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Writing Observations- Help!


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Sorry if this has already been asked somewhere else, I'm still learning to find my way around the site!

 

I've been trying to pluck up the courage to ask this possibly stupid question but the whole issue of writing observations is driving me mad and making me really unhappy because I'm constantly worried about it.

 

I'm new to Reception and am finding it very hard to get my head around the whole foundation approach (I'm teaching in Wales having moved from England but find it's the same principle as the foundation stage in England) I've only moved from Year 1 and 2 but am still finding it a culture shock doing what I feel is nearly every subject at once.

 

My worry is what sort of comments should I be writing and how should I word them? I think I'm writing too much and what I am writing is not that useful. I'm fine when it comes to the adult led activities with particular objectives to assess (typical year 1 stuff) but it's the other 'post it note' type comments that confuse me when children are in the various areas. The other problem is my TA's also don't really know what to write either as they've not been used to writing comments in the past and I don't yet feel able to help them as I'm lost myself! Aaagh!

 

I've scoured the internet trying to find examples of observations for the 6 areas of learning (though we have one more in Wales being Welsh) People talk about the format of observations but nowhere can I find examples of what sort of things to write. I'm sure if I saw some examples I'd begin to think in a different more helpful way and be able to help my TA's too. Does anyone know of any 'banks of comments' in the areas of learning which might be able to give me a kick start?!

 

I feel terribly stupid asking this but it's making me SO unhappy as I know observation is the key to teaching and learning in the foundation phase/ stage. I really feel like giving up. ANY help or advice most gratefully recieved. :o

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I am not yr R but have been in early years for longer than I care to remember so observations come second nature, they have always been a big part of what we do.

 

Observation and assessment This site has a basic introduction and some good info on observing.

 

The incidental obs, I always found the easiest. Just a quick note when spotting something the child has done for the first time, or trying to achieve, attempting something new for the first time. anything which may be relevant to show how the child is developing as well as giving an idea of where to help them with next steps.. Any significant achievement really.

 

They really only need to be done where relevant , no pint in piles of observations or notes if they are not going to be used for anything.

 

We used sticky labels that could be put into any learning journey or form of recording achievements being used.. saved writing them out again..

 

 

others more used to observing in Reception will I am sure be along to add more..

 

Inge

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Hi Maddie, there are some examples of learning stories which might give you a helping hand on the EYFS CD rom, under observations assessment and planning. If you also look at the 'in depth' on the CDrom, you will see more information about how and what to observe.

 

 

DO you have an experienced colleague or advisor you can call upon? I have often found doing joint observations really helpful.. where you observe the same child/ren at the same time, and then compare notes.

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Maddie, I really feel for you...it is a real stress and even worse when you are new to it all and no one tells you what to do!!! Post it notes are great, as are rols of sticky labels. I have an exercise book for each child and stick all their comments in it. Photos are a great way to record what they do and can be easily stuck in. I have a little format thing i use, i jot down the obs and then circle the area of learning. I can forward this to you if you want? Do you have the Early Years foundation stage profile handbook? This is a really valuable resource and gives great ideas of what to write for each strand.

 

I hope this helps a bit!

Susie

 

 

Sorry if this has already been asked somewhere else, I'm still learning to find my way around the site!

 

I've been trying to pluck up the courage to ask this possibly stupid question but the whole issue of writing observations is driving me mad and making me really unhappy because I'm constantly worried about it.

 

I'm new to Reception and am finding it very hard to get my head around the whole foundation approach (I'm teaching in Wales having moved from England but find it's the same principle as the foundation stage in England) I've only moved from Year 1 and 2 but am still finding it a culture shock doing what I feel is nearly every subject at once.

 

My worry is what sort of comments should I be writing and how should I word them? I think I'm writing too much and what I am writing is not that useful. I'm fine when it comes to the adult led activities with particular objectives to assess (typical year 1 stuff) but it's the other 'post it note' type comments that confuse me when children are in the various areas. The other problem is my TA's also don't really know what to write either as they've not been used to writing comments in the past and I don't yet feel able to help them as I'm lost myself! Aaagh!

 

I've scoured the internet trying to find examples of observations for the 6 areas of learning (though we have one more in Wales being Welsh) People talk about the format of observations but nowhere can I find examples of what sort of things to write. I'm sure if I saw some examples I'd begin to think in a different more helpful way and be able to help my TA's too. Does anyone know of any 'banks of comments' in the areas of learning which might be able to give me a kick start?!

 

I feel terribly stupid asking this but it's making me SO unhappy as I know observation is the key to teaching and learning in the foundation phase/ stage. I really feel like giving up. ANY help or advice most gratefully recieved. :o

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I've been trying to pluck up the courage to ask this possibly stupid question

I feel terribly stupid asking this but it's making me SO unhappy

 

Hi Maddie, hope the advice you've been offered helps?!

 

I'm just going to remind you of something you DO already know, have probably heard on EVERY training course you've ever attended and tell the children in your class frequently....

 

THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A STUPID QUESTION!!! JUST A PERSON BRAVE ENOUGH TO ASK FOR HELP WHEN THEY NEED IT!!!

 

Hope you soon feel at home in Reception and here on the Forum!

 

Nona

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Thank you everyone who has replied and thanks Nona for reminding me of that- so true but you still feel a bit silly! Teaching can be such a lonely job at times (especially when you are in such a tiny school like I am so no Mundia, there isn't really anyone else I can ask unfortunately though I am waiting for early years advisors to come in as requested- goodness knows when that will be, they can be a bit busy!)

 

Thank goodness for people like you lot though who make people like me feel less alone! I've looked at all the docs suggested and when it's all digested, I think I might begin to see the wood for the trees- at last!

 

Susie- I have moved from post it notes to sticky labels!

1. My school don't HAVE post its- they're just for the office and I had to buy my own

2. With a sticky label I can avoid re-writing so save time (my post-its fall off after a while!)

 

I would be interested to see your format too (I have my own but yours may be more user friendly?) if you could forward it that would be really very kind- thank you!

 

Have a lovely weekend everyone, don't work too hard. :o

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I found the same thing with the post it notes, poundland are good for cheap stationary if you have to buy your own.

 

I will try and attch the form now...hope it works!

 

It seems to have uploaded...let me know if you have any probs and i'll try again!

 

Make sure you have a bit of a rest this weekend (i know this seems impossible sometimes but it is important!) I can't believe it's only the first week back!

 

Susie

x

Individ_FS_Ass_obs_sheet_blank_a5.doc

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I like the social context and adult supervision bits. Much easier to just delete those not appropriate in an observation than writing it out.

Thanks

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