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Planning Help Needed!


Guest ShelleyT
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Guest ShelleyT

I know that planning has been discussed over and over, but we had OfSTED a couple of weeks ago and one of our areas for development is to let the children make more decisions about their own learning. I have been teaching Reception for 5 years now, and have never been happy with our weekly planning but I just can't think of the best way to do it. If anyone has any suggestions, or examples of their planning that they are willing to share with me, I would REALLY appreciate it!!

 

THANK YOU!!!! x x x

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Hi I can tell you how I go about it (and ofsted liked what they saw last week!) I use the children's ideas at the end of each half term to spark ideas for the topic for the next term and we vote and agree on a theme as a class (sometimes I guide this a little or drop in suggestions (otherwise we would have had ben 10 all year!) but essentially they feel it is their idea) I then plan CLL and PRSN related to this for the mornings which is mostly AI time. For their child initiated time (which we call busy board and have every afternoon) we have a brainstorm at the beginning of the term about what they would like to do in this time and they plan things like what they would like to make, what investigations they could do what role play area they could have etc. For each week I then prepare about 9 activities (all open ended) based on their ideas and these are set out ready for each week and cover the 6 areas. I give my TA non contact time on a Friday afternoon and she prepares all the resources for the next week's busy board during this time so we are ready to roll on monday. These activities evolve over the weeks and suggestions are added to the board and activities added and taken away according to their interests. The areas of the classroom are talked through on a Monday and all the options explained BUT they can take the activities and run with them in whichever way they choose. I do have challenges in 2 areas which the children are expected to achieve by the end of the week (open ended). In an afternoon apart from a very short carpet session where we investigate something together from their interests (sharks at the moment) the whole class then busy boards until the end of the afternoon. Both me and my TA either observe or support play in this time. We have a coming together circle time at the end of the afternoon where we share what we have been doing and plan what they might do tomorrow/discuss what they have learned etc and add ideas for next week's busy board to our list. An example today was a child who had played a fishing game in phonics earlier today and said he wanted to make a fishing game for himself to play at home. So I showed him how he could do this with card, paperclips and school magnets on a string and he proudly showed the class at the end of the day so next week the children would like to be able to each make one so the resources will be provided for them to do that.

 

Hope that helps

Deb

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Sounds lovely, pleased ofsted liked it too. So how many groups/children are AI in mornings - and what exactly is 'busy boards'?? Do you hear ind readers in your setting?

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Busy board is basically a display board where we put up the options for the week (laminated pictures) so the children go and look at the board to decide what they will do. They then take their photo and place that where they will play (limited spaces in certain areas) busy board time is freeflow inside and out and lasts for approx 2 hours. At the start of the year we have busy board time most of the day and then as the year goes on and we introduce phonics then guided reading etc busy board time pretty much then happens in the afternoon.

My morning involves a PRSN session which has whole class teaching followed by 2 AI groups and the other 3 groups doing numeracy related activities independently -I have a maths area where I send them to choose from the challenges/activities on there. Writing session 3 X a week where 2 groups are AI and the other groups directed to literacy related activities eg role play area, writing area, computer for a phonic game. We do not do individual reading as a rule except I have 3 children who are not off the ground with reading and I hear them individually, the rest I hear through daily guided reading sessions. As a school we set for phonics up to Y3 and all children have phonics groups for 20 mins a day at the same time so some of my children go off to other classes for that and I keep about half of them and gain some Y1s and a couple of Y2s.

 

Deb

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That is how I used to work, happily, but felt I had to move away from a structured literacy/numeracy type am and have been advised to have one AI group and the rest being supported in their play by the other adult in the room. Prefer your way and am interested to hear Ofsted liked it. I know, it all depends upon the team you get, thanks for your reply.

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