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Sitting On The Carpet In Nursery


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Hello,

 

Please can i have some ideas.....

 

Im new in nursery and am finding carpet sessions difficult......especailly when there are 27 in a session!!!

 

Am i expecting too much for the chn to listen to a story?? Any useful ideas / songs to get the childrens attention and for them to sit and listen on the carpet.......i try not to make my sessions more than 10 minutes long..

 

Also i have heard lots of teachers talking about a hello good morning song............ can anyone share any?

 

Aslso can you give me any ideas of what you do at carpet time....i am trying to ease them in and i know they need sustained play.......

 

I have been singing lots of nursery rhymes but would just like some more ideas and suggestions about carpet time..

 

What do you do at carpet time? Do you do the days of the week or the weather....

 

Please help feel slightly lost.... need help on sitting and listening once one child disrupts the session the majority of children are then disrupted

 

Thank you

Sarah x

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Hi,

I'm also in Nursery and have 29 in the session!

Carpet time at this time of year is quite difficult - don't panic! We keep our carpet times short: 5-10 minutes, teach children 'good listening' and remind children of this - trying not to just say 'sit nicely'. We also find it useful to have 2 of us with the group so one adult can quietly remind the children while the other tells the story etc as it can be very difficult if you are constantly having to stop to remind the children to listen. We teach children from the very beginning to put their hands up if they want to speak and they very quickly get the idea!

We make sure that we are always doing or showing something e.g. we dance while we are waiting for other children to finish tidying or sing songs from the interactive white-board or play 'follow-me' clapping games to keep the children's attention. For carpet times we do story-time, singing, 'show and tell' (once a week), weather, sharing 'WOW' moments, ring games, interactive whiteboard games and circle-time. I also use a teddy bear for the children to hold when they are speaking.

We also split into our 3 groups to do some carpet-time activities especially - don't know if that's possible for you to do? Some children find it easier to keep their concentration and talk in the smaller group.

Also, you could try using a puppet or toy to 'watch' the children and give out stickers to children who are listening. I always find that the more visual you can be the better their attention!

Good Luck,

It does get easier

Green Hippo x

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We sing a song in Welsh but it translated as, Good morning, good morning, How are you? How are you? Very well thank you, very well thank you, Good morning, good morning. (The tune is I Hear Thunder/ Frere Jaques).

 

Hope this helps. They will eventually sit for a story, just takes a bit of time, modelling and lots of encouragement.

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It can be difficult can't it. As others have said keep it short and active. Have been trying different things this week, trying to make our provision meet the needs of the children we have. One thing that worked well, and didn't matter too much if children's attention wandered to something else was using movement. So everybody lined up along one side of the room, and move across the floor in different ways. This week children have been interested in mini-beasts so we moved like a slow worm, snail, spider, beetle etc. The adult can model at first and give children ideas, then ask each child to suggest a different way of moving across the space. We only have between 9-12 each session though at the moment.

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I think timing is everything where carpet time is concerned this early on, and its about gaging the children's interest and being flexible enough to move from the carpet if they are not hooked on what you are doing!

 

At some point this week we have had 2 carpet times with 2 different groups of children and one went well, fast and punchy and exciting and involving the children which was a success and in fact very short!

The other a drawn out story with lots of questions asked and content was great but it was way too long for such new little nursery folks!

 

I know we feel we need to get them trained up but sometimes it is just not something to do just because you feel you should!

I dont know if that makes any sense?!!!!!!

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I don't suppose I will win any friends with this but my view of "carpet time" is not very favourable. I call it "containment time" and feel it is totally inappropriate for children in the foundation stage. Can't remember where I read it but the hardest physical thing for children of this age to do is sit still. Can't see the point when children who are active learners exploring the world with all five senses are made to sit still and all do the same thing, plenty of time for that when National Curriculum kicks in. Sorry if this flies in the face of what is the done thing but not for me at all.

