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Child Initiated Activities


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Hi

 

The other day I had an interesting conversation with my Headteacher, who as I had been off sick had taken my class for several days. She was telling me that after a whole class input upon the carpet she had used a carousel approach where she had two adults doing adult led activities while the other groups were sent to an area and given a specific acitivity to do such as make a type of transport with the sticklebricks. I got the impression that this is what she felt I should be doing, but this is not what I do at the moment.

 

At present I do a whole class input maybe phonics or PSRN and then either my TA or myself work with one group doing an adult led activity while the other adult hears the children read. The rest of the children are free to choose where they play and what they do in that area. Obviously I plan what activities are available and have intended learning objectives for these, but the children are free do take it in whatever direction they choose.

 

So now I am confused, is what I am doing at the moment right or should I be doing what my headteacher did. My understanding is that if you send a child to an area/activity and tell them what to do then this is a adult initiated activity and not child initiated. If I do this then the children will not be engaging in child initiated play. is this right? I am a NQT so just want to make sure that what I am doing is right.

 

Would appreciate your ideas on this

 

Thanks xx

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I agree with you that you are correct. I take it she has not read EYFS documentation, or been on any training. It's only child initiated if they do it 'off their own bat', or if they take an idea you may have given them, and embroider upon them. For instance, I saw some boys enjoying the workbench and I gave them a tape measure so they could mark the wood where they wanted to cut (I was wanting to observe some purposeful mark-making from the boys) They came to ask me the next day if they could use the proper tape measure from the toolkit and carried on with their marking and pretend sawing. So what started as adult initiated became child initiated.

Stick to your guns! Just tell her, 'Oh that's interesting, did you get some good child initiated learning observations out of it?'

:o

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Nutleywombat be reassured what you are doing is what you should be doing, a mixture of CI and adult directed. Carousels went 'out' years ago, but that is how it was done at one time, although more in Y1 than in YR. I expect your HT found it easier to cope as she will have felt more in control, and the freedom children have in EY's can be quite scarey for some. Perhaps a conversation with her about how the EYFS is implemented, with back up documentation, is the next step forward.

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Nutleywombat it soundds as if your HT has no real understanding of Child Initiated or indeed EYFS.

 

When we have child initiated non eof the adults have groups. All the children have planned where they want to go and what they want to do and we play with them. It is the best time of the day. We have adult directed time first thing in the morning and my TA and I have small groups while some of the children work on an adults directed task and then we swop over. We then go to Plan do Review and all of the children have child initiated. Just recently some of the children were interested in the patterns of their footprints in the snow so we put gloop in the builders tray and sand in another so they could ontinue this. We then made moulds from some of the footprints and the children were facinated and wanted to match shows and prints. We then found out who had the biggest footprint - of course it was the adults!!!

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I agree with all these comments - it seems your headteacher does not fully understand how to embrace the EYFS!!!

:o hmm... now how to tell her this is the tricky part! xD

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Thank you for your replies.

 

It's nice to be reassured. Being new to teaching I worry that if what I am doing is right, especially as i feel the other teachers see Reception as getting the children ready for year 1!!! Why can't people recognise the importance that this year has!!!!!

 

Thanks again xx

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