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How Do You Plan For Birth To Three Matters


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HI

 

I thought i had my planning pretty well organised for the whole nursery, my director liked it, as did a manager at the other nursery (we are one of four nurseries). The manager at the other nursery looked over my planning, discussed it and took it back to use in her nursery. Only her early years advisor has effectively 'rubbished' my planning.

she says its too much for BT3.

 

we have been doing a weekly planning sheet (that gets filled out daily) this shows children's choice (initialled with child's initial) and staffs choice. early years advisor says no need to initial children's choice (my argument is that by initialling children's choice you begin to see what they like to select)...anyhow apparently weekly sheet is okay.

 

but from weekly sheet we move onto a planned activity sheet (3 done a week) this planned activity sheet has a coloum where you mark down areas of BT3 that your activity meets, you then mark down resources needed, differentiation and an evaluation of your activity. we used the reverse of sheet to mark observations of activity.

so the early years advisor says we don't need to do this, we should mark all observations on post it notes. we don't need to do a planned activity at all.

I am not happy with that as i feel that the staff develop in knowledge from doing a planned activity and it seems to motivate them (although i do recognise they can be time consuming)

 

the early years advisior did not like topic led planning either, i sit on the fence with this as we only really use our topic to underpin our crafts etc....

 

so really want to know how you do it,

 

how do your organise your planning,

 

do you do planned activities, if so how many, and what format?

 

any help really appreciated

 

Dawn

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hi Dawn,

 

I'm with your advisor inasmuch you don't need a focus activity in this age range, but as you rightly point out it is good for staff development - and what about those children approaching FS? or even functioning at that kind of level - and they do exist, we had a Toddler move up early because he was so forward (in all areas) he has positively blossomed in our unit (granted, we have a very child-led curriculum anyway!!) ! When I trained the emphasis was firmly on 'Stage, not necessarily age', so what price that?

 

At the end of the day, your advisor is just that - an advisor. Whilst much of their input is helpful and supportive, you are the practitioners involved in the day to day stuff and the ones that know the children. I think you should go with what works best for you.

 

Any help?

 

Sue

 

PS, haven't really answered your later questions - yes, we have focus activities in Toddlers and Babies, in the latter it's as much to give children wide experiences as much as anything, and in Toddlers it's to allow them free rein for exporation!

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agree with Sue, think about whether the planned activity is adult led, if you are expecting outcomes this takes the focus away from the child. If the planned activity is more about resourcing noted interests then the children will approach such resources and the learning will follow. Here comes in the retrospective planning, noting what the children got ( in learning terms) from the resources offered. Does that make sense???

 

Also note the adult role, how interaction recognises, values and IF required extends any childs knowledge, skills, experience etc whilst the child accesses the activity resources. The adult follows the childs lead in what he/she is gaining from the activity, thus in effect the children are writing thier own BT3 area goals. :D

 

Peggy

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I agree with all of above posts,but would also like to add we initial C.I. activities and what worked well for them perhaps to settle them if new or help with sharing issues etc Ofsted praised us for this.This helps inform our planning and backs up our obs which incidently are done on post it notes then put into childs individual obs sheets and profiles.We do a focussed activity a day for FS children.This may be craft table,sand/water, physical etc if we have repeated the activity on our younger B to 3 sessions we add the differentation.

I agree whole heartedly about EY advisors being just that.Very often they have not worked hands on with the children for a good while as long as you can show and believe that your children are progressing and are happy then stick with what you have. :)

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From the perspective of someone who supports settings with 0-3 year olds as part of my development role (technically not an early years advisor :o ) I wouldn't think that the amount of paperwork you are doing sounds too much...

 

I would agree that there is not a necessity to do a focus activity and that it should still be child intiated or as a result of the interests of a child or group (which is where your initalling and obs come in handy) Don't get hung up on having to do three a week - you may do two in a day and then none for the rest of the week - it really depends on the children that you have as the staff know them best.

 

I wouldn't be a massive advocate of doing topics with this age group, but appreciate that some staff still need a bit of direction. If you do topics, as long as they are in context and match the children's level of understanding i.e. my family, my house, pets and not 'all around the world' where they have no experience of other cultures (remember this age is completely ego-centric/self-centred) I don't think it does any harm. However, learning occurs all the time and not just in the week that it is planned!

