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Jenni B
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Please can you offer some advice: Our area Senco would like us to scrap registration completely (due to a small number of disruptive children). We have a self- registration system for when the children arrive but during the morning we have all the children sitting in a circle, we take the register, count the children, do the weather, show and tell etc. Personally, I really like doing it this way as we get so much from the children (although it can go horribly wrong on occasions). How do you do your registation?

 

Jenni B

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Our nursery seems to run similarly to yours for registration, with the exception being that the children self-register, then sit down on the carpet for the register, counting the children, doing the calendar and the weather. I have wondered about letting the children go straight to their activities, but having pondered it, have decided to leave it as it is. The children cope well with this, with just a couple of exceptions + the 2 newbies which started last week, who had not been through induction and knew none of our routines; this, it seems, is the difficulty of a 3 intakes a year approach which has been thrust upon us.

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Hi,

 

That is pretty much how we do it, occasional disasters included :o ! The children love it and look forward to the Weather board, day and date, special occasions and show and tell. We find we have more problems with disruptive parents!! Being in a DN, the children arrive 'whenever', and parents/carers do not respect that a special time is going on, but barge in, even when we post staff to intercept them and take any messages xD

 

Any help?

Sue

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Sorry, I should add, that, as a DN, some of the children have been there a while, so we have brought them together from a free play session, which makes it even more frustrating from the 'disruption of parents' angle.

 

Sue

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Hi Jenni -

There have been many conversations on registration in the past here. I'll link you to one, which links through to several others, so hopefully you'll find some inspiration there as well. :)

 

Clicky!

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We do our similiar to all of you- children self register with parent then we all gather together for formal register and other activities to develop language and P.S.E.D, talking about our daily plan with the children. I try and ensure that children with low concentration levels aren't sitting together but are near an adult to support them. Often fidgetty children are better if they have something to hold and fiddle with. If they refuse to listen at least this minimises the distraction they cause to the rest of the group. We normally spend 10-15 minutes doing this but vary it according to the childrens involvement at that time. If we don't cover everything we do it later during keyworker time or another day.

Yes Sue sometimes it is hard to quieten late arrivals (parents not children) They seem to arrive just after I have managed to get the attention of the fidgetty children.

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Guest tinkerbell

We have formal register and straight into assembly (r/yr1)when we come back from assembly we go straight to phonic activities for 20 mins then all sit down to share news etc.

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Up until recently, children used to come in and sit down for register (after posting their names).

We were finding that some children were arriving late and we would be sat waiting for the them to sit down before starting register. Those that were on time would be sat for longer periods which we felt was too long and it was wasted learning time.

At the moment they come in, post their names and then go to activities. The register is taken then, by a member of staff (just ticking the names).

We definately get more done and they are involved very quickly, BUT I do miss the fact that we don't tell them what is planned for the day. I had thought about doing the register as a group when all children have arrived and parents have gone, but by then they are so busy, that it seems a shame to stop them!

We tend to do the weather board etc. at the end, but it's not the same as doing it first thing!

The parents definately prefer it this way, as they can settle their child quickly and leave straight away. Before, some parents would wait until after register and would chat amongst themselves which as said, would cause a problem.

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Thank you very much everyone, its useful to know what everyone else does. We are resisting the advice of the Area Senco to scrap registration completely but her counter advise was to let the children choose a book and sit down and read it quietly while we are doing the register etc. We have been trying this system....... The children fight over the books, chatter to each other about the books or keep getting up to go and choose another book!!!! I dont see the point in this system if the children arn't paying attention. It seems to be all about 'free choice' , but once at school children have to sit and listen and I for one think it is an import skill to learn! Back to the drawing board I think!

