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Snack Time


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Hi everyone,

 

Only 8 teaching days left until the holdidays!!

 

But with the holidays looming, I have already started thinking about changes to make for next year!

I have heard that the Big O are interested in seeing how snack time is organised in year R and was wondering how you all do it?

 

I use the time as a speaking and listening activity. All children sit on the caret in a circle and the fruit and milk is given out. The children love counting the milk cartons in 2's. The children then sit and chat to the friend they are sitting next to. This can seem chaotic and unfocussed

 

How do you all do it? Table / carpets, whole class / small group, do you have more of a teaching focus?

 

I really look forward to your responses.

 

Thanks XXX

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Ours is similar to you - we have 4 circles of up to 15 children (half a class) and we use it as a speaking and listening time. We go round the circle talking about our weekend, or something key that is happening or has happened. This is the first year it has been done like this and we have found it has really developed our children's speaking ability in particular. A lot of our children probably don't sit down with their families to eat so it replaces this. We have had one child in particular who couldn't speak in full sentences it was really just a muddle of words, who now speaks in such good sentences. The better speakers are modelling good language to the poorer ones. It is such a lovely atmosphere! We have looked into other ways but have decided that this is such a great speaking and listening time as well as a good time to get to know each other that we arent going to change it.

Edited by SP61HJ
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We are pre-school so might not be relevant, we have a rolling snack bar and the children usually sit there with their friends and have a right old natter, sometimes they only go because they want to be with a particular child. Not sure if this is viable in yr 1 but I think the main focus is that it is a sociable occassion no matter the age of the child.

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Hey,

I teach in Recpetion and we have a snack bar that children can access freely during all child-initiated sections of our day - basically whenever we are not doing a carpet session (CLL, PSRN and Phonics). It works well... but I would also like to see a mixture of snack bar and also focused snack time where the children can talk and develop S&L Skills. he only problem that we used to have with that was fitting everything into our days!

Sam x

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Hi!

 

Both reception and nursery have the "rolling" snack bar / cafe and we were Ofsted'd in Feb and they seemed to like it.

 

We, in nursery, all sit at the start of the session and at the end, so the smaller groups at the cafe is a small scale social gathering (up to 5 at a time)

 

It was one of the best changes we ever made........ each child then has chance to eat and drink when THEY want to!

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We have rolling snack in Nursery and reception, with bars inside and outside. We encourage the staff to have their snack with the children and support speaking and listening too.

WE just got outstanding by OFSTED and it certainly gives us more time, I found we wasted so much time stopping, tidying up and the actual snack.

Sharon

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hey

I teach in a 2 tier reception class.

We also have a 'free-choice' snack, the children can choose when they want to have it in the morning session. A majority of mine are quite eager to have it straight away. We have a pot on the table and each child has a laminated fruit picture with their name in it that they post in the pot to show that they have had their snack. It works quite well and they often rally their friends up and all sit together which does produce speaking and listening. Adults occasionally sit at the table, especially when the children first start in reception.

Hope you find your own way to implement snack

 

Claire

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We all sit down together either to read a story or do a circle time activity. Did this when Ofsted were in and they didn't comment either way.

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What do you do about children who do not want to eat fruits?

 

 

I'm mean and make them have 3 bites! All children know the 'rule' and they are really good at encouraging each other. By the end of the year I have a lot of children who are eating the whole piece.

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I teach reception class and mid way through last we changed from a 'circle time' type snack to a 'free flow' snack. I'm thinking of changing back to the old way for a couple of reasons:

 

1. Lots of children don't want snack as they are too busy at their activities (in some ways this pleases me as the activities must be very exciting but I would like them to eat and drink too!)

2. We have got rid of most of our tables in favour of areas and this free flow snack takes up a precious table space!

3. It always seems to be a Teaching assistant who supervises snack as I am doing some sort of teacher led/observation activity so I feel that I miss out on hearing the childrens news which I looked forward to in our circle time snack.

4. We tried to let the children supervise themselves but we had so many spills that it took more adult time to clear up the mess than it did just to sit with them!

