the first attempt - which wasnt very successful - we made a well to have as a focus in the middle of the table, and was talked about what they were and how to make a wish....

 

Is this a bad task? Am i doing it all wrong?

 

Thanks,

 

Tink! :o x

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Hi Tinkalink!

 

Sounds good to me - as you say it gives children a chance to work together in small groups and have confidence to contribute to a discussion, listen and take turns in conversation. When the first attempt didnt go as well as you'd hoped you changed tack a bit and brought in something more 'hands on' as a focus which seems to have stimulated the conversation. So there was lots of learning going on even before they got their hands on the writing materials!

 

It may be that your TA just doesn't understand the rationale behind your activity or that she's uncomfortable working with small groups of children. However I find that in one-to-one situations children feel under pressure to 'perform' and sometimes need a lot of leading by the adult. When you're the only child present and are being expected to come up with an answer/idea/solution in order to please a grown up it can be very daunting. Whereas if you have a few children together it just takes one of them to say something to set the others off. Once the ice has been broken they soon get the idea and join in.

 

Anyway: I don't need to tell you all this! xD Preaching to the converted again, I know! However it might be worth pointing this out to her - she may feel more comfortable working one-to-one with a child because the adult can more easily retain control over the activity. Or she might just have got out of the wrong side of the bed this morning!

 

Either way, I'd say stick to your guns: you know why you planned the activity the way you did and the fact that you adapted it slightly shows that you're flexible and reflective! Do you often have these philosophical discussions with her about your approaches with children or was this a one-off? If it is the former then maybe your TA needs a bit more support to enable her to see the benefits of doing things your way! :o

 

Good luck - and remember we're here if you need to let off steam!

 

Maz

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Seems ok to me, 'worksheet' type activities are frowned upon by our local advisory team, so we don't use many at all. But as you say, children do like to work in groups - they are naturally gregarious and 'our lot' really enjoy working together with adult led things, as well as child led.

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did you TA spend a long time observing your activity or was it a snap judgement made from seeing a little bit of your activity

my TA makes comments and I wonder if she has been watching the same group of children

 

take it on board what was said but at the end of the day you know your children and how long they will sit for and as maz said you adjusted the activity to suit the children

 

surely there needs to be some focus time to begin preparing children for school

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Seems ok to me, 'worksheet' type activities are frowned upon by our local advisory team, so we don't use many at all.

Funnily enough my 'worksheet' antenna did spot this for a worksheet activity Cait! Probably more of a 'writing frame' I'd say! :o

 

Would love to see your computer drawn wishing well, Tinkalink - and what did they wish for?

 

Maz

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Thank everyone - you have helped a lot. I just needed reassurance - being an NQT is a hard job!

 

My TA was the one who was leading the activity this morning cos i was on my PPA and it was this afternoon when my other TA was doing it with a different group of children that the conversation started. The concept of a wish was a little difficult for some of them but i wasn't overly concerned with that as my objective wasn't "to understand what a wish is" :) But my TA kept saying it was over thier heads etc and that they shouldnt be sitting down and being forced to write.

 

Not that they were being forced to write - at all - as iasked her not to do at the start of the session, i never force the kids to do activites if they really dont want to.

 

I see the well as more of a writing frame too! I know we are supposed to be setting up areas where the children will hopefully spontaneously mark make independently - and i have all that too - but i also believe there needs to be a balance of that and adult led stuff. It was the conversation between the kids that i thought was important which is why i set it as a group activity. And i agree with everything that you said Maz which is why i planned it in the first place!

 

I will attach the well... it's not great really!

 

Thanks everyone!

 

Tink! :o x

well.doc

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