 

Thank you again

 

Jenni B

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we do similiar to you I think the key is to either

1.have plenty of adult knees for support

2.Grab their attention from the start once lost bring it to a close

3.Divide your group up and use two different approaches with your register or take those that will sit and listen away and let the others play longer

I have an animal puppet with our younger or more easily distracted children when they say yes to their name he talks back to them :D

we have a nursery rhyme bag that always keeps their attention what is coming out next or who will be picked to choose something

I think circle time only works in smaller groups it is a long time to have to wait your turn :o

can you reward with a smiley face sticker for good sitting listening etc

A good way to get them sat and ready to listen is to close your eyes and count to 5 or count down form 10 perhaps and say when I open my eyes I want to see you all sat up with your legs crossed can i open them yet?works everytime with ours! :D

with lots of newies this week I have told stories rather then read them using props and sound effects and lots of participation

Every child matters and those children that get an enormous amount from your register/circle time are just as important as those who dont you just need to adapt for them

sorry if ive just told you to suck eggs but you might get something out of it somewhere :)

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Jenny is it possible to have two groups? I have a group of younger/less experienced (Barb speak for can't listen) children and they sit together for a very short time. Initially they have a welcome song then go off to an activity, we build up time as the weeks (months!) progress. I find that using props such as a puppet helps them to concentrate. Have been looking at brain gym exercises that someone posted on here and will be incorporating them into group times.

Good luck

Barb

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We open our doors at 8:45 am and the last child to arrive is normally around 9:15 am ( children self register on arrival, and staff door monitor write time of arrival in the register) so we have free play until 9:15.

 

Full group circle ( 2-4 yr olds) welcome song. Then we follow this up with excersize ( sorry spelling it's late) ie: today I asked all the children to jump on the spot, until they felt they had to stop and sit down. within 30 secs 4 children sat down, I said, "oh I thought you would beat the others because you are so fit, they soon jumped up again :D " anyway, we kept jumping until only one child remained who got a big round of applause.

 

We then split into 2 groups under 3's and over 3's, into mat time for 10 mins- we do news, weather etc with older ones and the younger ones are offered quiet sensory activities ( ie: dough, cornflour, earth etc) in an area out of vision from the older children. We also split later for story and the little ones will sit for a while.

 

To gain attention at sitting times I use the rhyme, like Andreamay;

 

I'll shut my eyes ( I put my hands over my eyes) and count to three,

When I open them I'd like to see

Legs crossed arms folded, zip up lips, backs up straight

are you ready, one, two, three. uncover eyes, big smile to show I'm impressed, then start talking with a low, quiet voice.

 

I always remember that sitting is hard, especially cross legged, and attention span is one minute per year of age minimum.

 

Peggy

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We open the doors at 9.05, we have a member of staff on the door to greet and tick them in/make sure none escape!

 

Children self register having hung up their coats. They then have free-choice until officially 9.15 usually 9.30 to allow children time to settle and opportunity for parents to exchange info with staff.

 

We then call everyone together for counting, register, brief talk if anything relevant. We then split into two groups in separate rooms, mixed age/abilty (keyworker groups) for circle time 5-10 minutes depending on attention of children and interest in activity such as PSED, number rhymes etc. This works well.

 

We then have another free-choice time.

 

Deb

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At our preschool we have a member of staff ticking the children in on the register. we only record the time if they arrive late or leave early. But if you use this method you must have a the top of the page stating normal starting and finishing time. (Starting time 12-45, finishing time 3-15 unless otherwise stated)

 

The children collect their apple and place on the tree. The member of staff on the door as the children to stand still so that a head count can take place when the main group of children are in. Any late arrives are marked in by the time and added onto the total.

 

At about 2-50 we sit the children down for circle time, call the register, as a child to help count the children.

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We were told at our setting that we had to scrap registration too. I personally find it quite nice carrying out a 'formal' register, as it encourages the children to practice their sitting skills for school, plus it's nice to say good morning to each of them individually. The children seem to like it too, in the way they answer the register, you can normally tell what kind of mood they are going to be in...

 

We use a proper school register for our children (another bright idea :o ) but I thought we were supposed to keep a log of the times children arrived and left the premises, not only for Ofsted but also, more importantly I think, in case there is a fire drill?

 

I might be wrong, but thought that was the way it was supposed to be.

