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How Many Adult Led Activities Each Week?


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is there a correct answer to this? I am in a school nursery. we are expected to do one each day but i find this very difficult with 23 children and 2 staff and only 2.5 hours!

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I would be interested hearing the correct answer to this one! I work with 2 1/2 -3`s, we have 5 worksheets (yes worksheets) and other adult led activities to do each week. We work with one or two children while other children play - in same room, so children supervised by adults (doing 1:1/1:2 activities), but little interaction with playing children. Private school. Going Grey...

Louise

 

is there a correct answer to this? I am in a school nursery. we are expected to do one each day but i find this very difficult with 23 children and 2 staff and only 2.5 hours!
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We have 20 children, the last hour of our 3 hour session is adult led/initiated. First we tidy up, then we have a 5 minute circle time, snack time, and then some form of p.e. or music movement or phonics on the move, type thing and then assembly and a storytime. That's everyday.

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i should have added that we do one or two carpet sessions each day. then focus activities where we work with individuals or small group. this is the problem for me. it takes up 1 adult for the whole morning which leaves 1 adult to do obs, playing with ch and all the other things that come with the job!

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I work with 2 1/2 -3`s, we have 5 worksheets (yes worksheets) and other adult led activities to do each week. Louise

 

:oxD:( Oh Louise - you've mentioned the dreaded worksheets!! :( think I know what's coming next in the replies.....

 

I'm a childminder but thought 80/20 child/adult initiated activities was recommended? I'm happy to be corrected, hopefully someone with more knowledge will be along soon.

 

Nona

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i don think there is a right or wrong answer here but i think that child initated should be the main stay of the session, why make children take part in an adult directed play when some of them wont want to, their well being and invovlement will be low and therefore their learning low too.

 

the only adult directed we have is 5 - 10 min welcome time and story with singing/letters and sounds we of course have a tidy up time, everything else is child intiated with learning scaffolded by adults

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What you could do is set up an adult led activity, but only go to it if the children choose to go there first. Also don't forget that as others have said, adult led will include circle time which I would guess you do each day.

 

This is where maintained ratios are to my mind just crazy. I was in helping at our preschool yesterday, and there were 3 staff there for 14 children, plus me, and I felt it was STILL not enough!!

 

I know it's not going to happen, but I'd say a ratio of about 1 to 3 for children aged 2-4 is probably about right to actually get really good quality learning happening.

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I also work in a school nursery and have focused activity time for the last 30 mins everyday which include phonics, then a small group activity (in key groups) which is active, hands-on and often play-based (similar to high/scope). This allows for all the adults to be available for the CI time for 1.5 hours of the 2.5hr session - so we are much more involved in their play and have more time to complete observations. It also give us a time to work with individuals or small groups - targeted work/following up next steps from observations. We used to run focused activities simulateously with CI play but found that many children were not 'available' to participate because they were so engrossed in their CI play that we didn't want to interrupt this. Often, the children would say at the end of the session 'I didn't get to do one of those' etc - so it wasn't a case of them not wanting to participate. The children are much more focused during focused activity time as they are in a different room to the playroom (which is not available before 10.30am). Sometimes we do something altogether e.g. P.E. or music. This year we have 3 adults, however, last year there were only 2, so I would still operate in the same way but have the key groups spilt into 4 smaller groups and have 2 groups working with an adult, then swap.

The idea of working like this came from the 'Play, learning and intereacting' government document which suggested that settings thought about having a separate time for FAs so that Teacher-led time and child-led time is not in conflict with each other. The children have responded really positively to this way of working - not one child has said 'I don't want to do this', they actually ask if it's group-time yet. This time also gives us the chance to do circle-time in smaller groups which I feel is much more beneficial to the children - they really build their confidence by working in the same small group. As I mentioned before, the activities are never 'formal', are done inside or outside, on the floor or on a table top - whatever is appropriate, are carefully differentiated and are as often as possible open ended tasks so the children can put their own ideas into it.

I know it wouldn't suit every setting, but it works really well for us and we all feel much more able to meet the needs of the children during both CI time and FA time.

Hope that helps, sorry to ramble on

Green Hippo x

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Not sure what the 'proper' answer is. However in my school nursery Adult 1 does an adult directed activity which has been taken from next steps, and Adult 2 is observing her key children and supporting both inside and out. However, I have been thinking about changing it to complete CI with adult support for next steps for the first 2 hours and then have the rest of the session as adult led in key groups.

 

Since starting in September I have stopped the "It is on the planning so you have to leave your lovely painting and sit here and trace over this worksheet" mentality, but now it also seems that some of the children miss the activities due to being engrossed in others and that the 'one activity for all' approach isn't best for the 'unique child'.

 

I feel motivated to change it all around now- thanks!

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The answer for me is how long's a piece of string!

I had 3 adults in my last class and we would all be doing focused activities at different points during the session depending on the nature of the work we had planned and what we wanted to do.

There's no rule about it.

 

I would say the ratio for AD/CI time is more 50 - 50 ("a balance" in EYFS doc and from EPPE).

