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Stepping Stones


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My staff would like to have more examples on how to set up practical activities with certain stepping stones. They find some of the wording and examples in the pink guidance confusing and as I'm recruiting new staff, I thought you may be able to give advice on how you explain them to your staff.

In the guidance there are a number of phrases which they feel they need help on.

 

I have sat for about 20 mins now trying to word this properley, but it's not easy!!!

If I put down the one's they are struggling with, could you let me know how you go about observing/what activities you provide for them.

We are using record books with each stepping stone listed for us to mark off if working towards or achieved. These are very time consuming and we often sit pondering over the phrases rather than getting obs etc. written in the books!

 

Here's a few:

 

* Separates group of 3 or 4 objects in different ways, beginning to recognise total is still the same.

 

* Uses ideas involving fitting overlapping, in, out, enclosure, grids and sunlike shapes

 

* Begins to use representation as a means of communication

 

To be honest most of the staff are observing the children doing this in 'free play' but feel they may be missing out on more, if they are not fully understanding the wording in the books.

 

Sorry, it's all garbled, decorating - must be the paint fumes!!! :o

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Hi! My knee jerk is that your second one, with the grids and sun-like shapes, just is so weird I can't really think what they were on about - or on!!! Our EY advisor is of a like mind. If any of you can shed light I'd be grateful!

About all I can come up with in justification is 'uses a wide variety of ideas and/or concepts for representation' ??

 

I read 'representation' as any method the children employ to communicate meaning - mark making, substitution etc.

 

Sue

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Oh I'm so glad I havent worked with stepping stones!! Which ELG is that overlapping one working towards--does that not help at all??

I agree with Sue, any mark making that children ascribe meaning to in their play.

And for the first one, children recognise that 3 objects can be in groups of 1 or in 1 and 2 etc.

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Oh Kymberley-we have had the same problems! We had a training day on Friday for putting together new assessments-we have really struggled with this for ages now.

So the first thing we did was to work our way through each of the stepping stones and ELG's making sure that we all understood what each one means. We were fine on the majority of them but I have to admit to some confusion over "sunlike shapes". Why just sunlike, why not star like and moon like? Unless we are being particularly dense- it could be glaringly obvious to somebody else. So can't shed any light, sun or otherwise, on that one for you.

Your first one I take to be that they can separate say 4 cats into different groups containing different amounts-so 4 groups of 1, 2 groups of 2, two groups of 3 and 1 etc. But that they know that they still make 4 no matter how they are separated.

We spent some time on the representation one. Eventually coming up with creative forms to communicate their ideas-so dance and paint etc to show people what they mean. Could be way off base but we came to an agreement in the end.

One we had a question mark about was in physical development-movement 1 "Can stop". We thought they would have great problems if they couldn't!!! :oxD

Linda

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Oh I'm so glad I havent worked with stepping stones!! Which ELG is that overlapping one working towards--does that not help at all??

I agree with Sue, any mark making that children ascribe meaning to in their play.

And for the first one, children recognise that 3 objects can be in groups of 1 or in 1 and 2 etc.

53271[/snapback]

 

 

The overlapping one leads onto the creative using shape space colour form working in 2D and 3D. Like you I work on ELGs and had to go look it up.......... all I can say is clear as mud! :o

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I'm just hoping that when they develop the new eary years curriculum they consult properly with those people working with the wretched things and we get something that makes sense!!!

Linda

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Obviously havent read it properly, I havent seen the bit about 'sun shapes', maybe thats why I like the folder :(

 

* Separates group of 3 or 4 objects in different ways, beginning to recognise total is still the same.

 

Most places I've been to use either counting teddies, dinosaurs, or some such. The children get used to counting 1,2,3,4,5 teddies but what if you mix them so there are 3 teddies and 2 dinosaurs. The number is still 5. I may not be explaining well but its to do with seeing groups as numbers and not just groups. Understanding the actual number 2 rather than 2 teddies. Really not explaining well. Conservation of number I think it is, it doesnt matter what you use because the number is still the same. :oxD

 

Comprende? :(

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Obviously havent read it properly, I havent seen the bit about 'sun shapes', maybe thats why I like the folder :(

 

* Separates group of 3 or 4 objects in different ways, beginning to recognise total is still the same.

 

Most places I've been to use either counting teddies, dinosaurs, or some such. The children get used to counting 1,2,3,4,5 teddies but what if you mix them so there are 3 teddies and 2 dinosaurs. The number is still 5. I may not be explaining well but its to do with seeing groups as numbers and not just groups. Understanding the actual number 2 rather than 2 teddies. Really not explaining well. Conservation of number I think it is, it doesnt matter what you use because the number is still the same. :oxD

 

Comprende? :(

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We spent some time on the representation one. Eventually coming up with creative forms to communicate their ideas-so dance and paint etc to show people what they mean. Could be way off base but we came to an agreement in the end.

