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Bogged Down With Literacy!


Guest kelh81
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Hi,

 

I'm reviewing my timetable for my Reception class and have realised that am lot of my week is taken up with CLL directed teaching. We do phonics daily from 9.30- 9.45 (though by the time we have got back from assembly, got into groups then sat down and ready to start it's more like 9.40 - 10.00). Then we do guided reading, individual readers and/or handwriting until 10.30 (playtime). So the first session of every morning is taken up with literacy based activities. I have then been told I have to also fit in a daily Literacy and Maths lesson which, when you add 2 x PE and 1 x RE (we're a church school) leaves around 3 sessions for KUW, Creative, PSED & Physical plus time for observing and working with the kids in CI activities! How do other YR teachers manage their week and fit everything in?!

 

:o

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I had similar issues a few years back. But I ended up putting my foot down with my HT, being very firm about the fact that the six areas of the FSC are supposed to have equal weighting... After a lot of negotiation and time table manipulation we managed to get the timetable down to pretty much an equal allowance of time for each area, and a healthy mix of directed/independent time. And, by the end of the year the phonics/writing levels were the highest we'd ever had! So go figure. Sometimes HTs don't understand that literacy can permeate most activities in some form or another... and doesn't always have to be directed, planned and teacher-focussed!

 

Good luck

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I have the same issue. Phonics 20 mins a day, group/guided reading, 1x weekly guided writing per group, handwriting, maths input, PE in hall, PE outside (Games), Outdoor learning-Forest Schools, music with specialist teacher. ICT suite time. And then one afternoon for KUW and 1 for CD.

the children do have CI time and I feel happy about how much they get BUT i just feel very top lit based! In spare moments we do reading of stories and rhymes.

 

I have no advice to offer but would welcome ANY ideas!!!!!!!!!

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Guest tinkerbell

I feel the same and I teach R and 5 yr1 = 21 children

Something that works well for us is...

We have a KUW morning on wednesday where the TA takes groups out for baking and teacher works a carousel of related activities investigations and child initiated activities and small group work with teacher

and on the afternoon have a story straight after lunch break then spend an hour outside on the field where the children dictate what they would like to do..in that time they are welcome to potter in the vegetable plot with me..TA is out on the field.eg before the snow a group decided to collect the mole hills in small plastic buckets ,they then tipped the good soil into our raised beds.....we then go back into school and finish off with 45 mins of phonic games which the children rotate around.

I now have 4 groups for phonics and they are also the guided reading groups...I agree literacy does take up a lot of teacher imput time.....

 

Tinkerbellx

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I've attached my timetable. We are team teaching with 2 teachers and a TA (We also have a little boy with a statement who has a SEN TA).

We do 1 guided read and 1 guided write per child per week. We hear each child read once a week.

We do 4 lots of phonics and 1 handwriting.

We have 2 maths activities and 2 other adult led activities, plus 1 ICT activities.

We have 3 CLL 'circles' (group teaching times), 3 maths 'circles', 3 other circles, 1 music, 1 dance, 1 outdoor games.

 

We don't have any times where children are doing an adult directed activity without an adult (like you do in a literacy carousel), so the majority of children are playing while an adult works with a small group.

 

Our children get quite a lot of play, I think - we took lots of circle times out of the timetable.

We get good results and we are in a very deprived area.

 

We are quite prepared to change our timetable for special events.

Hope this helps.

Timetable_RHW_2009.doc

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I feel the same and I teach R and 5 yr1 = 21 children

Something that works well for us is...

We have a KUW morning on wednesday where the TA takes groups out for baking and teacher works a carousel of related activities investigations and child initiated activities and small group work with teacher

and on the afternoon have a story straight after lunch break then spend an hour outside on the field where the children dictate what they would like to do..in that time they are welcome to potter in the vegetable plot with me..TA is out on the field.eg before the snow a group decided to collect the mole hills in small plastic buckets ,they then tipped the good soil into our raised beds.....we then go back into school and finish off with 45 mins of phonic games which the children rotate around.

I now have 4 groups for phonics and they are also the guided reading groups...I agree literacy does take up a lot of teacher imput time.....

 

Tinkerbellx

 

Timkerbell do you just do phonics on that day then or is that in addition to doing it at other times? I have 3 phonics groups- I teach the largest group and 2x TA's teach two smaller groups. We all do this at the same time at 9.30 everyday in different rooms. It's like a military operation! I like the idea of having KUW morning. I think the school worries that if they don't have a daily maths & literacy lesson then they won't be ready for it in Y1.