5. I got fed up of calling children to come for snack and many children would rush their milk and snack 10 mins before lunch!

 

Maybe there is a better way of doing free flow and I got it all wrong - would be great to have some ideas.

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Our children bring their snacks, but we specify that parent should send fruits and water or milk. Most do so, yet last term a new boy came to our class and he refused to eat any type of fruit. He did not want to eat anything he had to chew. His mum would send vanilla yogurt with sugary cereal. All the other children would ask why he did not make the effort when fruits are healthy. For lunch he would always bring only white pasta with creme or nuggets with chips. The first day of school, even after they had received the parent's school guide with the healthy food guidelines, they sent Coka-Cola (only drink for all day),nuggets with chips, and chocolates :o It took them almost 3 months to send the school guide form signed and this they only did because we told them that if their child was to go out on the field-trip (a round trip getting on a bus, train and tram, from and to school) he needed to be covered by the school's insurance and it would be covered once they signed the form. Boy! That was the only way after 3 months! At the end of the school year, he got to try a tiny bite of coconut and later a bigger bite from a strawberry. I had told him that the important thing was to at least try them and, if he did not like it, he could spit it in the bin. That is what he did with the coconut, but he did swallow the bite of strawberry even though he did not want to eat more from it. Both times I gave him a big hug and told him how proud I felt of him for trying. He smiled and told his parents. He goes to G1 and then he won't be supervised, so I do hope that his parents to keep trying and being conscious of the importance of healthy eating.

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where I am starting in September they have the rolling snack bar, but only inside. Those with it inside and out, how do you manage the handwashing?? Do you send them inside or have outside washing facilities....only pondering, if they are coming in to wash hands anyway, it must be easier to only have it manned the once as an inside snack bar?? Am just pondering as I said, one of my many aims is for our outside area to be used much more than it currently is, but am sure I would be met with some challenges if I suggested 2 snack stations...

 

thanks in advance!

Clare x

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if we do outside snack we use wet wipes. Bit of muck doesn't hurt them anyway - we grew up eating outdoors - don't remember washing my hands before eating on the beach or a family picnic

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Hello mudmonster, welcome to the forum, make yourself at home.

If you do a forum search for snack time you will see various conversations about this subject and a wide variation of views.

You have tried a system which for you at this point in time has not worked. I think what matters is that you have considered, tried and reflected on what you do and made the decision to return to group snack. Yo can justify why you made the decision and I think this is what matters so please don't think that you got it all wrong. Maybe you will come back to the notion of free flow in the future.

 

For me, free flow snack just didn't work with the numbers of children you have in reception especially as I often worked with no support. I also felt that the social time of children actually eating together was really important, as they often didn't do so at home.

 

Good luck with how things go in the next year

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thanks mundia,

 

I think numbers were also a factor with our school. We are a two form entry and 60 children trying to have snack before lunch was a bit of a challenge! I'll take a look at the other snack threads as you suggested. I teach in Wales and foundation phase is being introduced to Reception class in September (although we have been teaching this way for a long time in our school) so it will be interesting to see how it goes. lots of trial and error I think, but joining this forum will hopefully mean lots of trial without too much error!

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Im starting as an NQT in sepember in reception and currently the children take their fruit outside with them onto the playground! I am not happy with this and had a chat with my TA about having a social snack and milk all together but she was adament that the head wouldnt want me to. (the head is also my mentor!) I haven't approched the head yet but would like to go armed with good reasons, she taught reception for years before becoming head so i feel a little insecure about this!

 

Any ideas?

lucie x

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I would tell her that you know how important it is to develop children's speaking and listening skills and so you would like to use snack time to have a daily session when the children sit in groups and talk and listen to each other. It also develops social skills so you can scaffold interacting with others and gives an opportunity to assess the children's language and social abilties.

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  • 2 weeks later...

With regards to outdoor snack and handwashing.....We found children pretty much slf monitored, we talk out the importance of handwashing and all staff actively encurage, remind and act as role models. We haven't found it a problem.

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