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Chatting On The Carpet


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Hi everyone,

 

I'm just looking for advice really, I am an NQT in Reception and although I am really enjoying it I know it is important to crack down on behaviour straight away and chatting on the carpet is a big issue for this class. Almost a third of the class have no English whatsoever so I don't blame them that they are completely uninterested but its starting to make things difficult. I have tried really visual things, attention grabbing songs etc but I manage to get their attention and then 2 minutes later we are back to little 2/3 person conversations in their home languages.

 

Any help would be greatly appreciated

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Are you able to split them into smaller groups at carpet time and tailor activities to the individual groups eg the EAL children.

Are you making sure your carpet time isnt too long - I think many of us expect children to sit for longer than they are physically able to.

Speak to parents of the EAL children and get some songs or stories in their home language?

Sorry if this is no use as I work in a nursery and dont really have a specific 'carpet time'

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Its early days yet, keep chipping away and re establishing what you are expecting. Some groups of children are harder to manage than others. Do you have any bilingual support to help you establish expectations in mother tongue?

As Rachel suggests keep your sessions as short as you can and be snappy and interactive. Have you got a puppet you could use to engage and stickers for rewards!

Dont let this get you down, reception is a fantastic place to be!

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Daisychain, can i ask what is your objective in your circle time? would there be another way to acheive this? What you are describing appears to be more containment than learning in which case it might be better to scrap it until the english standard is better.The other option is to teach all the children some sign language(makaton) so that they are all able to communicate with each other. Perhaps try some games to mix up the group so that 'same language' children are not together? I tend not to have children sitting for any more than a few minutes when they have language difficulties, after all what are they getting out of it? it is very unlikely that they will learn good English by being talked at.

I don't mean this to sound grumpy...just trying to play devils advocate! :rolleyes: ;)

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Hi

I've been teaching reception for four years and have a few ideas which may help. I use some 'good listening' que cards which can be printed from a few web sites such as sparkle box (shhh) and twinkl. They should be easily for the EAL children to understand and include: ears listening, lips closed, legs/hands still, eyes watching. I introduce these very early on, stick them up bext to my IWB and remind children of them every time we sit down for whole class/group teaching and also when chatter starts. I give stickers and praise to those showing all of the steps, lots of them! Also, don't try to sit for too long, apparently children can concentrate for their age in minutes, plus I min for girls, minus 1 min for boys. So really, your 4 year old boys can only concentrate for 3 minutes at a time. I find that in practise, it's a little longer than this bit would only do whole group sessions for 5-7 minutes max in September, working to 15-20 minutes by the end of the year.

I hope this is helpful. Sorry I can't help with the EAL problem though, I don't have enough experience in that area.

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