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Hi folks

is there anyone out there that can help me. I have a very young, very boistorous reception class this year and they are very quickly wearing me down xD

They seem not ready to access the activites that I have put out for them to support our whole mornings of Cll and Md and need more free unstructured play based activites like in nursery. However, I don't really want to have the cars out all the time which is what many of them want (the noise level is unbearable) :o

Can anyone share their own practise as to how they are organising their days at the moment and coping with this type of cohort?

thankyou in anticipation

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hi liza, not sure you will want to hear my suggestions but I would think that you need to change your provision! If you think your children need a more of a nursery environment then that is what you should provide and approach your literacy and numeracy within this environment. might mean you need to rejig quite a lot at the moment but you should find that the children will slowly be able to cope with your preferred environment.

 

Good luck.

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Hi liza, you say 'your whole mornings of CLL and MD' - do you mean that there is no child initiated work going on in the mornings?

 

I don't know if this will help, but our emphasis at the moment is on a VERY long first session of child- initiated with a much shorter session of teacher directed. The teacher directed format follows this pattern: short in put on carpet followed by group work (short time again) which often involves a group working outside on a directed task.

 

We only have one focus CLL a week and one focus MD a week (although we have frequent 'mini' literacy and numeracy in-puts throughout the day. 'A whole morning of CLL and MD' would finish me (and the children) off!!!!

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Haven`t taught full Reception for a few years. Please remind me are they always so awful at the beginning? Pushing, arguing, can`t line up, aggressive, shouting out? It`s not all bad each day both myself and the other R teacher go through the positives of the day. We are constantly praising and rewarding what we would like to see and hoping they will pick up on this. My year partner actually discribed having a R class in September is like giving birth - you do soon forget how hard and trying it is or you would never do it again. The year 1 children look wonderful to us but we told ourself that is because of what we did.

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Hi Liza,

Could you take your num and lit learning into the small world and construction areas? For example, children to make personalised number plates, ie their name and age. Numbered parking bays/spaces, numbered cars to match to space car 3 to space 3. (Could use letter symbols too)

Children have to sign up/tick list to join area. Cars buried in sand, throw dice and find correct number. Is this the sort of thing you want?

Love barb

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Hi Liza, is there an expectation for you to do whole mronings of CLL and MD, it does seem rather a lot. If you dont have any choice over this, then you need to do as Barb suggest and move these acticvities into other areas in the classroom.

 

We are at the momenet having focus direct teaching activities only twice a day and very short (15 min max) as well as snack time(where we talk about the weather, who is here today, and anything else that takes the chidlren's fancy), and a story session at the end of the day. the remainder of the time at this moment is largely CI which includes outdoor for some of this time too. We have very little space so we have an ongoing creative activity in a shared bit of space outside the reception classrooms which all the children will contribute to during the week. Our foucs activities can cover any area of the curriculum.

 

You need to give time to settling in and establishing routines, It really does pay the dividends later on in the year, and perosnllay I dont think this part of the reception year should be rushed. Do you have a partner or phase leader you can talk to who could help you make a few changes?

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thankyou guys for all your help.

Bungalow can you clarify your child initiated... do you put things out on the tables for the children to have free access and play or do the children decide... if so how do you stop them from always choosing things that are the same or that end up being really noisy (e.g. cars/dinosaurs etc)?

Thankyou Barb for those suggestions we already take these areas of learning into small world and sand/water etc. :) and you are absolutely right that we sould be doing this

 

Mundia thanks too... There is no phase leader as such; Im in 2 form intake and the other teacher is new to the year group so I am the one with the experience!!! Unfortunately (fortunately for the other teacher) that class has no issues (I seemed to have been given the 'challenging' class) This as you can imagine is quite demoralising when other people keep commentating... 'Oh aren't next door lovely' etc :o

 

Of course I seriously need to change my practise and provision in order to meet the needs for this class. What I do do at the moment is a short 15mins on the carpet then small group teacher focused activities (for those who are ready) to support and extend the objective of the mat session. The other children access play activities that are related to CLL or MD. These my TA and I have selected to enhance further learning in these areas.

