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Al, Ai, Ci - How Do You Organise It All?


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Hi ladies

 

Well I am confused! Can you help?

 

I am a reception teacher who has just had a good ofsted and no problems in moderations over the last few years but we have just had county in and the advisor said that we don't 'do' child initiated and should do more.

 

Let me explain how we do it at the moment and please advise how else we can organise it all. We have two classes of 30 children - two teachers and two full time fantastic TA's. We do one adult-led activity a day and the zones in the two classrooms and outside have a learning challenge but although we tell the children about the challenges they have access to the resources in the zones and can take the challenge in any direction they choose. We have planning time with the children each week and they give us ideas for the adult-led and learning challenges and obviously we plan next steps for the children from observations.

 

The only way we can think of changing it is to have adult-led and adult-initiated (learning challenges) in the morning and completley child-initiated in the afternoon. We are happy to change and try new ideas for the children because there is always room for improvement.

 

What do you think?

 

Thanks

Edited by becs08
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I think the way you have it organised sounds good - and don't understand why they have said it is wrong (though I guess you don't understand either?!) Also, surely the right way is what works for your setting - stupid authority people.

 

I changed the way we work in the autumn, so instead of having CI running alonside adult focus stuff, my TA and I do adult focus activities, while the others do independent activities that I have set up/directed them to. Then at another point in the day we have child initiated so that we can both observe/support/join in - rather than trying to work with groups and observe at the same time which was rather tricky.

 

Don't know if that makes sense ... but that's what we do at the moment. Til I change it. Again!

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If the children are free to use the resources in your zones as they wish and you do not dictate to them how they are to use the resources or which resources they can use, then surely this is CI and your challenges are enhancements?

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I think it depends if your challenges are the only thing the children afre allowed to choose or if they can do them at some point in the day and choose other things at other times. I was thinking of setting my children challenges to complete over the week, what sort of challenges do you do? It sounds good to me.

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I think it depends if your challenges are the only thing the children afre allowed to choose or if they can do them at some point in the day and choose other things at other times.

 

I think this is probably what the advisor was getting at. Do the children have to complete the challenges? If the challenges are the only things they are going off and working on then it probably isn't true CI, however if they know they can completely ignore the challenges if they wish and do something else then surely it is still CI?

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Thanks for your replies.

 

The children do have access to the resources that's why I am confused! We talk to the children about what the challenges are but its up to them if they do them. Some of them do them for a bit and then change or extend it with other resources. Other children may ignore them completley. Depends on the child!

 

I think we are going to try doing pure CI in the afternoon, I think we may get more spontaneous obs that way.

 

I will try and add a copy of our learning challenges for you to have a look at.Enhanced_Learning_Challenges_week_2.doc

This is an example of one we have done this term.

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We also have challenges in the outdoor area which county didn't particularly like. Very similar to yours 'Can you make a bridge for the 3 Billy goats gruff?, 'Which letters can you find?' etc. Children can go to them if they want but there is no pressure to do so. We have about 2 per week.

We like them, so we've kept going with them. We have one teacher and 2 TAs - we rotate the day so 1 person focused activity, 1 person observations and 1 person outside extending learning and then we change round.

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I think what you have to bear in mind, is that if county people didn't come in and make suggestions, they wouldn't have a job! Sometimes they have to be seen to be making suggestions otherwise what are they being paid for?

I work in a similar way to you and find that it is brilliant for all concerned. CI happens all day every day with one floating adult, whilst another adult leads group activities.

Alongside the CI i usually have 2 'must do' jobs every week based on a topic activity or maybe to draw chidlren to an area that they don't normally use. This week we had 2 must do jobs

1. Make a map for the beebots to travel around.

2. Draw around you and your friend and measure the chalk body using bricks.

They don't all choose to follow this brief completely but they all go to this area to use the resources alongside CI each week.

 

If it works for you, why change, it's only a suggestion. My advisor loved what we do and said she wouldn't change anything.

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I like your challenges.

 

It fits in with sustained shared thinking. The challenges are open to the children leading them and coming to their own conclusions. Also they have CI time for their own challenges, so they aren't always relying on you to tell them what to do. The challenges arise from their interests.