 

Clare

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Clare,

 

If all your children are supposed to arrive and leave at the same time then putting a tick is just as good, as long as you have space to write the time if they don't arrive or leave when they are supposed to. I put in a tick when a child arrives and only write the time if it is more than 10 mins past our starting time or if a child has to leave early for any reason.

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Our children also self register-woodland animal on forest picture-as they arrive and I tick off the register as they come in. A couple of years ago I changed our sitting down all together time from the beginning to the middle of the session and I find it works much better, as the children are ready for a sit down after an hour and a half of play. I've never seen much point in calling a formal register but we do count, weather chart etc. My secret weapon is a lagre bird hand puppet that I bought in a pound shop. he lives in a silver hatbox and will only come out when everyone is quiet!

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We don't have a formal registration time, but like Deb W. have a whole group time about 2 thirds of the way through the morning for day of the week, weather etc. The children self register and I sit in the first room that they enter and greet each child and parent/carer individually and do the register at the same time.

I green dot them when they arrive and then total how many children are in. I then red dot them when they leave which makes it visually easy for us to see how many children are present.

Deb, you are right that you are supposed to record when they leave that way you know exactly who is on the premises in case of an emergency.

Linda

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Our children look for their name cards,with their parents, which we usually put on the tables in team colours. They then sit and spend 5 mins participating in the activity provided on their table (books, puzzles, drawing etc.) or chat to their friends and keyworker. Once everyone has settled down we take the register, count the children, look at the weatherboard and talk about the days activities. The children then put their name cards on the wall and choose their first activity. (We use the activity card and peg system which the children adapt really well to.)

Registration takes on average 10 mins at the beginning of each session. I agree that late parents drifting in can really disrupt what is otherwise a good learning experience. New children aren't expected to sit at the tables but within no time at all they are happy to do this and join in with all their new friends.

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Just a note on recording times in and out, this was explained to me by Ofsted inspector as

1/ in case of fire and

2/ for any child protection issues. ie: if a child is consistently late ( who used to be on time) and other care/neglect issues become apparent, this change of attendence times might evidence a particular home/life pattern- parents/child late to bed can't get up in the mornings. or if a child is collected early this is noted in case an incident occurs and parent claims it didn't happen because child was at preschool at that given time.

As I write this I feel that we are caught up in the "big brother" culture that is developing in England, however, I have in the past had to refer to this information, which was useful, with regard to a child protection issue.

 

Peggy

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  • 3 weeks later...

We still use a formal registration and i have no intention of changing it. Children come in with their parents at 9.15 and collect their name card for the self registration board. They place their show and tell toys and drinks in the appropriate places, then sit on one of the 18 cushions placed in a circle on the carpet. Every cushion has a book on it. The children then look at the books until everyone has arrived. However, if we are still waiting for children at 9.20 the door get shut and registration continues. Late arrivals have to wait outside the door until a member of staff lets them in. If mummies are trying to hang around, generally chatting between themselves in rather loud voices we say very loudly

" lets say goodbye to the mummies now so that we can go and play soon". It always works and they continue their conversations outside. Registration then consists of singing 2 songs, answering their name to the register, talking about the day, the weather and the number of the children and our plans for the session. Show and tell is only done twice a week with half the children on wednesdays and half the children on fridays.

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We still do the traditional register system. Children sit on a mat, we take the register, do the weather, discuss the days activities and anything else the children want to discuss.

 

Our EYA has told us that it is not good practice to stop the children from playing during the session. Be it to take the register, tidy up or anything else.

 

Before her penultimate visit we still let the children tidy up and all sit down together for snack.

 

Now we have a rolling snack (only 6 at a table at any one time) and tidying up only gets done at the end of the session.

 

Some parents do not like the new system, as they can't get their offspring to tidy up at home before lunch!

 

Although I can see both points of view, I don't see why we should have to change systems which worked and which the parents appreciated.

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I completely agree with you!!!! I can sort of understand the 'powers that be' saying that the children shouldnt be interupted whilst playing etc, but when at home children are 'interupted' to have lunch, go and collect siblings, have a bath etc etc. It is not real life to be able to do things uniterupted all the time!!!! AND what about when the children get to school....surely in reception the children have to follow a routine, including a formal registration etc !!??