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I've attached my timetable. We are team teaching with 2 teachers and a TA (We also have a little boy with a statement who has a SEN TA).

We do 1 guided read and 1 guided write per child per week. We hear each child read once a week.

We do 4 lots of phonics and 1 handwriting.

We have 2 maths activities and 2 other adult led activities, plus 1 ICT activities.

We have 3 CLL 'circles' (group teaching times), 3 maths 'circles', 3 other circles, 1 music, 1 dance, 1 outdoor games.

 

We don't have any times where children are doing an adult directed activity without an adult (like you do in a literacy carousel), so the majority of children are playing while an adult works with a small group.

 

Our children get quite a lot of play, I think - we took lots of circle times out of the timetable.

We get good results and we are in a very deprived area.

 

We are quite prepared to change our timetable for special events.

Hope this helps.

 

 

Are your 'circles' a version of whole class teaching, but in smaller groups? Also, on your timetable, is CIL child initiated learning?! Sorry if that's a really stupid question, had quite an intense parents evening tonight so my brain is a bit fried :o

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Hi Kehl

 

I can see how CLL can take up a lot of time in a Reception class. We do phonics everyday and I also try to do CLL carpet sessions - shared reading and writing during the week. However there are not always follow up CLL activities. There may be for 1 group and the other children are involved in Child initiated learning. I also listen to readers in the week.

 

It is mean to be equal weighting between the 6 areas but I think you need to take into account that if all areas were equal they would have the same number of profile points. However CLL has 36 points which is a bigger weighting than say KUW and PD which has 9 points. And PSRN has 27 points.

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I've attached my timetable. We are team teaching with 2 teachers and a TA (We also have a little boy with a statement who has a SEN TA).

We do 1 guided read and 1 guided write per child per week. We hear each child read once a week.

We do 4 lots of phonics and 1 handwriting.

We have 2 maths activities and 2 other adult led activities, plus 1 ICT activities.

We have 3 CLL 'circles' (group teaching times), 3 maths 'circles', 3 other circles, 1 music, 1 dance, 1 outdoor games.

 

We don't have any times where children are doing an adult directed activity without an adult (like you do in a literacy carousel), so the majority of children are playing while an adult works with a small group.

 

Our children get quite a lot of play, I think - we took lots of circle times out of the timetable.

We get good results and we are in a very deprived area.

 

We are quite prepared to change our timetable for special events.

Hope this helps.

 

thanks for putting your timetable up, I'm always interested in ways to improve what we do. How many children are you talking about here? and what happens during child initiated-how many adults observing/interacting with the children? Also do you have free-flow to the oputside area all day? Apologies but I need to fully understand how it works before I suggest changes to my team ! Many thanks

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Hi Kehl

 

I can see how CLL can take up a lot of time in a Reception class. We do phonics everyday and I also try to do CLL carpet sessions - shared reading and writing during the week. However there are not always follow up CLL activities. There may be for 1 group and the other children are involved in Child initiated learning. I also listen to readers in the week.

 

It is mean to be equal weighting between the 6 areas but I think you need to take into account that if all areas were equal they would have the same number of profile points. However CLL has 36 points which is a bigger weighting than say KUW and PD which has 9 points. And PSRN has 27 points.

 

My children arrive in September already having achieved many of the profile points but always with huge gaps in CLLD so I feel justified in giving more adult focused time to these areas but as horsechestnut says only one group of children are working with me while the others have CIL. I also try whenever possible to link my CLL focused activity to other curriculum areas so it might be writing up instructions for planting seeds or labeling the parts of a minibeast or writing a letter to a polar bear...

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We also link our CLL to other areas, so next week's 'talk for writing' slot is going to be pancake making. We have 37 children, 2 teachers, one TA and and SEN TA who is a 1:1 support for a child with social and communication difficulties - in practice she is very much another adult who is room managing a lot of the time.

The parts of my timetable that say C.I.L. would have 2 adults doing small group work (the size of the group varying from 2 to 6 depending on the activity) and 1 + the SEN TA room managing (ie interacting with children, doing observations and generally trouble shooting). hearing readers has to be fitted in to some nooks and crannies too!

