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Advice Needed Please......


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Hi there, I wonder If I can quiz your brains on this sunday evening!!! I'm having a real dilemma at the moment.

I teach a mixed R/Y1 class, ( 5 Y1s) The classroom is set up as a reception classroom and I have all the areas of learning set up with sand, water, roleplay, paint, workshop etc.I have 2 adults with me in the morning and one in the afternoon. I have an outdoor area which I try to have accessible all the time.

At the moment I organise my day with whole class literacy/ numeracy slots for ten mins, I then have whole class/ group phonics activities and group literacy and numeracy tasks. I am finding the childrens different abilities are not being met during whole class learning and it would be better to have little/ less whole class time and more group work. This week for example my text is the 3 Little Pigs. Tomorrow I will introduce text through drama as a whole class for ten mins, I'd then like to set one group off with an adult in the workshop area building a house of art straws, the second adult will work with the children outdoors in the roleplay builders yard and build a house of bricks. The third adult will free flow around the classroom. I will have independent work on mark making table, making mini books. I have plenty of child initiated activiites e.g small world, small construction. Does this sound right?

Also could I have had a numeracy group without a whole class input? How many whole class sessions do I need to introduce learning objectives or can I do this in group sessions. I feel like I am torn between a Y1 structure with whole class learning for literacy and numeracy followed by guided and independent work to reinforce the learnign objective set in the shared session and that of reception in which I would have less whole class and more group work where learnign objectives are shared with the group and not the class. In this situation I feel the children's needs would be better met.

I hope you don't feel as confused as I am right now.

If anyone experienced out there who has got their organisation sorted and approved would like to share their expertise and knowledge I would be very grateful. I feel that the standard literacy / numeracy planning lay outs are not best fit for reception as the day is far more fragmented. What formats do other people use? Help!!


cheers guys

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Sounds good to me, Charlotte but I dont have a mixed class!

You're certainly going to be busy!!


I think you have to meet the needs of the children and if you can justify a change and you can, give it a go and see what happens.

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I know exactly how you are feeling Charlotte. For the first time in 3 years i have a mixed class with 8 Y1 (which we chose by ability) and 17 rec. Previously i had a classes of between 14 and 16 pure reception.


You are very lucky to have 3 adults in the classroom.

I run my classroom very much like your own.


I have a mix of activities which cover all areas of learning and then i have generally 2 adult lead tasks which are focused on Literacy and numeracy in the morning. In the afternoons the focus is on areas of learning linked to the theme and i mix the children up.


I have my whole class teaching sessions but sometimes some children may have experienced the activity before the teaching (this has not affected the childrens learning).


My Y1s progress has been fabtastic and it has enabled those low ability children to feel valued and top of the class. Its great to see the Y1s modelling to the reception children and together they are helping one another in the learning journey.


I am a firm believer that good quality PLAY enables all children to learn and we should see more in Y1!!!

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I am having a few problems with my timetable at the moment too and I really feel that I am not achieving everything that I should! Any chance anyone would share their timetable with me! I have mixed Rec / Yr 1 - 15 of each!


Thanks in advance


KT x

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Charlotte yes i shall share some planning with you. I don't really have any specific maths or literacy beacuse i use the hamilton trust and annotate it by hand and then plan my activities to cover the learning needs of the children. When i haven't the big book, i scan the pages and display them on the IWB from the little book.


As for my timetable Katie,


In the morning i have whole class session to start on either lit/num and the same afer play for either lit/num (this is because of the Y1s working as a cohort some afternoons for ICT). At present the focused activities are taking longer now so i am beginning to plan activities over 2 days rather then 1.


After dinner i have a 10/15 minute whole class phonics session, then we have 30 mins outdoor play (this is due to the shared playground and access issues. Hopefully when i get my love big door we can have the free flow system i dream of)

Y1s group read one day (2 grps of 4) While one group is reading the other is working independently on a related task. They also play phonics games from playing with sounds with TA while rec are outside.


Then its back in for a whole class session if necessary on theme and then off to do activities related to theme.


Please bear in mind i have only 8 Y1s (LA) and 17 reception children.


Hope this is helpful

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