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Planning for area of learning or area in classroom?


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I'm not sure if this will make sense so please bear with me. There are lots of bits to it!

 

Am I right in thinking that we should make provision for all areas of learning both inside and outside?

 

If so, does anyone plan their activities/enhancements according to area of learning?

 

At the moment mine is by classroom area (sand, water, mark making, reading corner, role play etc) but I'm struggling. I'm finding that I can plan lots of good activities (with legitimate objectives - not just nice activities but that I then will have a moment of realisation that they're all creative or understanding the world based.

 

So, I'm thinking would it be more effective to plan by area of learning? But if I do that people expect to see activities in sand, water etc. I do, of course, know that something in the water tray can relate to any area of learning! I feel a bit like sometimes I'm putting something out for the ake of doing it! Also that I need some kind of 3D planning format! It makes my head want to explode!

 

Lastly (I think!) do people prepare their activities that aren't adult-led to meet/develop/support the objectives that they are delivering through the adult-led activity?

 

Or... am I just overcomplicating things and worrying too much?!

 

We had Ofsted just before half-term and given that it was the end of the week I really didn't add anything special - I just refreshed, tidied and updated what was already there but my classroom and outdoor space felt completely different - vibrant, active, engaging and busy. This week it just looks boring and empty and I don't know why. What's more the children are being noisier, less focused and generally engaged in very low level play which suggests to me that it probably is boring and empty!

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I know where you are coming from, I have the same thoughts and feelings! I do MT plans using objectives from development matters, and a weekly overview for the 7 areas for the half term for adult led activities. For child initiated I plan by classroom area (sand, construction etc). What did you do for Ofsted?

 

I too would appreciate feedback on what other people do.

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Hi HelenD26,

My head often feels ready to explode with all those "am I doing this right?" questions!

I stopped planning for every area of the classroom every week a few years ago (with the support and advise of a early years advisor!) - I think it can often be a box filling exercise and I felt that, like you said, I was adding things for the sake of it at loosing sight of what I wanted the children to learn and develop.

What I do now is write any enhancements in the same box as the adult-led activity linked to each learning-focus for each area of learning, I write it in italics and underline the area of provision that it will be in. I write it in green if it is outside.

At the bottom of my plan I list any other provision that is out that supports individuals in other learning and interests aside from the weekly objectives. I then annotate with any other additions or changes made through the week.

As you know, we are changing things all the time, so I don't feel the need to start a fresh each week, adding new things to every area of provision - it's just too much!

Green Hippo x

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I have taken a totally different tack this term and the children are planning what goes in each area of the classroom for child initiated time. We started after half term and this week has been amazing, children have been so much more engaged. In the past I used their ideas but added in my own things as well and it was all introduced on a Monday and usually by midweek they had done everything they had wanted and run out of steam. We have been modelling/ introducing 1 or 2 new things each day from our planning meetings and then taking things away that have run out of steam so that the continuous and enhanced provision is evolving. So far the children's suggestions have been fairly evenly spread across EYFS. I don't make sure that there is something in each area of the classroom each week- if the children havn't planned it or mentioned it ( eg I've not had sand or water for about 3 weeks) then I havn't had it.

Debx

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Guest ShelleyT

I plan for the 7 areas both inside and outside and then add on continuous provision things such as sand and water. However, I am thinking about changing this again as it's hard to put out activities for PSED! I am watching this thread with interest!

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Thank you for your replies, suggestions and ideas - it really helps!

 

Hi HelenD26,

My head often feels ready to explode with all those "am I doing this right?" questions!

I stopped planning for every area of the classroom every week a few years ago (with the support and advise of a early years advisor!) - I think it can often be a box filling exercise and I felt that, like you said, I was adding things for the sake of it at loosing sight of what I wanted the children to learn and develop.

What I do now is write any enhancements in the same box as the adult-led activity linked to each learning-focus for each area of learning, I write it in italics and underline the area of provision that it will be in. I write it in green if it is outside.

At the bottom of my plan I list any other provision that is out that supports individuals in other learning and interests aside from the weekly objectives. I then annotate with any other additions or changes made through the week.

As you know, we are changing things all the time, so I don't feel the need to start a fresh each week, adding new things to every area of provision - it's just too much!

Green Hippo x

 

Box ticking indeed and 'planning' the enhancements often takes me the longest time as I agonise over trying to get something relevant in every area. I'm interested in your planning. So, just to clarify - you have boxes for however many focus objectives you have then underneath write whatever your adult-led activity to support it is then any enhancements then have a separate box for 'other stuff' at the bottom?