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I entirely agree with you..carpet time is more often than not about the adults needs and not about the children. I minute of sitting per calender year of their lives at a non self chosen activity so for a five year old that is five minutes. Manifest purpose of carpet time...to listen to stories/sing/talk latent purpose of carpet time....to release other staff to do jobs and to put all the children in one spot where they can be managed....I HATE CARPET TIME!!!! :o

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I don't suppose I will win any friends with this but my view of "carpet time" is not very favourable. I call it "containment time" and feel it is totally inappropriate for children in the foundation stage. Can't remember where I read it but the hardest physical thing for children of this age to do is sit still. Can't see the point when children who are active learners exploring the world with all five senses are made to sit still and all do the same thing, plenty of time for that when National Curriculum kicks in. Sorry if this flies in the face of what is the done thing but not for me at all.

 

 

Not at all BMG, it is good to have informed discussions arounds such issues and I'd have been very surprised not to have read an alternative viewpoint.

 

I try to limit it as much as possible but I also think it can be fun, and at the moment, as reflective practitioners, we are trying to look at our practice to make circle time an enjoyable experience for everyone.

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Well, we're preschool mostly 3+ this year.... but a few 2ys. total 26 each session.

 

We have circle time each morning at the very beginning and for us it's really a positive experience.

Definitely not about adult needs in our setting though, as all the staff join in. Our children are younger to it's very much based on their needs at the time. We always get compliments from our feeder teachers about how good our children are at listening and taking part/turns once they make the transition to school.

 

We do a mix of songs/stories/turntaking interactive games. Children are not 'forced' to join in, and usually need ecouragement to start with... but once they know it's going to be a fun session they all soon become confident to join in.

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Hi.

I've just started my second year teaching in nursery and have already changed our routine several times- a) to try and fit everything in, and :o to keep carpet times down to a minimum! We have a short carpet time where we register and at the moment just explain to the children what activities are planned for the day then they go off and are able to choose what they want to play with. Half way through the session we tidy up and sit on the carpet again for about 5 mins and do a quick PRSN kind of activity (counting/ shape flash cards etc) while we get sorted ready to go outside (we only have 2 staff and an odd shaped indoor and outdoor area so can't really have freeflow). At the end of the session we have story or singing time for around 10 mins, but there is a 10- 15 minute bit at the end of the session where parents are coming and there isn't really much for the children to do. This is definately something I'd like to change but am not really sure how at the moment! We have only just started sitting down on the carpet this week, before the children just had free play time, but they have all responded really well. I give out lots of stickers for those sitting nicely, and point out children who are 'doing the right things' when they sit down so that the other children can use them as a model. As soon as you say '.....is sitting very nicely today' they all tend to copy!!

 

Our carpet times are just about right at the moment for our children, however we haven't started doing the letters and sounds activities yet. Last year we split into 2 groups of 13 for letters and sounds and did a group activities- this definately had its pro's and con's!!! I just wondered how other people that don't really have much carpet time do letters and sounds? I saw lots of different examples as an NQT last year, although they all involved the children sitting on the carpet- some as a whole group, but some in small groups so I guess thats not really counted as carpet time??

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we do letters and sounds at the dough table in the craft area in the role play area in physical play, in the sand pit, in the gloop, in ICT activities in all areas of the setting a skilful practitioner can facilitate children developing an understanding of letters and sounds without sitting them altogether. This also allows for children's different learning styles and interests..hence a child who is interested say in dinosaurs might be easier to lead through that medium whereas a child who really enjoys playing in the home corner might be accessed through that, whilst the really active learners might better acquire these skills whilst outside.

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We also provide phonics activities as much as possible in the areas of provision. However, we are expected to do phonics with ALL the children EVERYDAY as well as facilitate their learning in all the areas of learning so doing activities together is the only practical way of doing this. We have 3 adults to 29 children so attempting to do phonics everyday with individual children would be impossible and the other areas of learning would definately suffer.

I personally think whole group and small group times are important in bringing the children together and giving them a sense of belonging. We do our focused activities in small groups and it works really well for us and our children who make good progress and are happy. We, of course, facilitate their learning on a individual basis throughout the child-initiated play time so there is always a balance.