 

The problem with some advisors .....they only see a snapshot of your day and then make judgements. Go with what you think is instinctively right for your class.

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I can understand where the advisors are coming from as you seem to have a challenge in almost every area? I wouldn't go for completely free CIP in the afternoons, but perhaps reduce the number of challenges to 2 or 3 key areas - that way you can enhance them really well and the Advisors won't think the children are pressured into the challenges. You could do it this way to keep the Advisors happy but do it the way you feel works best when they're not watching! :o

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I think what you have to bear in mind, is that if county people didn't come in and make suggestions, they wouldn't have a job! Sometimes they have to be seen to be making suggestions otherwise what are they being paid for?

I work in a similar way to you and find that it is brilliant for all concerned. CI happens all day every day with one floating adult, whilst another adult leads group activities.

Alongside the CI i usually have 2 'must do' jobs every week based on a topic activity or maybe to draw chidlren to an area that they don't normally use. This week we had 2 must do jobs

1. Make a map for the beebots to travel around.

2. Draw around you and your friend and measure the chalk body using bricks.

They don't all choose to follow this brief completely but they all go to this area to use the resources alongside CI each week.

 

If it works for you, why change, it's only a suggestion. My advisor loved what we do and said she wouldn't change anything.

 

Rufus, When you are leading group activities - is this one group activity at a time, ie a writing group or maths or creative or something, or several groups working on TI and TD whilst others are free to do CI?

Thanks

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi,

This is my second year teaching Reception/YR 1 and i'm still trying to find the best way to fit everything in the the school day! At the moment my Reception children choose between a selection of AI activities first things and then have an AL task after morning play time. The afternoons are for CI activities for the majority of the class and time for another AL activity for one group. This activity will be carried out with each group over the week.

Looking forward to seeing how this way works out!

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Organise???!!! what is that?!

I find it all so difficult to fit in --- Early Years advise one thing, then heads want something else --

 

I'm worried about not having a 'keyworker' system in place in our reception unit -- can anyone advise if it is statutory in Reception classes?I know this is half way through a year but I've only just heard about it-- I thought it applied just to pre schools -- am I wrong?

 

Find it all a bit worrying after spending a whole week in in half term just updating profiles --

help !!

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As far as I understand it, it is a statutory requirement that all children from 0 - 5 have a keyworker BUT in Reception classes this tends to be the class teacher. Some settings, I think, use the TA as a keyworker for some children, but I don't do this as ultimately \i have responsibility for the class so am the keyworker for all.

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When we had ofsted in Dec they asked how I was working the key person system, I told her I was the key person for all children as its my responsibility to plan and teach etc, but my TA heavily supports me. They seemed happy with this. x

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Thank you for your replies! I had believed myself to be key worker for all 30 children - I guess I'm just wishing I could off load some of this work!!

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I teach Year R and Year 1. In the morning we have adult led activities and challenges similar to yours and then in the afternno I give the Year ones an extra adult led session and the year R's have child initiated time which the year ones johe yin for the last session of the day. This means my TA and I can both be free to observe and extend learning. We used to have independent learning along side adult led but it meant we were never interacting with the children as were always busy with a group.

 

For Key Person I have 2/3 and my TA has 1/3 of yr R children. When we do work in our Key person groups the yr ones join her. This works well esp in the morning/after school as it gives the parents someone more specific to approach although we did have to send home a letter explaining they could of course speak to anyone in the school and briefly explaining the reasons behind the key person idea.

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Rufus, When you are leading group activities - is this one group activity at a time, ie a writing group or maths or creative or something, or several groups working on TI and TD whilst others are free to do CI?

Thanks

My group work will be an adult working with a small group of children on an adult directed activity or adult intiated activity. I will work my way through the whole class that day whilst the floating adult supports play and directs chidlren to must do jobs. It is always one group at a time and the size of the groups varies depending on the activity and the children.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Any advice from anyone now manning an outside area as well? I'm happy with the balance of adult directed and CI in my setting but we are now short of time/manpower for obs and supporting and extending play?

 

LMB x

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