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Out With Topics And In With Skills.


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Hi all. It's great to get to the end of another year and reflect on all the good we have done. Still, looking ahead to next year i am considering changing the way i plan for my reception class. At present i still use a topic as the basis of my MTP. During the half term i try to keep my class very child initiated but do have a few adult led activities (probably too many). If the children are not taking the topic on board then i will change/adapt it based on any common interests. However, after reading through many of the excellent posts on this sight (and the article on motivational planning) i really want to scrap topics and focus on selecting the skills that i would like to cover over each half term. That way it doesn't matter what topic we are doing i can always find a way to develop those skills etc. I also want to try and reduce my planning and spend more time observing children and going with their interests. The problem is I have a wonderful TA who has the best interest of the children at heart BUT she doesn't understand the importance (or value) of C.I. learning or carrying out observations. Anytime i ask her to do obs she is not very confident and not as happy as she is if she has a small group of children around a table in a adult led activity. Therefore, each time i try to be more flexible in my planning i am always thinking of adult led/focused activites that i can plan to keep her happy/busy. I really want to take my class forward now and i want her to develop professionaly but i do not want to upset her. Any advice on planning and good practice that i may be able to refer her to would be welcome. Thanks in advance guys. PHIL :o

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Can you send her on a training session about the vaue of CI play and observations in the new term? Speaking with my TA hat on, it was much easier to carry out obs when i had a clear idea of the focus ie which profile point etc. Also through encouragement from my teacher, who valued any contribution, I gained confidence. Finally, I would suggest maybe having a session where you both just immerse yourselves in the play and then review with each other all the wonderful learning you both observed?

hmm, reads a bit of a ramble, hope of some use! :o

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Can you send her on a training session about the vaue of CI play and observations in the new term? Speaking with my TA hat on, it was much easier to carry out obs when i had a clear idea of the focus ie which profile point etc. Also through encouragement from my teacher, who valued any contribution, I gained confidence. Finally, I would suggest maybe having a session where you both just immerse yourselves in the play and then review with each other all the wonderful learning you both observed?

hmm, reads a bit of a ramble, hope of some use! :o

 

Thanks for your reply chocisgood. We have been on many training sessions together, looking at larning stories, considering observations and C.I. learning but although she knows it is good practice she finds it hard to let go of the traditional role she had before i arrived at the school. I do thank, praise and welcome any contribution she has but she is still not very confident.

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Have you shared any of the items you have found helpful here with your TA?

 

I understand your situation completely as I had some tussles when we changed our way of working (and I'm working on a follow up to the Motivational Planning article, which might help - if I can ever get it finished!!) but you have to just keep gently pushing further and further the way you want to go. Other members have pmd me with similar concerns - perhaps some of them might come along soon with ideas they found helpful during the transition.

 

Good luck, it's really worth it!

 

Sue

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Have you shared any of the items you have found helpful here with your TA?

 

I understand your situation completely as I had some tussles when we changed our way of working (and I'm working on a follow up to the Motivational Planning article, which might help - if I can ever get it finished!!) but you have to just keep gently pushing further and further the way you want to go. Other members have pmd me with similar concerns - perhaps some of them might come along soon with ideas they found helpful during the transition.

 

Good luck, it's really worth it!

 

Sue

 

Thank you sue. I am so enthused about moving the foundation stage even further on. Three years ago the children mostly sat at tables and got directed to play areas!!. I'm almost there but i just need my staff on board with me. Would love to hear from any other reception teachers who have develope good C.I. practice. Maybe some advice on how the day is organised etc.

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Hi Phil,

I was just about to remark that I hadn't welcomed you, when I noticed you're a long standing member!

You are right to be enthused - when we lose that we should leave the sector! I truly hope you can sort your challenges out. I will have a think and perhaps get back to you with some brilliant ideas - :o

 

Sue

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I am just coming back into teaching after a few years at home with my children. I am really excited about the EYFS, as when I taught Reception before I had to really struggle within my school to avoid Literacy/Numeracy hour etc. I have a Reception/Y1 class in September, job sharing with a teacher who has been there for a long time. I am excited about implementing the EYFS, but unsure as to how to approach this as the class is very formal at the moment and focussed on the Y1s. Any advice welcome!!!

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Hi Kathryn

Good luck with the new job, I think though that you will need to have your job share partner on board or you could find you are creating mayhem and confusion for the children and frustration and tension for yourself. If you had the remit of creating a child friendly working environment when you were appointed or can get the support of the HT or leadership team then you might stand a better chance.

A child friendly classroom will also greatly benefit the yr 1s too and I would suggest that you show the teacher how the yr 1 curriculum can also be developed through play and be skills driven. There is lots of stuff out there and Lancsgfl is a good place to start.

 

Good luck.

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