The problem is that because of their behaviour I spend a lot of time sorting that out! I now need to reorganise the timetable to allow for me and the TA to support play in order to help the children settle and learn to get along. I would be grateful if anyone could share their planning for a week to give me an idea as to how best to get me started on this?

Thankyou all once again for your help and support

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Hi Liza

I fully appreciate where you are coming from! I think the main problem is that we don't have enough staff! It doesn't really matter what your learning intentions are for a specific activity because unless you have an adult there to focus and refocus the children they will do whatever they like anyway :D This is fine but in order to find out what learning has been going on you need to plan in some review time when you can question the children. If you do this you will be able to relax a bit more and let the children be themselves. Also, if you or your TA can act as a "floater" to

circulate around the CI activities you will be able to keep tabs on behaviour and noise level too.

Hope I'm not teaching you to suck eggs :o:DxD

Good luck for next week and let us know how it goes...

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Oh, Barb, this sounds wonderful but when you are alone in a classroom this doesn't always work :o . In those moments I feel like a disaster as a teacher.

 

For example, I have this boy who is just starting to learn English at school. If he has the chance, he will only play with cars... but only with one car and just going around and around of himself. He doesn't even join the rest of the boys. That is only one child. How to keep track of the rest as well, when you are meanwhile working with a small group?

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Hi Liza,

Thanks for your great questions. Here goes with some answers (I hope)......

 

 

child - initiated - we have tried VERY HARD (and continue to change and improve all the time) to make a 'learning environment' with 'work stations' where everything is easily accessible to the children, so in a sense we don't have to put things out because the room is ready. HOWEVER, to start with I do put things on the numeracy table or 'work station' and I put things on the graphics table so that they get some idea about the different things they can choose.

 

I am of the understanding, I might be wrong, that child-initiated should be exactly that - initiated by the child not by the adult - but the adults role is crucial in successful child-initiated work.

 

Which leads us nicely to your next query about what do you with the child who always chooses the same thing. I have tried to get to grips with this one myself and have been told:

1. that's where that child is and thats what that child needs so let him/her get on with it

2. Check his/her emotional well-being

3. Check your provision and your environment

4. Extend his interest in other ways

5. Take the cars (or whatever it is ) away for the day "No cars today. What else would you like to do?"

 

Hope this helps ????????????

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  • 4 weeks later...
thanks Bungalow

you are a star for taking the time to share your ideas :)

39345[/snapback]

 

 

Hi LIza, I sympathise totally as I have the summer born reception children. We run as a foundation unit so they are actually still within the nursery building. The older F1 children are in our other building which is joined to us by a path. This is the second year we have done this and I have found that, particularly the boys, need to blow off steam in the mornings and really need to be outside. This has meant that i really need to look at the outdoor environment and have playground chalks, number lines, clip boards and other activities outside. Towards the end of the year I spoke to the children at registration and told them which task they must do during the day, eg the writing activity. They managed this amazingly and very frequently the boys would head off outside and return to do the activity later while the girls would do it first, therefore the children were managing their own learning(this amazed me, I have to admit!!!!)

I would suggest that you try out a few ideas and discuss the problems with the children- i think you will be surprised!!

 

Wendy :)

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Hi Liza,

 

You have been given some really good advice from forum-mates but it can be hard to put the suggestions into practice by yourself when you have a lot on your plate, so I think it could be a good idea to contact your local early years advisory team (if you have one). We all need somebody talk to us about what we are doing, and sometimes to come into our room to see if we are actually doing what we think we are. Obvioulsy it is useful talking to our year partners but with a new partner you might not be getting the quality of discussion you want. I know in the past I have had quite negative feelings towards advisors, expecting them just to criticise me but that seems to be changing so I wouldn't worry about contacting them any more. They would be able to talk in depth with you about what you are doing and help you plan your way forward. Also, do you have consortium groups? They are good when you need to let off steam, discuss issues and share ideas - a mini foundation stage forum right on your doorstep.

 

I hope things settle down for you very soon so you can get back to enjoying the children again.