I find the Learning, Playing and Interacting document very useful and informative. It states: 'As children move through the EYFS years they will gradually be ready for small group and short periods of large group planned activities'...'When planned as open-ended activities, a group of children will be able to engage with and benefit from an activity sparked by one child. During the activity, the practitioner will use the same skills of moment by moment 'observe-assess-respond' to help wach child in the group to move learning forward'. This is exactly what we endeavour to do and have had lots of comments (including from OFSTED) as to how well it works, how focused and engaged the children are and how we are completely involved in their play agendas during CI time.

As I said before we do keep large group times to a minimum and very short (5-10 mins), and never use it as a child-management tool - we always have a purpose.

 

It's great to hear what other people do and other people's opinions. We can always learn from each other - I think that reading others' opinions is a good self-evaluation tool.

 

Green Hippo x

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We try to keep sitting on the carpet to a minimum, but do a short registration, counting children, finding the number on our board and then getting up to go outside to check the weather. Then we come in add pictures to our weather board sing a quick song and back to play.

 

We do a story at the end and sometimes show and tell.

 

As others do we use Letters and sounds phase 1 during play such as with small world or outside (what can you hear? - normally a plane every two minutes sometimes where we are!)

 

Rachel

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  • 2 weeks later...

We have mixed age sessions and have recently completed an ITERS audit within this it suggests that children under 3 should not sit , be confined or wait for longer than 20 minutes (may be in increments) over a period of 3 hours. Rather than have carpet time staff may sit and do the activities with children free to join in or leave at will during free flow. This has been some successful but generally needs staff to think differently, has anyone else experienced ITERS "Much of the Day"?

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Well, we're preschool mostly 3+ this year.... but a few 2ys. total 26 each session.

 

We have circle time each morning at the very beginning and for us it's really a positive experience.

Definitely not about adult needs in our setting though, as all the staff join in. Our children are younger to it's very much based on their needs at the time. We always get compliments from our feeder teachers about how good our children are at listening and taking part/turns once they make the transition to school.

 

We do a mix of songs/stories/turntaking interactive games. Children are not 'forced' to join in, and usually need ecouragement to start with... but once they know it's going to be a fun session they all soon become confident to join in.

 

 

 

We also do this and it works well, we do have a few children who need encouragment. We have also had comments from the foundation teacher who has stated that the work we do in preschool is evident in the children's behaviour at school.

 

We have introduced a fluffy tiger this term who watches the children when sitting down and talks in the ear of the staff memeber carrying out the activity to comment on the good sitting and listening.

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I am new to nursery this year (NQT) and I find the more interactive you are in carpet sessions the more engaged the children. My children love singing loudly and quietly so we often have singing time using different volumes all together - if you end with a whispering song this is often a good time for children to be engaged and ready to listen. A great tip for listening skills that my ever-so noisy children love is karaoke - we have this huge microphone and the children will really listen as one child comes up and sings their song.

 

As for carpet sessions - we sit in the morning to go through our day (visual timetable) and date and weather. We sometimes discuss or model an activity before choosing time. We have then been doing letters and sounds in carpet sessions and also time for talk (structured talk opportunities) including seal mid way through the session. At the end of the day we end with a PSRN activity e.g. counting songs/rhymes. If you use visual aids this tends to keep children engaged. e.g. we have giant collage currant buns that they use.

 

I have been following on from the teacher previously - it is encouraging to hear that other settings don't do as much carpet times - I sometimes wonder if this is too much? Any thoughts?

 

Zoziebell x

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  • 2 months later...

We have 26 children in our morning session, I sing the 'Hello song' but only to children sitting who are ready to listen "hello John, hello Mahi, hello carly, it's time for carpet time" it takes a while to get through the children, but it seems to do the trick. I also use some picture cards showing good sitting, listening, looking and thinking that I show at the start of the session and again if they need reminding. It isn't easy, but they're getting there!

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There have been lots of examples of carpet time here and as I'm not in nursery I can't really say what works best, however I do think that short carpet time sessions are incredibly valuable.