 

I'm sure I've attached these before, but these are sample planners that we give to providers (and the guidance) if planning is proving to be an issue.

 

0_3_weekly_activity_sheet.doc

Weekly_activity_sheet_guidance.doc

0_3_focus_activity_sheet.doc

Focus_activity_sheet_GUIDANCE_NOTES.doc

 

RB

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Just one more thing - and I don't want you to think I am being overly critical! - but you say that you use topics to 'underpin your crafts'. I would personally say that under 3s are more interested in the sensory feeling of paint and glue and should be left to experiment with them, rather than doing 'crafts' as such. :D

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I was only talking about this today.

When I went to my friends nursery ages ago, I gave the children flour, water, and paint to 'play' with. Throughout it all 2 members of staff kept asking me what we were making, and really couldnt seem to understand that we were just making a mess. My friend completly understood what I was doing but her staff had a great deal of trouble in seeing the children involved in a craft activity with no physical outcome. They really didnt get that they were learning in loads of ways, without that end product it was a waste of time and resources.

I see a few people like that and it's sometimes really hard to not shout at them :o:D

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And then where would the shouting end pray tell??

Today, pre-school children being tested in a 'sit here and count these' type way.

A child who wouldnt count 5 elephants was told 'well X can she's clever, she's got her sticker'

When children are playing they are interupted with 'Z, whats this shape?' Y, what colours that?'

When I suggested that maybe test conditions werent helping him I was told 'but we have to do them for all the asessments'. I asked him to fetch me 5 trains, clever lad got 5 and then put an elephant in each carriage. Try telling him now that 'X is clever' xD

I am seriously thinking to going back to real supply, different place every day and a bit of sanity in between. The city is actually really proud of the Ofsted this place has just had. I am bemused to say the least.

 

 

Off topic there, sorry folks :o

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At my setting, several staff have been 'assessing' children (2-3 yr olds) by using shape recognition sheets, colour recognition sheets, marking and dating whether they know the answer or not, then the idea is to re-test (!) at a later date, forgive me if I am wrong but this is all wrong isn't it?

 

I have been excluded from this exercise although I am a supervisor (job-share with 2 others, still with me??) and I think it is because they know I am not in favour of this sort of 'testing'.

 

What do you lot think, I need ammunition.

 

I am in a constant battle about the creative tasks, the children seem to have to be making 'something' topic-related,

 

when you observe these children it is sooooo obvious they simply want to paint, experiment, get messy, but to offer them this every day (free painting, variety of colours, sizes of brushes, materials etc) is seen by my colleagues as a waste of time, I am not strong enough to speak up - it's demoralising and draining to watch.

 

Comments appreciated.

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reminds me of the student who's preschool used worksheets to 'assess' childrens knowledge of shapes and ability to draw shapes. Student was adament they needed to know if child could name and draw a circle, thus justifying the worksheets. :o

 

I asked students to go into group and suggest children drew or painted a picture of mum. drawings came back to college following week, lovely smiley faces drawn. (including dad's brothers / sisters / whole families)

 

I asked student, "What shape is the face?" now tell me, can the child draw a circle?

Which 'activity did child enjoy most, painting or worksheet time?" nuff said.

 

Peggy

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shirel,

 

You know what I'm going to say...?

 

Where in BTTM is this required???? Hence - go in and tell them!

 

As Peggy has just shown, it is perfectly possible, and infinitely preferable to assess by observation!!! It's what it's all about!

 

GRR !!

 

Sue

 

PS, same goes for FS!!

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So do you think sitting with these children on a one-to-one basis assessing their recognition in these areas is a waste of time? Or is it that it is just being done in the wrong way, sorry wine affecting my thinking!!

 

If only I was as confident to say what I know is right without the fear of being pushed out even more, I will keep trying and in the mean time still looking for a different setting to work where I can feel proud of what is happening.

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Sorry,

 

No, I don't think anyone should be 1:1 assessing young children. By that I mean all young children. It's much better to engage children in an activity and extract their understanding from your interactions and the way the activities flow.

 

Do you get my drift? I don't seem to be explaining myself very well here....?

 

Sue

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No Sue your explanation is brilliant and understandable, and what's more I know really from previous posts and from what I feel is right, yet I seem to keep feeling the need to check I am right,

I know without a doubt that the other supervisors will not stop doing this kind of assessment, but it doesn't stop me trying to influence and share this knowledge from the forum and also from my FD course, it is like banging your head against a wall though sometimes.