 

Best wishes, Lyeska

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hello,

I have to say I know exactly how you feel!! You are not alone and I feel really reassured by reading the posts. Im not the only one who feels its all going wrong at times. I have just implemented an integrated day which I saw work really well on teaching pratice (and has just recieved a glowing report from ofsted). Its taking a while but Im hoping once the chn get used to it it will be ok. Im not sure if this is the right thing to do as nobody else on this site seems to do it. So if anyone can tell me that would be great!

So, each day I have 6 jobs:

1. Teacher focus

2. TA focused

3. Independent activity linked to teacher or TA activity to reinforce.

4. Creative table, carpet area (games, jigswa, small world etc), reading corner.

5. Writing table, computer, construction.

6. Outdoor, role play area, listening centre.

 

I have 6 mixed ability groups and we rotate through the activities each day. Sometimes it goes over to the next day especially on the days we have PE. On the wall I have 2 charts. One with the groups and their photos nxt to it, so that if they forget which group their are in they can go and look. The other chart has the numbers down one side and next to it I place the picture of the group (Cartoon characters). So that if they get confused, as they often do, they look at the charts to see where they should be. I had quite a lot of children who kept choosing the same things but this has really helped and they actually enjoy doing all the activities. So I dont know if that will help you. If anyone can give me advice as to whether it is ok to organise it like this I would be really grateful.

Thanks

Rosie

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Hi Rosie,

I too work in a reception class and I still think that my class practise is evolving. We do it this way (there is also a mixed year r/ 1). We cover the ELGs through topic based activities. In the morning I have a short teacher input / class discussion then I have one teacher focus activity, which the children do on a rota, over the week. My TA floats at this time to support children etc if necessary, at the same time we have activities that are linked to the topic focus but which can be carried out independently by the children. (outdoor area, home corner, creative etc etc.)The second session (after break) my TA has a short focus activity for a group (on a rota again) and I do my observations. (or at least I intend to!!) the other children have free choice during this session.

After lunch we usually do our Jolly phonics and practise writing on white boards. The children are again then free to choose, whilst I give individual attention to supporting those children who are ready for reading.

I worry that I am not doing enough but then I worry that sometimes its all too much for them. I think if you just do what you think is right and be ready to change it in reponse to the children's needs, then you're on the right track!!

I think that we just have to be guided by the children and what we know is right for them at their stage. There is no one definitive way to teach this age group and that is how it should be

Cor I have waffled on! sorry. xD

Hope this helps :o

Edited by rualprice
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Hi Rosie,

If I have understood your day correctly, my question would be, What about your child-initiated?

42954[/snapback]

Hi Bungalow,

I thought my child initiated were jobs 4, 5, 6 where they get to choose different areas of the classroom and outdoors. Perhaps Im not giving them enough choice? Im really not sure if Im doing the right thing. I just saw this work on teaching practice and thought I'd try it. I'd be grateful for any of your ideas/suggestions.

Thanks

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Hi Rosie,

I too work in a reception class and I still think that my class practise is evolving. We do it this way (there is also a mixed year r/ 1). We cover the ELGs through topic based activities. In the morning I have a short teacher input / class discussion then I have one teacher focus activity, which the children do on a rota, over the week. My TA floats at this time to support children etc if necessary, at the same time we have activities that are linked to the topic focus but which can be carried out independently by the children. (outdoor area, home corner, creative etc etc.)The second session (after break) my TA has a short focus activity for a group (on a rota again) and I do my observations. (or at least I intend to!!) the other children have free choice during this session.

After lunch we usually do our Jolly phonics and practise writing on white boards. The children are again then free to choose, whilst I give individual attention to supporting those children who are ready for reading.

I worry that I am not doing enough  but then I worry that sometimes its all too much for them. I think if you just do what you think is right and be ready to change it in reponse to the children's needs, then you're on the right track!!

I think that we just have to be guided by the children and what we know is right for them at their stage. There is no one definitive way to teach this age group and that is how it should be

Cor I have waffled on! sorry. xD

Hope this helps :o

43048[/snapback]

 

Thanks! Thats really helpful. Im going to see how it goes as have only really done it for a week and a half and if it doesnt work I'll try something else. I know what you mean about worrying about not covering enough. I do this all the time!

