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Sitting On The Carpet


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hello everyone, i hope u can help. im in my first year as a reception teacher although have been teaching for years. My Head has suggested, following an observation of another Reception colleague who uses this practice, that when having whole class carpet sessions, the children should be seated in rows of 'ability' . this seems totally at odds with what i have understood the foundation curriculum to be. can anyon advise pls?

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Welcome to the Forum, slimmetty and congratulations on making your first post.

 

I'm a preschooler so can't offer advice of any kind, but I wonder why your head has suggested it - what does s/he hope to achieve by it? How would it work? Would the less able children sit at the front or the back? Would you need to do a seating plan for carpet time? What would happen as children progress - would you be able to make more space in each row to allow these children to join the next tier?

 

I'll be really interested to see what teachers have to say about this!

 

Maz

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Hi Slimmety, welcome on board!

As Maz said, I would like to know why your Head wishes for this, Ive never sat my children in ability groups, and never would. I used talking partners a lot in my last school and often sat children in language pairs ( we had 8 languages in one class), but otherwise I didn't dictate too much where they sat unless they needed to sit at the front to see/hear better.

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Guest LornaW
hello everyone, i hope u can help. im in my first year as a reception teacher although have been teaching for years. My Head has suggested, following an observation of another Reception colleague who uses this practice, that when having whole class carpet sessions, the children should be seated in rows of 'ability' . this seems totally at odds with what i have understood the foundation curriculum to be. can anyon advise pls?

 

Welcome to the forum Slimmetty!

 

Oh my goodness where is your HT from - the victorian era!!!!

 

I suggest you give your HT the EYFS and as her/him to look at it very carefully and if this is new to them then they should be going on training for EYFS.

 

Please do not do this! Children need to feel happy and secure at all times and to split them into rows in ability group but beggars belief! Which ability, PSE, CLL, PRSN, PD, Creative or KUW???

 

Get your EY Adviser to visit and talk with you that may help but please please please think what is right for the children.

 

Lorna

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thank you for your replies- they echo what i thought at the suggestion! My Head had seen my reception class colleague using the technique of 'special places' in a lesson observation and thought that it would be a good set up in order to target questionning effectively to children of varying abilities. My colleague has the children sitting 'lower ability' at the front. She bases the 'ability' on their ability to write! your thoughts have made me feel so much better about continuing with my current practice of the children sitting where they choose. i too use 'chatter chums' and am always telling the children that we all learn from each other and it is important to try and sit next to and 'chat' with different children in the class.

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I have to say that my Reception class have 'special places' on the carpet, which is to make sure that those who need help to concetrate/participate sit nearer me/the front, and those that can do those things well sit nearer the back. Also means that certain pairs of children together can be avoided. Maybe I am doing it wrong though....? I don't seat them so that they are in ability groups though.

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I have never dictated carpet spaces to children other than having some magic carpet spots for those children who need help to sit still and by that I mean not migrating around the carpet! They have usually been able to choose where to put their magic spot to sit on!

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Your system would seem to take account of children's individual needs, purplemagic. When MrsWeasley was in reception she would need to be sitting right in front of the teacher because she couldn't hear very well, for example. Thinking about it, perhaps the system the OP's head proposes might be considered to do the same? I'm not sure... :o

 

I agree with you about the occasional need to avoid certain pairings of children sitting together, though! xD

 

Maz

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Goodness me these children are still EYFS and don't need to sit according to ability. After all the teacher knows them well and can differentiate any questions accordingly. I can understand sitting children who have problems, such as hearing or sight problems, in a particular spot, and separating children who are better kept apart at such times because of their behaviour with a certain individual, but otherwise why does it matter? I wouldn't do this in nursery or reception at carpet times. Children learn from each other and they are all different. The 'knowing other' that Vygotsky speaks of is not just an adult, but can also be a peer, 'streaming' in Foundation Stage presupposes ability and outcomes, and that is developmentally inappropriate.

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From imindoors: Why sit them on the carpet? Do they sit on the carpet at home? Yes, It's a devil's advocate comment, but you do wonder when you see Year 6 on the carpet don't you? Rule of thumb: Maximum carpet time 10 mins! Give 'em or let 'em choose something to do asap. You can always gather them together later if your mother hen urge kicks in!

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I would never sit my children in ability rows, however all my children do have a carpet space so that I can sit those who need help concentrating right under my nose where they can't chatter and of course to avoid certain unwanted pairings! I have to admit though that the carpet spaces are subtly arranged so that the lower ability children are all in a group together in one corner so that the TA can sit with them and give them support in their talking. I'm not sure if I really like this or if they would benefit more from being spread around so that actually they are talking to the HA children rather than a TA, but my head is very keen on them sitting with the TA. It does help for things like writing on whiteboards or doing maths questions though because the TA can scribe onto a whiteboard near them and they can do it with her support and so still have an answer to give rather than sitting back and waiting for the HA children to do it.

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From imindoors: Why sit them on the carpet? Do they sit on the carpet at home? Yes, It's a devil's advocate comment, but you do wonder when you see Year 6 on the carpet don't you?

 

Actually I always wonder when I don't see Y6 with a carpet area - my own children often sprawled out on the floor reading and drawing or watching TV in fact they still do even now.

 

I can't see any benefit of sitting children in ability groupings for the short period they will be on the carpet and if I ask them to talk to the child next to them before answering it's good if there is a mix of abilities.

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Actually I always wonder when I don't see Y6 with a carpet area - my own children often sprawled out on the floor reading and drawing or watching TV in fact they still do even now.

 

Oh dear, I still do this now as an adult! :o

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We follow ERR for our sounds and words and they are sat in ability but this is the only time. I have a little boy who has to sit at the front for his eye sight i also have 6 boys out of my class of 30 who need to think carfeully about where they need to sit i.e not together!! 2 especially need to sit to the side as they need adult support because of behaviour and sometimes are taken out is needed. But i do not sit in ability rows at any other time. As it has been said which ability do you sit the children in singing session? number could be endless ways to sit them in ability.

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I really can't see how your head expects such a thing - i could understand it if it was guided reading or writing, but carpet places, not!.. I've been working in a Reception class over the past few years, what i have found to be an effective tool is carpet spots. Each Individual child has one (so no child is singled out for being the one that moves a lot etc).

 

I also have a 'queen' and 'king' of the carpet mat.This provides me with an incentive median for the children to work towards in regards to meeting their targets and for general good work, behaviour etc. I make a big deal out of who the king or queen or the carpet is going to be today and the children really do love it!!

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Guest LornaW

sorry but they are all just 4 & 5 years old and if they are fidgeting then perhaps they are being expected to be on the carpet for too long!

 

If you sat me on the carpet for 5 minutes I just know I would not be able to keep still!!!!!

 

Lorna

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