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I really hope I am putting this in the right place. This is my first post, although i have known about the forum for a lot longer, just never subscribed before.


I have a Reception interview coming up, and I am being asked to teach 20 children for 25 minutes. The guidelines I have been given are:

- phonic based

- with a book of my choice


I have a rough idea of what to do...but wanted to throw it out there to see if anyone has some amazing ideas that I can do.





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No worries...I havnt chosen one yet...thats another part of the problem at the mo...hehe!


I was thinking about focusing on ch and sh sounds, and finding a book with that focus some how, but can only think of sh ones at the mo...like 'the fish that could wish'

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Oh gosh maybe the lack of replies is due to what they are asking for - phonics based and a book? 25 minutes is a long time for reception children to concentrate for. I am struggling to think of what you could do as we normally keep our phonics sessions separate to shared reading. Whatever you do make sure that the children are up and active for at least some of it, because that would be a long time to keep them on the carpet for.

Maybe you could tell us what you are thinking of doing and we could let you know if you are on the right lines. Sorry to not be more helpful, I will have a think for you.


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Not exactly what you asked for, but what about doing a rhyming book - something like The Cat in the Hat or one of the Dorly Kingsley???? books - The Cat on the Mat, The Pig who could dig type thing. You could read the book and see if the children can predict the rhyming words. Follow up could be to play a rhyming lotto game - some children have a base board with pictures on - you hold up a picture that rhymes with one of their pics they cover the rhyming picture - this could be an independent activity, but the pictures need to be very easy to tell, so you don't get a misunderstanding about boat/ship, rat/mouse etc. Another group could possibly have a big sheet (A3 or bigger) with a rhyming end in the middle - they have to draw lines out with other rhyming words eg, -at written in the middle, children write rat, cat, fat, mat, sat etc. You could have a group sorting word cards into the correct rhyming family? A group listening to nursery rhymes on the listening centre?


It's hard to do anything when you don't know the range or ability of the group, but that's interviews for you. Do you know if you have any support? That might help you to organise groups so that they're not sittng on the carpet for the whole session - which I know mine wouldn't be able to do.


Don't know if these would work. Good luck.


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Hi, thanks for your ideas...I know I thought it was a bit different for it to be phonics and a book.


I have been thinking all weekend and have thought about doing this:

Using a puppet that I use in my class and finding the 'sh' sound.

Thinking of 'sh' sounds in words together.

Then reading the fish that could wish and everytime they hear the 'sh' sound they can make the action.

I was going to finish with them all sharing what they would wish for.


My children can just about cope with 25 minutes...it just doesnt seem long enough to do something on the carpet and then smaller activities and then bring them back again. Interview activities are so tricky.


What do you think about the above plan? Is it a bit too specific?

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Have you thought about asking the school to give you a rough idea of where the children are with their phonics currently (ie phase 2 or 3 Letters & Sounds) just so you have a rough idea of what sounds they have already covered. If you do something with them that is too easy or that they have already covered well then you could end up having some behaviour issues to deal with, especially if the school want it to be direct teaching for the 25 mins.

Where are your current class up to with their phonics? Is the school you have an interview in a similar catchment to your current school? If so you could possibly assume that the children would be at a similar level, although I know it is wrong to make assumptions, when you are going in cold like in an interview situation you do have to make some assumptions otherwise you would never know where to pitch it! You could maybe make some reference on the plan you produce for the session about why you pitched it at the level you did, just so the observer understands where you are coming from.

Also do you know if the interview school follow a specific phonics programme? That could also affect how you approach the session.

Sorry I haven't given you any answers, just lots more questions to think about. Hope they help a little!

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Puppet sounds great - always goes down a treat with young children, reading the book and having the children do action sounds good too because it will keep them listening and actively involved, love the idea of them sharing their wishes, how sweet! - if it was me I would get them to share in 'partner chat' and then share some as a class (or all share, depending on time.)


Also depending on your time you could always try this - at the end have a special box, which you can say is your magical wish box....(decorated shoe box) The chn could then keep their wish a secret or even have a special toy which is a 'wish' toy which the children can whisper their wish to. At the end of your session you could challenge them to write their wish on a special piece of paper and put it in the box at some point that day - then even though your session is over, you are showing that what you do in a directed session can be linked to integrating the children's learning independently and is encouraging writing? Just a thought though and may not be appropriate.


Also, you were mentioning about them finding sh words. Another idea, which would get them off the carpet briefly, would be to place lots of different pictures around the room - some which have the sh sound in eg shop, fish and others which are red herrings eg hat, boat. In pairs children could be 'sh' detectives and find the pictures which have the 'sh' sound in them. and bring them back to the carpet. Ideally you would pair higher ability with lower ability for this, but you may not have that information.


Good luck with whatever you decide, let us know how it goes!

Little Miss

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Hi I am not trying to muddle you and what you had planned does sound very fun, but im just responding to your concern about a time limit, we have a 20 min daily phonics session and it is 10 mins input 5 min activity and 5 min conclusion so if you did want to do activitites it can be done : )

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