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I ask that my staff encourage the children to TIDY AS THEY PLAY, then the children are learning responsibility for their own actions, ie: if you play with something you leave it as you found it. We still do a general tidy up but this now doesn't take so long because children are told, finish what you are doing or / set aside the things you want to come back to because in 3 minutes we are having a story, we pre-prepare them for the change. Some children who prefer to continue their model making for example are able to, as long as they respect the children who want to listen to the story by not distracting them.

 

Without wanting to offend, I personally really do dislike the phrase " they will have to do it when they get to school", be it sit, routine, eat snacks all together, walk in straight lines down corridors, hands up before anyone listens to you, sit still etc etc etc. My preschool children are not at school, their physical development is not at the stage to do what older children do, they are 3 & 4 yrs old, they are "active learners" just let them be.......by this I mean let them be who they are now, not who they are going to be. :o

 

 

Peggy

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I wasn't actually referring to 'sit still', 'walk in straight lines' etc etc, I was merely saying that children are often 'interupted' and pre-schools are a preparation for school, not so much the 3 year olds but for the older children. If there is no routine at all then school will be a bit of a shock to them! We have visits from our local reception teachers who say the best preparation for the children going to school is to be able to 'sit and listen', (for short periods), put on their own coats and follow simple instructions.

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We stopped having formal registration last easter and Im glad we did,we found the best way to encourage children to sit and listen was to encourage them to choose their own activities and learn to stay focused in their play while all the distractions continued around them, moving away from the more rigid routine has helped develop many more skills than I had ever anticipated. Now for registration parents sign the children in and children self register, then later we have cafe (another learning expereince I totally underestimated) and we use the self register cards to keep track of who has had their drink ( we pretend it is a ticket to pay for the drink!) I am also amazed that even our youngest children who were only two at Christmas have already mastered finding their own name cards and choosing their own snack/drink.

 

we organise small focus activities during the morning where staff encourage children to explore more or play a game together but there are rarely more than 4-6 children at a time.

 

we only sit down as a whole group at the very end of the session for song/story time and some days when the children are playing well we might not even sit down for this and it becomes coat and home time

 

Im glad we moved away fom the "sit the whole group down" activities at first I was against it and I couldnt see how free access and child intitated play for the majority of the session would prepare children for the routines of school but it has and I think partly because when the children move up to "big school" they are more mature and independent able to stay at the activity for longer. When they start "big school" they want to expereince something different, sitting and listening is something new and fun, the routine is something new rather than more of the same from preschool ....

 

yes I know Ive totally gone off the subject!!! sorry

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  • 4 weeks later...
Our children look for their name cards,with their parents, which we usually put on the tables in team colours. They then sit and spend 5 mins participating in the activity provided on their table (books, puzzles, drawing etc.) or chat to their friends and keyworker. Once everyone has settled down we take the register, count the children, look at the weatherboard and talk about the days activities. The children then put their name cards on the wall and choose their first activity. (We use the activity card and peg system which the children adapt really well to.)

Registration takes on average 10 mins at the beginning of each session. I agree that late parents drifting in can really disrupt what is otherwise a good learning experience. New children aren't expected to sit at the tables but within no time at all they are happy to do this and join in with all their new friends.

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Hi Nicki-K please could you tell me more about your activity card and peg system? It sounds interesting - thanks from angela

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I work with 2-3 yr olds and they enter the setting and are able to settle at a chosen activity, they are self-registered, towards the end of the school year we introduce registration but not first thing in the morning - usually after snack time, carpet time, then when they move to the older section of the nursery 3-4yr olds they have registration daily at a similar time, if it doesn't work somedays - nevermind, but we feel we are only preparing the children, I feel when they are school age they are more ready for formal routines and structures, isn't it more important that we encourage concentration skills and sitting on the carpet for more than 5 minutes, gradually, in preparation for school.

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