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Do you track the areas that your children have visited each day/week? If so, how do you organise it and more importantly how USEFUL do you find the information and does it inform your planning? I've heard that OFSTED will expect to see tracking systems in place and am starting to panic a bit! :)

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Hi

 

We have just introduced a self tracking sheet for reception to hopefully give children more responsibilty for there play and learning. As we were very aware that some children (boys in particular) are consistently accessing same areas in ou FS unit. Come Friday it was always the same clutch of children that you were chasing for particular activites. Each Monday I explain that there are some activities we would really like the children to do (3 adult, 3 child lead where we are trying to encourage self resourcing). When a child chooses to do the activity they take there activity sheet (we write activities on) to the particular adult who will tick/ smiley face & comment if appropriate for the particular activity. Child can make a mark for child lead activity. There is also a space for child to indicate there prefered activity at the end of the week and comment with support if necessary.

So far children have enjoyed taking there A5 paper to adult and returning it to there pigeon hole, will have to keep reviewing. We have noticed that one boy who can be very elusive and avoid adults has been more prepared to join in now that he has his piece of important paper.!!!

 

The facilatator and adult in particular area if appropriate also tracks areas uing tick sheets showing who has been seen in particular areas.

 

Lisa

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Hi Lisa,

Will you let me know how the self tracking sheets go? Thanks. How long have you been using the tick sheets for tracking? I did start using a child led tracking system (where they put their name in an envelope when they had been in that area) and I've seen others use photographs/signing in but its just such a lot of work for someone to have to go around collating this information at the end of the day. I was thinking of having a class list in each area so that we could tick when we see a child in that area and then use this as evidence of where they had been but I'm dubious about starting it up until I can justify to myself and other staff how usefulthis information is going to be.

Zim

Any one else do tracking?

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We used a class ticklist for tracking when we were in the Nursery - more often than not it didn't get filled in! Naughty I know but we made sure they were filled in for Ofsted week! But haven't been filled in since! It would be impossible for the 114 chn. we'll have afer Easter!

We sometimes do a quick tick list of who is in each area - much more manageable!

Even though we have a lot of children I think I still know which activities different chn. prefer to do, and which activities we have to resource differently to attract certain children.

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Thanks

Think I'll be doing it the week ofsted is in too!! What if they ask for backdates though!!

I'm going to try tick lists in each area next half term just so I can say I tried at least :)

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How will you know what "week" Ofsted will be in?????

 

Why do you need the information? Whats the best method for you? How will you use the information gained...These are the important things that should be manageable at all times and not just for Ofsted.

 

I know you know this but sometimes we do so much "recording" and "Justifying" evidence that it becomes so unmanageable and therefore useless :o

 

Tracking is only one method of monitoring childrens movements.

 

Peggy

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We find that tracking observations can be useful to identify where a child goes, whether they usually choose activities to do on their own, whether they play with certain children or always go to an adult etc.

 

We don't do them as a matter of routine, but they can be helpful to identify areas of the pre-school which are under used.

 

We have a diagram or 'map' of the layout of the nursery, and simply draw lines and arrows to show their progress for a set period of time. Obviously with the new children it can be difficult to keep up with them as they flit from one activity to another!

 

I find the concept of self-tracking very interesting - will need to go back and read that post fully to make sure I understand!

 

Maz

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I always struggle with this one.........I have put up name lists in certain areas before and some children remember to tick their name when they have visited, others forget and I am chasing them to put up their name. All children do certain activites every day with adults;I have a reception class, but If I was to use a tracking sheet to make sure that the children had gone to all areas of the classroon that week, then would that become adult rather than child initiated tasks? i.e telling the children that they need to visit certain areas it is my choosing rather than theirs.

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I agree Fionas-I said this to our advisor and she said you wouldn't tell them to go in a certaoin area you wouldencourage them and maybe plan an adult focus/target to ensure they get the experience but doesn't this go against child initiated? We gave out pictures/junk models etc from fri/mon/today (we were a bit behind! :) ) and before I'd even begun to give out the mountain of 'work' I knew which child would have none of this kind of work because he didn't choose to do it he chose to play in other areas instead, not to say he didn't do a picture in his writing assessment book or make an easter card just that they were adult focus and weren't going home yet.

Maz-think I will try that mapping thing just out of interest coz there are some children who I'm not sure about and it ould be a good discussion point for parents evening.

Peggy-good point about ofsted 'week'. We'll know 48hrs in advance but like you say, how daft to do it just for them! Is saying we monitor the children by watching them and its all 'up here'! good enough though? One of our EYS consultants once said 'we've got to be accountable' so I just worry but it's got to be manageable otherwise its useless :o

I'd be interested how many of us do track???

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Dear Zim

to track or not to track

Well with all the time in the world we would probably all do a bit more - but as you say how valid is it and what would we do with it. As you highlighted in your last post sometimes there are children who you are not so familiar with = they just get on with it = have to be encouraged to activity tables etc then I think it is valuable to track what they do over the course of the day every now and again - we keep a simple activity book similar to a register and just tick what they have done - e.g. role play, painting, mark making etc. however I have to admit that even this seems to be a bit of a onerous task and doesn't always get completed on a regular basis - generally the adult initiated activites are written up as the book can remain with the adult who is initiating the activity!!! Perhaps as someone else suggested a class list in each area might be good - but what would I do with all the information = probably file it away and my filing is not so good so it would probably end up in various drawers waiting to be filed - so why bother in the first place.

 

I think tracking every single child on a very regular basis is quite difficult to manage and takes up a lot of time - much of which could be spent more productively communicating with the child and observing what they do. This may not be right but this is what we do. We have to be realistic.

Good luck with Ofsted - hope you get an understanding inspector.

Nikki

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Just a word about monitoring/observing children and having information "up here", Zim. We attend termly network meetings with our Foundation Stage support team, and the message keeps being reinforced that information practitioners have in their heads - through getting to know the children and observations - do not always need to be backed up by written evidence.

 

So long as we can justify the assessments made about the child in the Profile document, and can back these assessments up with knowledge gained about the child, we're doing our job.

 

Many practitioners complain that doing 'the paperwork' takes us away from the children, and its easy to see why!

 

Maz

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks Maz :) We're all doing the same job but all getting completely different messages/doing different things it seems :)

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