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Carpet Time With Nursery


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Hi, I was just wondering if anyone could give me some advice about how they organise their carpet time for Nursery. I have never taught Nursery before but will be teaching in a foundation unit in September.

How long do they stay on the carpet for? What kinds of things do you include in these sessions? Do you make sure that carpet activities cover all the areas of learning each week?

Thank you to anyone who shares their ideas. :)

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We are only open for a few hours per day and at the moment, we do circle time at the end of the play session, just before lunch. This is to relax the children and prepare some for home time and others for lunch. Circle time only takes about 10 minutes, any longer than that and the children are bored and restless.

 

We try to make circle time a social event, talking about things such as what the children have played with during the session or what they have been doing at home, rather than stories and songs, because these generally take place all throughout the session anyway. We do use stories and songs at circle time but not as the main focus.

 

We do things such as the days of the week and the date, counting, alphabet practice and so on and we generally find that whatever we do during circle time generally relates to different areas of learning.

 

At the moment, my team have difficulties planning activities/opportunities for PSED so we try to focus on that during circle time, for example being together and talking about things important to us etc.

 

Good luck with your work in the Foundation unit. I hope this helps!

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The previous reply was to Marion.

 

Thanks also Clare. I really appreciate hearing about how others organise things.

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We use the carpet time for circle time and story time, like the other replies no longer than 10-15 mins. Music time sometimes is done on the carpet depending on which way the session is going, i.e over-excitment and chaos=carpet time to settle the children.

Generally during a 3hr session the 2-3 yr olds will come together on the carpet twice. The older children situated at another site 3-4yr olds will be able to sit for longer periods of time (not all) - and registration is sometimes done on the carpet at the end of the school year as well, (June onwards) introduced in preparation for school.

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I teach in a Nursery class in a large inner city primary. We have a high proportion of EAL and our children are with us from their third birthday until the term before they turn five. Our sessions are two and a half hours long.

 

We've experimented a lot with carpet time sessions and recently have really tried to cut down on the time that the children spend on the carpet. The past two terms we have changed the carpet time to the beginning of the session as we have found that their concentration and focus is much better than later in the session.

 

When the children arrive we do a quick registration as a whole class on the carpet, which includes counting how many children are in and doing the daily calendar. Then three times a week we split into 2 ability groups - once for topic (speaking and listening / PSE), once for number/maths groups, and once for phonics. The groups last no more than 10 minutes. I find that the top group (which consists of mostly reception aged children) needs that little bit extra and are ready to be stretched a bit more, whilst the lower group need activities where they are active and up on their feet doing things and being involved.

 

For example, next week our topic is "Me and my body". On Monday the top group will go into our adjoining room with me. We will be naming parts of the body and making and sticking labels onto a large poster of a child. The lower group will stay with one of my NN and will be singing body action songs (Heads and Shoulders, one finger one thumb, put your finger on your nose, etc).

 

On Wednesday we will have number groups. The top group will come outside with me and we will use parts of the body to measure different things in the garden (using hands, footsteps, strides, etc). The lower group will stay with the NN to do some "active counting" jumping/hopping/clapping a set number of times, counting together, singing number songs and rhymes.

 

On Thursday are phonics groups. The top group will be introduced to our new sounds and will share objects that they have brought from home beginning with the sounds. We will also learn the Jolly songs for those sounds and play some sorting games. The lower group work on planned activities from the first stage of"playing with sounds" or some of the suggested games from "Foundations to Literacy", focusing mostly on developing their listening and attention skills. We usually use our class puppet for this which is great at holding their attention. We may also use this session to do some brain gym or concentration games such as Simon Says, Kim's game.

 

The other two days of the week we still have a carpet time for 10 minutes but as a whole class. This may be for singing, sharing news, sharing good things we've done at Nursery, etc.

 

WE also have group story times at the end of the session as we find that the children focus much better in smaller groups. I'm lucky to have 2 great NN and so each of us has a group of 10 for story. These are our keyworker groups.

 

Hope this is of some help

 

Good luck with the new job! Nursery is a great place to be - hard work, but very rewarding.

 

Jackie

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Hi, I was just wondering if anyone could give me some advice about how they organise their carpet time for Nursery. I have never taught Nursery before but will be teaching in a foundation unit in September.

How long do they stay on the carpet for? What kinds of things do you include in these sessions? Do you make sure that carpet activities cover all the areas of learning each week?

Thank you to anyone who shares their ideas.  :)

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Hello,

We use carpet time at the start and end of sessions . We start after a few mins when children have beem playing fo a while(10--15 mins) I play some music and thats the cue for them to come and sit(no shouting that way) Wethen say prayers(we are R.C.) and have a chat and perhaps a story. We go thru 'whats on' today and the children go to play. At the end(bout 15-20mins b4) we come together again and talk about what we've done today have we learned anything new or are we better at something now we've had a practise? We perhaps re-read the story , sing some songs ,say a prayer and go home . If the children are responsive then we sit for a while if not , then we don't it's quite simple. you'll soon find that they often ask for another story or the same one again so they can join in. I bet. Hope this is ok.

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Just a quick question along these lines...

 

We do our circle time at the end of the session, just before the children are getting ready for home time or lunch club, depending on which they are doing. I would rather do circle time at the beginning of the session, to welcome the children and talk to them about things they have been doing at home etc, but the other staff members are not too keen on this.

 

I was wondering whether circle time at the start of the session would be better than at the end, so as I can argue my case with the rest of the team!?

 

Thanks

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We have our circle time half-way through the session, after child initiated play. Circle time lasts for about 15 mins. We share a story with the children, sing some songs and rhymes then do a couple of 'sticky kid' exercises. We follow this up with snack-time, then outside play.

 

I have thought about having story time at the end of the session to calm the children down but as a sessional pre-school this would benefit the parents more than us :o .

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HI

 

I work in a day nursery where most of our children are full timers, 5 days a week 7:30 - 6 (poor things!!!).

 

we have circle time/group time after breakfast, at about 9:15 where we will do our name board (the children have busy bees (with their name on) to place on the board) this aids name recognition.

we then do news time (monday only), weather chart and story or singing.

Children are seated about 15 mins (usually 12 children) one member of staff directing the time, another member clearing up from breakfast and setting up room.

 

we then have afternoon group time (before tea, about 3:15) where we look at our star chart (children are rewarded with a star for being 'good' all daY, this is done at group time and is very popular, we will then look at either our colour of the fortnight, letter of the fortnight, or number of the fortnight, entering into a discussion about whatever the focus is. we may do some singing also. children are seated about 15 mins here as well.

 

The children in my group cope with this time well, and are actually very good at sitting, the afternoon group time is better as they have all made the connection now that start chart time means reward, praise and clapping from our friends (not to mention the certificate and medal they get when they reach ten stars :o ).

 

to answer claire's question, i guess it depends what workd best for your group, i know my children concentrate better at the afternoon carpet time, but as explained i think the stars may have something to do with that lol

 

Dawn

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