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Summer Panic...advice And Tips Please!


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Hi everyone,

Im new here and have been reading through some of your posts. Basically I have been a year 2 teacher for 3 years and am now moving to reception xD I am really excited and looking forward to it but am having a few mid summer hol panics and worries and would really appreciate help/advice/tips from you all!

Firstly - our focus for the first few weeks is routines and settling in. I know lots will be play and modelling how to use different resources and activities. Could anyone offer me any ideas on small group activities I could do. Was thinking self portraits and things to descorate the class and discussing what the children like doing. Any other ideas??? I feel really stuck at the minute.

 

Secondly - I know I need to observe and assess in the first few weeks, whilst getting to know the children. Any tips on a record keeping/assessment routine or system? I just feel any ideas would help me to develop my own!

 

Thanks... hopefully will help me feel more confident.

 

xx :o

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hi, are you by yourself or do you have other staff? If more than just you, divide up so you each have your own key children and together come up with an observation format that works in your setting. For a short observation we have a chart for each child on which we quickly write down what we heard/witnessed and tick which areas it covers. I know other places use post it notes for this. Then over the next three weeks we do longer (about 10mins) observations on the children playing then we annotate this and write up next steps from this and the collected short observations.

 

One of our first activities I'd do is get the children to come up with their own class rules and then turn this into a display with photographs of the children acting out the rules. I always rewrite them so they are positive eg help your friends to tidy up rather than do not leave the toys on the floor.

 

And finally I'd re-read what you've already been sent about the children it should give a basic idea of where to pitch things and of any obvious long term interests.

 

Hope this helps.

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hi

we always start by doing class rules too and make a nice display which we refer to a lot at first until the routines and rules are well established. We also tend to some large art/ painting/ collage etc to make some nice bright displays for our blank walls. We try to go go with what we find they are interested in from our observations. (last year it was nursery rhymes so did huge nursery rhyme displays on walls)

 

with regards observations..... this is something i am always changing as i never feel quite happy with it. but this is where we currently are.

We do 1 15 min observation per child per term with net steps planned in.

 

We then also have 4 focus children for a week which me and my nursery nurse focus on during observation time. We record this on an A4 sheet with 6 areas of learning stating where they were and what they were doing.

 

However what i find most beneficial is post it note observations. These are done whenever and on who ever. I am generally quite an organised person who is always on the go however i know my nursery nurse isnt as keen on this as she forgets to write them up immediately and if you dont do it straight away then you forget.

 

I think my issue is that i dont use these enough to plan from. So my challenge this year is to ensure i always plan from my observations!! I feel i do this for some children however am always aware that i may miss someone out! DO other people feel this or does anyone have a system for ensuring they cover everyone evenly? Also how do people ensure they have even coverage of all statements throughout the year if they plan purely from interests and next steps?

 

Finally we collate all these things in a file referenced to FPF statements (previously organised into 6 areas with links to other areas written on top. however have been told to organise them in order of date so thats what we are going to do this year, numbered and recorded on profile sheet in front)

 

Hope this makes sense and is of some help!

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Hi :(

 

I do classroom rules initially as well, last year we spent time discussing where in the classroom the children felt would be an ideal place to display them for all to see. (They enjoyed showing members of staff and older children who popped in "their" rules xD )

 

I always use post-it notes as a quick way of writing down observations and assessments. Recently, I have also used sticky labels to save time if they are being stuck into the children's Learning Journey books. As a way of helping me to see who is not getting many short obs, I have a wall with all the children's pictures on. When a post it has been done by a member of staff, it gets stuck over the child's face. Then at a quick glance you can easily see who has about 20 and who has none!!

 

Also, I completely agree with Kab..

 

my challenge this year is to ensure i always plan from my observations!! I feel i do this for some children however am always aware that i may miss someone out! DO other people feel this or does anyone have a system for ensuring they cover everyone evenly?

 

I completely feel that this is my target this year!! Many children's interests were indeed covered, however, i always felt that some were being missed too. A friend of mine was saying that if she feels that some children's interests are being missed by the main topic for that week, she makes a point of encouraging them to transform a different area of learning to suit their interests. Eg, The class as a whole had a focus on dinosaurs, however, a few children where more interested in 'car wash'. She transformed the water area in to a big 'washing station'. All the children's interests appeared to get covered (in some small way) as the dinosaurs could be taken to have a wash and everyone seemed happy.

 

I hope that makes sense :o x

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Thanks to everyone who has replied.

I agree class rules will be something i need to do to begin with. Do you usually have a whole class discussion for class rules? Any exciting fun ways to do it? Sorry I feel i need some inspiration!! Im very excited but nervous!\Oh and yes I do have another adult working with me, but there are only 2 of us. Would you still divide into key people groups? Was thinking maybe have a rota of formal observations, maybe focussing on 3 children each per week to make sure we cover everyone, then the random post it obs too. Does this sound ok or am i totally off the mark! Thanks xx

Edited by clm33
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Don't know if you use the SEAL materials or not but I use these for that very purpose to begin with - settlilng them in, rules finding things in the classroom, feelings about being away from mum etc.

I transfer the materials to a termly plan. SEAL_Termly_Plan_Aut_New_beginnings.docx

 

The strategies website has lots of good ideas, practical activities, and you can use them for a 5 minute input or a longer session - e.g. painting how they feel etc. Also has stories related.

Great for the start of a new year for them.

Search for SEAL red set (foundation stage) on the strategies website.

 

Hope this helps.

 

ps I am assuming you dont know about them - saves time for us all - if you do I apologise! :o

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Hi there, if you go on eachers tv, theres a 15minute episode called 'Libby's little tigers' it shows te first day in a reception class, instilling rules and expectations of behaviour - a real good watch

 

xx

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  • 2 weeks later...
Hi there, if you go on eachers tv, theres a 15minute episode called 'Libby's little tigers' it shows te first day in a reception class, instilling rules and expectations of behaviour - a real good watch

 

xx

Thanks for that...was useful just to watch how someone else does it! x

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