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I have a lot of part time staff who are all trying to understand free flow play and new planning to work alongside this.

Can anyone tell me

 

1 How do you decide what children your observing each day/ week or do you observe as and when they come to an activity?

2 Planning for individual children how do you plan for the children who need their learning extended, we have 2 children who are particularly bright, we used to have special time with them, now with free flow play we dont get time?

3. How do you control toys not being everywhere during free flow play, we try and tell the children that they can get another item out as long as they put something away when finished, but there always seems to be another child playing with it s they canht put it away! Do you limit the amount of toys they get out?

4. It was suggested that we have a focused activity in each area of learning, ie maths literacy, creative etc for the whole week we cant cover all these each day, we have 3 staff each day with 19 children they cant be in each area all the time?

5. Keyworkers- we used to have keyworker groups it was stopped as the staff said it was too much-each keyworker had 15 children -staff couldnt cope? I asked them to set it back up? Can you tell me how your keyworkers roles work?

 

I used to think I was so in control of all this now I feel as though Im sinking! Please help, maybe I am thinking too much and getting in a panic

 

Sorry to babble on but Im tearing my hair out!

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Can only say how we work it (and we are still looking for all the answers so it keeps changing)

 

one of the ways we decide who we observe is once a week we all sit down and list the children in the unit. Then we compare lists against the register ANY child missed off all the lists is being overlooked so we make a point in tracking/observing them.

 

We work with small groups in adult focused tasks sometimes 1-1 so it is possible to plan for individual needs

 

We have clearly marked areas which are resourced the children are allowed to use the equipement in that area but are not allowed to take it into other areas without asking an adult

All the children have responsibility for tidying up a specific area at the end of the session and police the rules with vigour

 

We have 2 maths and 2 literacy plus a focused activity from another curriculum area each day so in a week we have 10 maths 10 literacy and 1PSE 1CD 1PD and 1 KUW focused activity (this can be flexible depending on parental helpers available)

 

Sorry we dont have keyworkers as such.

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Hi Sharon

You say you have 19 children in each day-are they different each day? How many children do you have on your register?

We have keyworker groups. Each member of staff has about 13 children each, but they are not all in every day. They may have a maximum of 8 at any one time. This obviouxly makes each group easier to manage for undertaking activities. Each group has a set time each day, there are 4 groups altogether, where they go into the office and have a keyworker group session. We try to cover each area of learning each week with a circle time type activity. We are also going lto ook at using this time to use the construction sets we have and so, hopefully, extend the sort of activites we do with the children. The children obviously have access to the construction sets but we thought it would be quite good to make a model together as a group.

The staff all observe all children all of the time. But we also have times when they observe their own group. I can only say that, like Marion, we don't have all the answers and it is an ongoing development.

Linda

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I have a lot of part time staff who are all trying to understand free flow play and new planning to work alongside this.

Can anyone tell me

 

1 How do you decide what children your observing each day/ week or do you observe as and when they come to an activity?

2 Planning for individual children how do you plan for the children who need their learning extended, we have 2 children who are particularly bright, we used to have special time with them, now with free flow play we dont get time?

3. How do you control toys not being everywhere during free flow play, we try and tell the children that they can get another item out as long as they put something away when finished, but there always seems to be another child playing with it s they canht put it away! Do you limit the amount of toys they get out?

4. It was suggested that we have a focused activity in each area of learning, ie maths literacy, creative etc for the whole week we cant cover all these each day, we have 3 staff each day with 19 children they cant be in each area all the time?

5. Keyworkers- we used to have keyworker groups it was stopped  as the staff said it was too much-each keyworker had 15 children -staff couldnt cope? I asked them to set it back up? Can you tell  me how your keyworkers roles work?

 

I used to think I was so in control of all this now I feel as though Im sinking! Please help, maybe I am thinking too much and getting in a panic

 

Sorry to babble on but Im tearing my hair out!

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In our setting we do the following:

 

1. We tend to observe our children as and when we carry out a particular activity with them, for example, we have a child who has difficulty in counting to 5 and difficulty in numeral recognition. Based on that, we would observe this child in a number based activity. We are generally able to see what areas we need to be looking at for this child. Also, I tend to observe those children in activities that are either showing a huge amount of interest or no interest at all in the activity, as this helps me to decide how to adapt the activity to capture their interest.

 

2. On our new planning sheets. there are spaces to record ideas for extension activities and targets to move the children on. We tend to look at the targets and try to incorporate them into the activities already going on. For example, if a child is particularly good at counting, we will ask different questions to that child compared with 'less difficult' ones for children who are still developing their counting skills.

 

3. We don't really have free-flow play. The children are allowed to self-choose at certain times throughout the day but they are normally quite happy to play with the equipment that is out. However, we do rotate our equipment quite a few times during the day as we have three children who lose interest very quickly. We, like you encourage children to tidy away one activity before getting out another and warn them of hazards such as tripping over and hurting ourselves. We try to make the putting away of equipment as exciting as possible but it doesn't always work out like that.

 

4. We have six focus activities throughout the week, one for each area of learning. We try to rotate the children so that they all get a chance to participate. They are not at set times e.g. group time but even at times such as free play or garden time. We usually work in key groups for focus activities with the key worker observing and interacting with the children.

 

5. We do have key groups and like you, we have a small team and lots of children. I am a part time staff member and I share my key group with the room leader as she is full time and also level 3 qualified. She observes them for the 2 days I do not work and on the wednesday (my first day of the week) we go through what she has seen and things she thinks I should be keeping an eye out on. I am responsible for filling in their profiles but sharing the group means some of the observations I have to do are lessened. We then meet up again on a friday afternoon and I tell her what I have seen and what she should be looking out for and we work it like that. Between us, we have fourteen key children and they are all the ones getting ready to go off to school.

 

In addition, we do support other key workers, b giving them feedback on things of interest that we might have seen, but they have not.

 

Its all very new to us too. If you've seen some of my earlier posts, yu will get an idea what it has been like. But I hope this helps a little bit.

 

Clare :D

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Sorry, meant to add that our key groups are made according to ages, rather than stages of development. This works quite well because the older children have similar developmental needs to the children who are just coming to us from the toddler room! ALthough there are some exceptions to this.

 

In terms of our planning, all the children are provided with activities and equipment to meet the learning intentions, but the activities are adapted slightly to meet their needs.

 

Clare

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Hi

 

We have 4 part-time members of staff who all have keychildren, the most children we would have each is 6 or 7.

 

At a recent observation and assessment course we were told that all members of staff should be observing all children, every day, on the little things we see that are noteworthy, making a brief note on say a sticky. These are then passed on to the key worker.

 

I have 6 key children, so over a half-term I will make sure I do a focused observation on each of them. I know who I haven't covered, then wait till I see them doing something I think will tell me a lot about them at this moment in time, along with a photo if possible. A got a huge amount of information about one little girl on Monday this way. The activity was self chosen and she was really interested in it.

 

We should then use this information at the end of the week at our staff meetings (or sooner of course if possible for the next day) to inform our planning for the next week. This is the bit we are working on. Like everybody else, we are working on this, I'm sure it will keep evolving, still trying to bring it all together, this is just where we are now.

 

Am reading other responses with interest to try and learn from others.

 

Deb

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