I think the 80/20 split idea came from the ratio for the balance of independent work (80% of the evidence) vs AD work (20% of evidence) for EYFSP judgments which was misinterpreted as children had to be working 80% of the time to get 80% independent evidence!!

 

The idea of working like this came from the 'Play, learning and intereacting' government document which suggested that settings thought about having a separate time for FAs so that Teacher-led time and child-led time is not in conflict with each other.
What page is that on.. don't have my copy here!!

 

Cx

Edited by catma
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Hi Catma,

Page 16 'Playing, learning and interacting'

Quote 'It is important for practitioners to consider how best to ensure that children benefit from both child-initiated and adult-led opportunities. It may be possible for the day to involve moving seamlessly between one emphasis and the other. There are risks, however, in not distinguishing between these elements of the routine.

* Where adults focus on supporting particular planned opportunities during child-initiated time, there may be children who regularlydo not opt into these activities and so miss the adult stimulus and support for learning.

* When practictioners plan and lead small group activities while other children play, they are not available to observe, engage with and support play.

* If this organisation involves calling children away from their child-initiated activities to join in with adult-led activities, children's control over their play and sustained time to develop their interests is compromised.

 

Practictioners may instead develop a clear structure ensuring that all children participate in focused activities and that child-initiated activity is valued and supported.'

 

 

Green Hippo x

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this sounds a really interesting and exciting way to work and i'd love to try it out. How would you make sure the 6 areas is covered each week? Would whole class teaching count as part of this too?

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ANY activity in your setting is covered by all 6 areas in the eyfs

 

it is down to the key person/practitioner to weed out of the observation what it is you want to cover for each child and then scaffold that learning

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I'm really interested in this too. Have been thinking about it all day.

 

Discussed the idea of everybody doing focused activities together with my deputy. She said 'what if a particular child really doesn't want to do that particular activity? How is that following their interests?"

Any thoughts?

 

On some feedback forms a parent has recently said they would like us to do more cooking and music activities.

We began the academic year with lots of cooking but found it was tying up an adult every week and becoming our only focused activity that week.

With this other method I guess you might offer a painting activity, a cooking activity, playing a game, listening to a story all at the same time in 4 groups? And rotate across the week?

 

I think I like it. What are the down sides?

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Hi,

Each week I plan 5 or 6 different focused activities to be completed over the week - these are usually a combination of key group and whole class/half class activities e.g. last week we had a counting activity, exploring texture activity, using bee-botsand a story activity (reading and re-telling using storyboard) in key groups, then P.E. as whole group. Sometimes we do activities e.g. P.E. or music as a half class or do activities such as cooking during CI in smaller groups - we try to keep flexible and run activities in the most suitable way.

As Suer pointed out, many activities cover a number or all areas of EYFS - we split them up into the areas to ensure that there is a main focus to each activity. Sometimes we plan an activity which covers 2 areas of learning. We also highlight any links between areas of learning, and note any areas which were covered well during an activity which we hadn't previously highlighted.

I try to plan as many open-ended activities as possible so that the children can take it in their own directions and if not open ended are carefully differentiated. The activities respond to their needs, their interests in our current theme or other interests e.g. they particularly enjoy singing 10 in the bed so our counting activity included reading 10 in the bed while using our 10 in the bed counting resources. I would never force a child to join in but as I said in my previous post, I have yet to experience any child not wanting to join in - in fact many children ask when group time is. We ensure that individual children's needs and interests are also met by following up next steps from observations during CI time (focusing on 2 or 3 children per week) -such as, through adult support and interaction, enhancements or short small group activity.

I would say that if you like the sound of it, give it a try - I had always been previously advised to run CI simultaneously with FA (although, when I first started teaching this is how we had seperate CI and FA time), so it was quite a move round but has proved very successful.

Hope that helps

Green Hippo x

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sorry to sound stupid but could you just clarify for me green hippo?

 

so u have 30 mins of adult led. u start with a few mins phonics then split into groups? So for example we have 23 kids and 2 adults. I would have 2 groups and be doing an activity. (whether it be at tables, carpet etc) what would the others be doing with the other adult?

 

i like the sound of how you do it but just wanted to check a few bits. its sometimes so hard to picture without seeing it action!

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Hi Weezie,

After tidy-up time, I take 1 of the key groups to do a phonics game, while the other 2 groups listen to a story and sing the nursery rhyme and song rhyme of the week. Then we have snack-time, followed by small group time where we usually split into our key groups for small group activities. If it is necessary to split the group up further, I plan for 1/2 the group to do something related (or something else you want them to experience) e.g. we are doing animal prints this week using paint, so while half the group paint, the other half are using pastels to create similar patterns. I have 11 in my key group so similiar to what you have, and find most activities can be done with the whole group. Another way of working could be to have the first half of your session as CI time with both adults supporting, then have small group work after that with both adults working with their key children in smaller groups of 5 or 6 while the others continue to play or they could be set little challenges? The way we work is ideal for us because we use a different classroom so have more space for each group and also spread out into the outdoor area as often as possible.

Hope this helps,

Green Hippo x

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