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Hello Rosemary,

 

How I organise my class is somewhat similar to yours. I start with a short whole class session of numeracy. Then I explain what the children's jobs are for the first half of the morning. These will be linked to our week's theme (this week it's Noah's ark), our current or previous numeracy work and our current phonics. For example, tomorrow we will:

 

* use K'nex to build an ark

* use 2D shapes to build an ark

* match pictures by their initial sound to the correct letters on our alphabet mat

* use peg boards to show the pattern of colours on the rainbow

* book browse Noah's ark books

* place the correct number of animals on large numerals

* use clay to model an ark

 

On top of this I also have my continuous provision:

 

* role play area (it's the 'Rainbow Shop' at the moment as our topic is 'colour')

* computers

* reading area

* writing area

* materials tray (the contents change each week)

* story tapes

* numeracy area (with lots of different things to count, numbers to order and puzzles to solve)

 

I have pictures up that represent the different 'jobs' on offer that day. There are spaces under each job for the children to velcro their name to if they are on that job. They know that if there's no space for their name then that's tough(!) and they have to go on something else until there is room for their name.

 

After play we have a short whole class literacy session and before lunch we do a short whole class phonics session. I tend to swap a couple of jobs after break to keep things fresh. While children are accessing their (what I call) independent activities, then my TA and I draw out groups/individual and work with them on skills based activities and work that is matched to their individual level of ability. I try to ensure that these guided activities cover the 6 areas of learning. At the moment my totally 'free' time is reserved for my older children who stay in the afternoon. I know that this is not ideal and that with all the stuff I've written that I sound like a total control freak (I am, I admit it!) but this works for me.

 

Is that at all useful? Everyone has such different ways of doing things that I always feel inadequate and so have jumped on you as how you manage things seems similar to me!

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Thanks! I tend to have a different focus each day. Some days it will mainly be numeracy so for example tomorrow we are recapping on 2D shapes. So with the TA they are going to make a picture of a house or a castles with 2d shapes (Our topic is houses and homes), I'll hear readers, on another table I will put lots of shapes made from paper and ask them to finger paint inside shapes (part of job number 4 if they chose), drawing around around shapes on another table (job 3), hunting for shapes in sand (outdoor job 6) and all the normal continuous provision that is available. However, by giving them job numbers I just feel it restricts their choice a little (while still giving them a choice) and it has meant that the same children are not hogging the same things all day everyday. Other days it will be much more cross curriular so for example, last week we did a focus on Jack and the Beanstalk (We have a castle as our role play and we pretended it was the giant's). I asked my TA to interrupt my reading of the story to deliver a very large letter! It was from the giant who was feeling lonely and wanted us to write to him to cheer him up. I pretended to abandon the story while we all thought about what we'd like to write to him and consider a question we'd like to ask him. So the jobs were as follows

!. Writing a letter to the giant (With me)

2. Making repeating patterns with different types of leaves (TA)

3. Sorting pics for sounds of the week (Independently)

4. Making magic bean and growing music (With an adult) or decorating leaf shapes, or finding a Jack and the Beanstalk story and acting it out using the props in the reading corner.

5. Listening to J and B story on the computer or building a beanstalk with construction, or using the estate agents.

6. Following the giants footsteps outside (which were numbered), or I put leaves and gold coins and beans in the sand, or water. In the castle I put giant clothes and covered a bin with leaves (this is where we posted our letters). I then used the leaves decorated by the children to make a beanstalk coming out of the bin and goes along the wall of the castle. They could also chose to listen to a story on the listening centre.

 

I too have different teaching inputs throughout the day. I have a phonics and numeracy input everyday and try to have another input based on another area of learning. I really appreciate your post and its nice to know that perhaps I am going along the right tracks!

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Moose,

I don't know if it will grab you, but there is a Noah's Ark dice game at:  www.dltk-bible.com/genesis/chapter6-index.htm

43373[/snapback]

 

Thanks very much for that. I'll check it out. All ideas gratefully received!

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