 

I have taken a totally different tack this term and the children are planning what goes in each area of the classroom for child initiated time. We started after half term and this week has been amazing, children have been so much more engaged. In the past I used their ideas but added in my own things as well and it was all introduced on a Monday and usually by midweek they had done everything they had wanted and run out of steam. We have been modelling/ introducing 1 or 2 new things each day from our planning meetings and then taking things away that have run out of steam so that the continuous and enhanced provision is evolving. So far the children's suggestions have been fairly evenly spread across EYFS. I don't make sure that there is something in each area of the classroom each week- if the children havn't planned it or mentioned it ( eg I've not had sand or water for about 3 weeks) then I havn't had it.

Debx

 

I love the idea of getting them to plan what they want out. Do you just ask 'what do you want out in the classroom next week? There must have been a lot of preparation to get them to be able to do that. I'm struggling with a group of children (boys and girls) who just want to run (and scream!) at the moment. They always have access to a small outdoor space which doesn't really allow for running and we go into the bigger space as often as possible but there's not much actual learning going on unless it's how to get faster. And yes, I know it's about adult support/involvement too but if I'm ever near them they give me a 'it's that mad teacher' look and move away!

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Hi,

For my planning I have 3 columns: Learning intentions, Activity (with LLN and target children under) and evaluation at end and then 7 rows for each area of learning. Then in the activity boxes I write the focused activity/ies (linked to the corresponding objective), then under this I write in italics any enhancements that link into this objective, underlining the area or areas of provision where the enhancement will be put.

At the bottom I have a 'other CI notes' so in here I again underline the area of learning, then write enhancement, the linked area of learning and/or learning focus, and any children's initials - this is where I put other things from observations that I think individuals need further support on (and is not being covered by the weekly objectives).

I don't enhance every area of provision just for the sake of it. Often activities/resources are generating interest and learning so are left out (I just say so on the plan) and I add other things as the week goes on. I try to remind myself not to work in 'weeks' - I know this is how we are programmed but I don't think it's necessary to change everything on a Monday morning.

Good Luck x

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if you saw my help help help post yesterday then it sounds like I am feeling the same as you I was planning for areas of learning and then planning for classroom areas and basically getting in a total muddle sometimes.Green hippo this is probably a really dumb question but what is LLN and would you mind me possibly looking at an example of your planning also what do you do medium term plan wise?

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LLN - Look, Listen, Note

Will try to post some planning later x

My medium-term plan is basically 7 boxes for each area of learning which identifies the learning that I want to focus on for the next half-term, based on targets and needs.

I then list possible child-initiated activities and adult-led activities but of course these are only ideas!

Green Hippo x

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Hi Green Hippo, sorry I haven't been able to access my account for the last couple of days! I like the format, especially how you add further child initiated activities.

Many Thanks

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Green Hippo, thank you for posting your planning - it's very different from mine to look at but has the same things - just a clearer format.

If it's OK with you I'd like to run it by my teachers to see if they'd like to make changes.

 

I too feel the need for 3D planning - I hoped it would become easier with practise, but half a term in I'm still struggling - mostly 'cos I keep on being tripped up by things that have moved! I'm sure it'll all disappear under a barrel load of glitter soon anyway - and that's probably when the Great O will turn up! Hey ho!!

MW x

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I really like it thank you so much for sharing it is also great to know that your reception teacher does something the same.Our Y1 teacher recently went on a course and met a reception teacher who couldnt believe we are still'playing' at this point in the year as she is doing literacy and maths hours!! Is it just me or........

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Ok here goes, be gentle with me!

As you will see, I'm in Nursery but the reception teacher uses the same system, just has a few more adult-led activities and different phonics.

Green hippo x

Hi Green Hippo, Thanks for sharing, your planning looked great to me.

I spend hours planning in the style of rest of school to keep SMT happy and then do more on top of that for EYFS. It is driving me crazy and I think I will show them some of the good planning around like yours. The sort I should be doing!! I'm new to this site but I think I might be visiting often.

You are so on your own in a small primary school and everyone else is national curriculum based.

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Welcome to the forum isla3! Planning is always a sticky subject and you'll see that it's a regular topic of conversation on the forum. I hope you manage to find a way to plan which satisfies the school and is workable for you too. Good luck!

