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Spoke To Advisor Today Would Like Some Feedback


Guest Cathryn1974
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Guest Cathryn1974

HI everyone

 

As some of you know I am taking over the FS in September. I had a meeting with our EYFS advisor today and spoke to her about my ideas for September and she gave me some great advice - but a little bit scary too.

 

With regards to writing she said think about an interest or activity and think about how we can get purposeful writing experiences into this rather than guided writing for guided writing sake.

 

Then I told her that guided reading is done by withdrawing ability groups and doind a formal guided reading session. She said rather than do this have informal reading times in the reading area with an adult based there throughout the week and if by Easter children are still not picking HFW and tricky words and blending etc. start a more formal approach.

 

She also said she doesn't see the point in all children doin focused activities unless it is relevant to their next steps and interests -

 

I really want to embed the key person aspect into our setting next year which I think means people will have a smaller number of childre to track and ensure are having quality next steps and that they are followed up in the environment or adult led tasks (which are not done by everyone).

 

Let me know what you think? Bit scary isn't it?

 

Thanks everyone

 

Cathryn XXX :o

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That is a bit scary! I agree with that approach to reading at the early stage (for those children who are not reading) but really think by this time of year that children should be doing a guided reading session. (we are supposed to be doing 2 a week!) I do a guided reading session with children once they recognise enough sounds and can blend them together. Prior to this stage I do an informal shared group reading in the book corner weekly. If you put one adult in the book corner all the time - what about observations of other areas? I do this as an informal thing so dip in and out of the book corner but its about having the right kinds of books and a variety. A little boy today selected a book which was way beyond his learning ability. He had a great time looking through the pictures and he did learn but he didn't read it because it was too hard. I suggested he read a different phonics book but he wanted to read the one he had chosen. In guided reading he will have a book matched to his ability to read - to me it seems more about the balance!

 

As with guided writing - that makes sense to a big degree. I try to make cross curricular links and put guided writing sessions into a context that children are interested in (as Im sure you do) but as children are grouped by ability they all have similar next steps surely?? I love the idea of doing even less adult led stuff and having more time to work with children in the continuous provision but the reality is that there are too many children to adults to solely do this - do you agree? Again I think its about getting the balance. If your activities are based on interests and next steps of children then surely a guided group writing session is good practise? Children have the rest of the day/week to choose to read or write independently to their own agenda.

 

Really interested to hear others view point on this. xx

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Guest Cathryn1974
That is a bit scary! I agree with that approach to reading at the early stage (for those children who are not reading) but really think by this time of year that children should be doing a guided reading session. (we are supposed to be doing 2 a week!) I do a guided reading session with children once they recognise enough sounds and can blend them together. Prior to this stage I do an informal shared group reading in the book corner weekly. If you put one adult in the book corner all the time - what about observations of other areas? I do this as an informal thing so dip in and out of the book corner but its about having the right kinds of books and a variety. A little boy today selected a book which was way beyond his learning ability. He had a great time looking through the pictures and he did learn but he didn't read it because it was too hard. I suggested he read a different phonics book but he wanted to read the one he had chosen. In guided reading he will have a book matched to his ability to read - to me it seems more about the balance!

 

As with guided writing - that makes sense to a big degree. I try to make cross curricular links and put guided writing sessions into a context that children are interested in (as Im sure you do) but as children are grouped by ability they all have similar next steps surely?? I love the idea of doing even less adult led stuff and having more time to work with children in the continuous provision but the reality is that there are too many children to adults to solely do this - do you agree? Again I think its about getting the balance. If your activities are based on interests and next steps of children then surely a guided group writing session is good practise? Children have the rest of the day/week to choose to read or write independently to their own agenda.

 

Really interested to hear others view point on this. xx

 

 

I agree with you too. Thanks for your comments. I think doing writing in smaller groups or sometimes a larger group intro and smaller either mixed or similar ability groups is the way to go. I think flexibility is the key. For example this week the children have loved collecting ants from outdoors and lots of them enjoyed making ant farms. Some of them designed and labelled their's first - a purposeful writing opportunity but with little guidance. I then did a whole class session on this and modelled it for all chn to see process and then have a go. I think more working this way is what is needed. I also agree with you about the guided reading sessions - some children in our Reception class are only just ready to tackle this but some have been doing it since autumn 2 as they were ready.

 

So much to think about and I am also aware of not upsetting existing staff who are happy with the way things area.

 

Thanks for you ideas and thoughts,

 

CathrynX

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Then I told her that guided reading is done by withdrawing ability groups and doind a formal guided reading session. She said rather than do this have informal reading times in the reading area with an adult based there throughout the week and if by Easter children are still not picking HFW and tricky words and blending etc. start a more formal approach.

 

 

Awful as this sounds Easter is a bit late if they've gone through two terms of not picking up these things considering the level they are supposed to be at when they enter year one! Also I would argue that children who are not picking things up need targeted adult input more than those who are simply absorbing things from their environment.

 

Books in guided reading are matched to the ability of the child and I think it's nice for children to be withdrawn in small groups to share a book that they can all read together and talk about. Those who aren't ready benefit from having the book read to them and all being able to see a copy and talk about the pictures - this small group time is often invaluable for children who could get 'lost' in the large group reading sessions or who might never choose to access the book corner unless they area given this confidence boost around books. This time doesn't have to be formal in the sense that you tell the children what it's all about but can simply be introduced as an opportunity for a read together and a chat about the book. My class love their guided reading sessions!

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Books in guided reading are matched to the ability of the child and I think it's nice for children to be withdrawn in small groups to share a book that they can all read together and talk about. Those who aren't ready benefit from having the book read to them and all being able to see a copy and talk about the pictures - this small group time is often invaluable for children who could get 'lost' in the large group reading sessions or who might never choose to access the book corner unless they area given this confidence boost around books. This time doesn't have to be formal in the sense that you tell the children what it's all about but can simply be introduced as an opportunity for a read together and a chat about the book. My class love their guided reading sessions!

 

So do I! Its so important not to overlook this opportunity.

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