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  • 2 weeks later...
Hi,

 

I'm reviewing my timetable for my Reception class and have realised that am lot of my week is taken up with CLL directed teaching. We do phonics daily from 9.30- 9.45 (though by the time we have got back from assembly, got into groups then sat down and ready to start it's more like 9.40 - 10.00). Then we do guided reading, individual readers and/or handwriting until 10.30 (playtime). So the first session of every morning is taken up with literacy based activities. I have then been told I have to also fit in a daily Literacy and Maths lesson which, when you add 2 x PE and 1 x RE (we're a church school) leaves around 3 sessions for KUW, Creative, PSED & Physical plus time for observing and working with the kids in CI activities! How do other YR teachers manage their week and fit everything in?!

We do handwriting activities as a settling-in activity first thing - tracing pictures initially in the year,followed by writing patterns then letter formation - lower case, then capitals. Register / chat at about 9.20, then into phonics / literacy till about 9.40 - then into group work. We have 2 focus groups - ie 1 Teacher Directed, the other LSA directed. the 2 other groups are working on "writing activities" - ie child initiated within boundaries, (ie literacy based)and / or Independent work - ie teacher framed. The teacher splits herself between the TD, play and Independent groups. (not always ideal, but we all have to work on best-fit. Sometimes I have a parent working with Play or Independent groups). Group work stops about 10.10, a quick plenary / gathering session before Collective Worship at 10.20 as whole school, Key Stage or individual class. (We are also a Church School, with Outstanding in SIAS and OFSTED) After play and snack time we have maths based activities till lunch time. This happens Mon - Thurs. Friday is Fun Day! This is our KUW - also encompassing some CD. Afternoons are PE twice, RE after play one day per week (as well as incorporated into story times and general chat). Three afternoons are CI and observations - both LSA and Teacher. Sometimes we pinch a PE session for extra obs or reading, and there is sometimes a directed CD activity running in the afternoon. We don 't do guided reading very much. Most of our reading is done as in dividuals in lunch times /playtimes / CI times. It seems to work!!( witness 2 O/S judgements last year..) - BUT, there is always room ' scope for improvement.... What does everyone else do??? The children LOVE Friday is Fun Day..

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I feel the same as most people on here! There just doesn't seem to be enough hours in the day!!

 

Ok so firstly I'm an NQT with a reception class that consists of all the children who will turn 5 in the current academic year. My school decided to try out this way of working in line with guidance from our LEA to see how having autumn, spring and summer borns in the same class would affect the f2 year. Consequently whilst finding my feet as a teacher, getting to grips with the CLLD project that runs in school, taking part in a numeracy pilot program that focusses on improving profile results in calculation and having no outdoor area connected to my class, I do feel like I've got a lot on my plate and a little bit like a guinea pig! But according to the staff, my mentor and Ofsted (loved that in my first term lol) apparently I'm doing ok!

 

My timetable seems to change daily lol but the loose outline is register and activate first thing till 9:15, then whole class lit session, usually a big book or speaking and listening focussed on the weekly theme. At 9:30 myself and my full time TA have a group of 6 or 7 children each and do some kind of activity linked to the carpet session so 2 groups get the activity one day and then the following day we have an activity with the other 2 groups in the same way.The other children are CI. At 10 its key stage or whole school assesmbly followed by break at 10:30-10:50 (take snack outside). TA does Milktime with story when they come back in and I have readers followed by numeracy whole class carpet activity (the pilot program I am doing) at 11. The 2 groups that haven't worked with an adult so far then do a follow up maths activity whilst the rest of the class are CI. I also have an msg TA who floats during these group work times. At 12 -1 its lunch. Register when they come back in and activate then phonics in 2 groups in different areas. After this its CI activities and a CD activity is offered in the afternoons too. Tuesdays are different as they have ICT suite time with a TA and then french after play with another teacher whilst im on PPA. Then tuesday aftemoons are PE. Wednesday mornings we also have to fit in a whole school singing time then our own slot at 10:50 - 11:20 with full time F1 children. It sounds (and feels) jam packed! I haven't even mentioned guided reading or handwriting as I haven't started it yet but think it will have to be phased in in the summer term. Not sure when tho!

 

I just feel like CD and KUW are being sidelined but within the capabilities of me and my team in my classroom, as we aren't anywhere near the nursery classroom, this is the best we can offer!! They do seem to play a lot more in the afternoons which I suppose is good but I just don't think I'm offering a balanced FS curriculum at the moment!

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