One we had a question

53272[/snapback]

 

I think you are absolutely right, Linda :D

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Re the sun shaped one: don't know if I've completely got this wrong but

I've always taken it to mean that as the children begin to attempt more complex structures whether at clay/dough/ construction/box modelling/painting etc you get the sun (radial) shapes representing all sorts of things, when they draw a figure they add hands- circle with lines projecting - and you can see it in block play when they build roadways -was that Howard Gardner or someone?

But I might be wrong.

Barb

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Well, I feel a bit better now! :) We are working on the Record of Achievement books as I said and have to complete them for each child. Every stepping stone is listed, so you can imagine the level of work each of us have to do. Each one is written as in pink folder and we either underline if a child has achieved that stepping stone or do a wiggly line if they can sometimes do it (working towards). They are a hefty document, but it is throughout the foundation stage, so is carried on through reception (although it's not!).

The idea is to make sure we refer to the pink guidance continuously, so we all have our own copies and are forever flicking through to see the examples on the right hand side (which was the Early Year's aim), but alas, some are confusing!

Rather than having a positive effect, it has knocked the staff's confidence, because you continuously question whether you are looking at the same things.

The wording will never change (we were told that) so it is up to us to decipher.

The maths one, number conservation is as Rea said about the number being the same, no matter how they are arranged, but why couldn't it have been written that way.

The sun like shape is just used as an example, but my staff were waiting for their key children to do a sunlike shape before squiggling!

To make sure we mark off correctly, we observe them on at least 3 occassions so that we are sure they can do a certain task and not mark them above their actual level. This is another problem! We all see things differently and again they are so paranoid about marking them higher, they go the other way.

I've been working on mine all week and to be honest, there is alot that is marked off (older children), throughout all the six areas. I have been conscious of the fact that it covers until the end of reception, but if he/she is confident with a particular stepping stone, I've crossed it through! This leads to critisism when the books are passed on to school, but if it's true then why not?

We eat, sleep, drink the pink guidance, which is why we have the books, but still feel that if the wording was more user friendly, we wouldn't get so confused, when really, they are all things that we have been doing for years. :o

If there are any more that anyone is unsure of, then put it on here, so we can all help each other!!

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post-4544-1144743080_thumb.jpgI have definitely been looking at this wrongly :o as it led onto 3D creative work I have been looking for exaples of 3D xD aswell as 2D :(

 

 

 

 

Use ideas involving fitting, overlapping, in, out, enclosure, grids and sun-like shapes

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These are some suggestions from our LEA assessment criteria leading to the ELG perhaps they might help

 

 

The child will join in an activity with an adult which involves creative materials such as paint, glue, dough or clay.

 

The child chooses to use the art, music or technology materials which are available to them.

 

The child for example remarks that 'this material is my prickly hedgehog'

 

Engages in representational play.

For example:

• explores colour and texture by means of finger painting

• makes lines with paint brush or thick crayons

• enjoys using glue but will not necessarily stick much onto it

 

 

Tries to capture experiences, using a variety of different media.

For example:

• paints a picture of a holiday

 

 

Explores colour, texture, shape, form and space in two or three dimensions.

For example:

• experiments with mixing different combinations of paint colours

• chooses foil paper for the rocket

• tries several objects for the puppet's body before choosing the cardboard tube

• makes wide and narrow shapes whilst dancing.

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There is a document you can buy called 'Striding through the Stepping Stones' it is expensive, around £90, but I know a lot of FS practitioners use it and find it a great help in deciding what means what.

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Thanks for your replies.

It's such a shame that everything that is out there to help us, comes at a price! :o I will check it out JacquieL, but that is alot of money.

 

Thanks again!

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hi joined this a bit late but we have the same problem trying to decipher and deciding whether to go with a theme or just concentrate on getting the ss acheived we sometimes find that we cant come up with an activity that is both linked with ss, elgs and current them...how do you do it.....

Also... pink folder??? what is this??? am i missing something, took over a pre school as mgr but still finding out things that were not mentioned

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hi joined this a bit late but we have the same problem trying to decipher and deciding whether to go with a theme or just concentrate on getting the ss acheived we sometimes find that we cant come up with an activity that is both linked with ss, elgs and current them...how do you do it.....

Also... pink folder??? what is this??? am i missing something, took over a pre school as mgr but still finding out things that were not mentioned

54001[/snapback]

 

Pink ring binder Curriculum guidance for the Foundation Stage

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Hi Trish

The pink folder is the Curriculum Guidance for the foundation stage.

We don't do topics any more-we just found them too restrictive. So our medium term plan identifies the gaps we fill we need to fill as far as the stepping stones are concerned. And we just have a whole bank of activities that we use. We also go with what the children are interested in. My staff have found this far more enjoyable and, for some unknown reason, has taken the pressure off.

Linda

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stupid me!!!!

yes i have that folder wasnt sure what you meant as i came from a surrey based system to a hampshire based system this was very different...still getting to grips really.

I think i agree that doing a topic and trying to follow the curriclum according to the 'pink folder' is difficult.

 

any help in planning and inc all the criteria would be use ful..do you choose an area of learning per week or term and focus on that or do all 6 areas per term??

we have loads of gaps at the mo

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