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Green hippo - don't know how I missed this before. I really like your planning and thanks for sharing - I like how it makes it obvious that activities are linked to objectives. I think this is something mine misses at the moment. For example I might know that I've put beads and threads out because of the link to the work we're doing in maths on patterns but as that's on a different document my enhancement planning probably looks somewhat random!

 

Thanks again.

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Thanks all for your comments. I can't take all the credit for the planning as it came from another lovely lady on here.

I have used this format for 4 years now and although I have other bits of paper work to tick other boxes, I do find this does the job particularly with showing the reasoning behind the enhancements. I desperately wanted to get away from doing a separate CP as it was always very hard to show the link between the objectives and the enhancements and this shows where they fit in clearly, while also keeping away from the box-filling exercise that my CP planning had turned into.

I went on some training last week at the Early Excellence and the one quote that has stuck was: "if you can't think what to enhance your sand with, you probably don't need to add or change anything!" (sand was used as an example area of provision, of course this could be applied to any area of provision)

 

If I could just make a final descision on how to deal with 'next steps' then I might be able to rest easy!

Green Hippo x

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I am always reading posts on the forum but don't often comment! However, I had to respond when I read the posts about 3D planning; Someone needs to invent it soon! My planning format is similar to yours Green Hippo but I am always adding to it and changing the boxes! Definately agree that you don't need to enhance everything all the time- if things are freely available the children will enhance it themselves, often with better ideas than mine!

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I like the way you have your planning on one sheet, I currently do a weekly overview for all the areas of learning, and an additional letters and sounds plan, C&L and Mathematics plan, and also a Welly Wednesday plan like forest school. I think I am doing too much!!

 

For child initiated time do the children have a total choice of what they want to carry out in and out of the classroom in Reception or is this limited?

I am interested what other settings due to my preschool limiting what the children can access with the use of a planning board, and nursery and myself allowing the children to access whatever they want but also enhancing the learning areas when needed.

 

Is this wrong, what do you think?? I was quite confident but not sure again now!! Argh!! :(

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Hi Broadbean,

Yes, the children have a total choice of where they play and what they carry out. We have a couple of target groups: Speech and language and number at the moment who we do little 5 minute 'activities' with sometimes (but sometimes target them in what they are doing) other than that children have free choice.

It's not child-initiated if they are told where to play, what to do and how long to be there for. (although we do devise 'sharing' systems for trikes, computer etc!)

Green Hippo x

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Thank you for sharing your planning. Can I ask how and when you deliver your adult input over the day/week ? I'm in reception and we are very structured. We run a timetable (very KS1) and as such do adult intro every 'lesson' eg, maths and then access to activities related to that learning objective for half an hour then move onto the next subject eg, C&L with all new activities. I'm looking to change things to make them less KS1 so any suggestions would be very welcome.

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Thank you so much Green Hippo I knew I was right, you have made me so happy I will pass your comments back to my pre school and ask them to do it properly!!

 

Broadbean :D

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Hi - thank you for posting your planning - I love your layout and think things are really clear. Like everyone else always on the look-out for better/clearer ways to plan.

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Hi all,

I am in a one form entry school in Reception - I currently plan my weekly plan which is quite simple and then I plan a continous provision plan - my children have access to everything but the plans just helps to focus what skills I am looking for in each area and how I am enchancing it that week - sometimes just left as normal and other weeks things added in - I can then highlight on the plan specific children I have provided for.

I hope that makes sense - I shall attach my planning for you to see. We have had quite a lot of input in the last year from our Early Years advisor at LEA level which has lead to all this!

Continous provision plan - Week 11.docx

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Thank you for sharing your planning. Can I ask how and when you deliver your adult input over the day/week ? I'm in reception and we are very structured. We run a timetable (very KS1) and as such do adult intro every 'lesson' eg, maths and then access to activities related to that learning objective for half an hour then move onto the next subject eg, C&L with all new activities. I'm looking to change things to make them less KS1 so any suggestions would be very welcome.

I'm in Nursery so operate slightly differently to the Reception class. We have our CI time first (for 1 hour and 45 minutes) then we tidy-up, have our snack and then do key group time where we split into 3 groups to do a teacher-led/initiated activity which can be pitched at different levels of ability. Some learning intentions/activities lend themselves better to running them throughout the morning e.g. baking in which case we offer it to the children, keeping track of the 'target' children. If they don't want to do it we pick-up the learning intention through another activity or within their play where possible.

In Reception, the teacher tends to work it the other way round - she will begin with them all doing a teacher-led activity, then they will access continuous provision for a time after that. She also has some activities running alongside CP where this is more appropriate.

Green Hippo x

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