 

Young children need to hear stories and we are constantly told that children who are read to regularly are better readers/writers themselves and have better language. I think this is something that is very valuable in nursery, particularly if you are in an area where the children don't get this at home. Sometimes I think there's so much emphasis on letting the child explore and do what they want that I think we can forget that sometimes a child might not know they can enjoy an experience until they actually have it. A child who's never read to might not know that sitting and listening to a story is fun. Of course you could do this individually or with small groups during choosing time but where is all that adult time going to come from? Similarly a child may never ask or choose to be read a story if they haven't experienced this before.

 

Just my opinion of course!

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  • 5 months later...

[i find the Learning, Playing and Interacting document very useful and informative. It states: 'As children move through the EYFS years they will gradually be ready for small group and short periods of large group planned activities'...'When planned as open-ended activities, a group of children will be able to engage with and benefit from an activity sparked by one child. During the activity, the practitioner will use the same skills of moment by moment 'observe-assess-respond' to help wach child in the group to move learning forward'. This is exactly what we endeavour to do and have had lots of comments (including from OFSTED) as to how well it works, how focused and engaged the children are and how we are completely involved in their play agendas during CI time.

 

Hi, where could i find the document you refer to here???

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We have 37 children and 3 family groups. 24 go to Reception in September and the rest are rising 3's so stay with us next year! trying to do anything with all 37 is very hard!! We do a teaching session - phonics/Maths/PSE etc mid morning and a story/rhyme time at the end of the session in our key worker groups. Once a week the older children all sit for a story/singing to prepare them for Reception. This works well (small groups), as almost everyone gets a turn when we do 5 currant buns and all get to contribute to story. We try to make activities as interesting as possible, and if the children lose interest, ditch the game and try another next week! And of course use provision to consolidate learning. I love carpet time!! However no one gets time out this way...... Swings and roundabouts .........

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Guest LornaW

I don't suppose I will win any friends with this but my view of "carpet time" is not very favourable. I call it "containment time" and feel it is totally inappropriate for children in the foundation stage. Can't remember where I read it but the hardest physical thing for children of this age to do is sit still. Can't see the point when children who are active learners exploring the world with all five senses are made to sit still and all do the same thing, plenty of time for that when National Curriculum kicks in. Sorry if this flies in the face of what is the done thing but not for me at all.

 

Totally agree with you and if you. As for the physical aspect I think it is the work of Sally Goddard Blythe but cannot find the quote I want at the moment. She says how important it is for children to move and to get to know their bodies. The reaon they move about so much when they are young is that they are not yet awasre of where their bodies are hence the movement! Not very well explained but I think that is the gist. Movement enhances communication so if we want to develop good communicators we need to develop good movement not good listening to enable them to do this!

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umm, I think you are right Catma it is Sally G-B

 

I came across it when doing a small research project on brain development and physical activity. The gist of my findings were that supressing physical activity affected frontal lobe development - linked to regulating behaviour (especially so for boys as there are more instances in boys) could be a factor giving rise to the increase in diagnosed ADHD.

 

I'll have to fish it out as it was a while ago and the old memory is fading, but since doing that piece of work I actually encourage rough and tumble play with minimal intervention (hard to get some staff on board sometimes) because children can recognise changes in facial expression which let them know if their playmates wants to stop. You only have to see how dads play roughly with their children and the laughter that goes with it, the child will squeak in some way if it gets too much.

 

Thanks for reviving this thread (whoever did) it has reminded me how much I hate carpet time. We will be sending our poor little ones to school in September when they shouldn't be there until they are five (legally) but personally I believe in play based learning until six at least.

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so for those of you who are not doing 'carpet time' do you not do any whole group activities then? Surely part of being part of the group is to enjoy times together, listen and respond to each other and have the closeness of huddling together for a story.I would certainly say that my 'carpet time'(sorry hate that phrase!) is hardly containment and i would hope is interactive and fun for all. My younger ones are invited in but don't have to stay there if they are not happy...but to be honest with an adult there to give them a cuddle they usually have lots of fun.

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Guest LornaW

When the whole group come together for large group time it will be for singing, for circle games like The Farmers in his Den or for Write Dance or Doh Disco, music making etc so not a sitting passive activity but a fun and active activity. I have used many ideas from the High/Scope forum. It is an American forum but ideas are easily adapted!

 

http://etools.highscope.org/training/mod/forum/view.php?id=980

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