 

 

Thanks for your support and advice I feel quite tired from it all at the moment, so nice to have like-minded and such good advice at hand to help it to feel easier.

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Sometimes ShireL, especially if it affects your mental well being, it is important for you to recognise that you are right, you are doing what is right for the children and that others will not change or listen and that their behaviour towards the children is their responsibility, not yours, and you can't always make it right ( meaning changing others) all the time.

 

I have made myself ill in the past trying to form the 'ideal world' this doesn't mean give up trying, just don't be hard on yourself when it doesn't work, and like you say, get yourself in an environment which appreciates and embraces your values and ethos. :D

 

Peggy

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Shirel, these people are lazy in my opinion. It takes far less time and actual brain power to sit next to a child reeling off questions than to watch, listen, engage and encourage, and then use what has been witnessed to look at the childs developmental needs. You know you are right, (although I do know how working in that environment can make you doubt yourself), I live in hope that my examples will have an effect on even one person. The advice I get from people on here, when I'm having a particularly bad time is to keep chipping away. :D

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All this talk of assessing takes me back to my first nursery job... during holiday time (non-funded sessions) we did a WEEK LONG assessment on all the 3-5 children. We had a massive document that tested dexterity, numbers, shapes, colours, physical ability etc and we had to put a coloured dot in 'can do', 'attempts' or can't do' (or categories to that effect) we all used the same colour so we knew when progression had taken place and then six months later we repeated the whole process again with a different coloured dot. We had parent's evenings the week after the assessment to go through it all with the parents - AARRGGGHHHHH!!!!!!

(Can I state at this point I was an unqualified nursery assistant that had come from an education degree and fell into early years by accident - I DIDN'T KNOW WHAT I WAS DOING!!! :o )

 

One thing that does stay with me from those dark days was a new teacher that came to work in my preschool room, to support early reading activities. We did a 'number' worksheet every day with the children and she challenged us on how we knew that the children understood the concept of number?

 

We 'checked' by getting the children to write the number, count out that number of pencils and recognise the number. "Okay". she said, "but do they really understand?" We put four pencils on the table and asked the children to count them - they had to physically touch every one to count to four. We then made a square with the four pencils and asked the children to count again. Again, they had to physically touch each pencil to count.. We repeated this loads of times, and apparently the comprehension of numbers i.e. visually recognising that there are four pencils doesn't occur until the age of 6! We were gobsmacked. Needless to say, we changed our practice after that! :D

 

I think that all staff need to have a real understanding of child development and learning to be effective practitioners and whether this comes from the quality of the training they receive or the quality of the provision where they do their placements, I don't know...

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My friend did a year of teacher training and something I remember her saying was that although a child can count to 5, and give you 5 objects and recgnise a numeral 5, the test (if thats the right word) is if they know the number before and after and can add on and subtract from that number. Really understanding a number is more than counting whats in front of you. :D

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  • 3 months later...
Just one more thing - and I don't want you to think I am being overly critical! - but you say that you use topics to 'underpin your crafts'. I would personally say that under 3s are more interested in the sensory feeling of paint and glue and should be left to experiment with them, rather than doing 'crafts' as such. :D

 

 

I don't think there is anything wrong with topic/theme related activities as this can be expanded to not just involve crafts.

 

Today I observed in a playgroup class a number of really good ideas which was theme related giving the children a variety of skills to develop from.

 

see ideas below:

 

The theme: On The Farm

 

Floor/ table top toys set up were linked with the theme - one table had four trays on it containing plastic pigs, shaving foam and mixed in was brown paint (PIGS IN A PIG STY!)

 

the carpet had a selection of farm story books and a plastic farm toy set with different animals, farmer, tractor etc etc...

 

Another table had matching puzzles on that the teacher had created for herself. (one large laminated piece of paper with a selection of farm animals on it _ PIG, COW,SHEEP, HORSE and a number of loose pictures and the children were to match the pictures with the pictures on the large laminated paper.

 

Cooking activity _ the children made scrambled eggs! The all had their individual bowls, whisks etc etc (they then got to eat the scrambled eggs at the end as well).

 

Circle time/ music and movement - this involved using resources such as farm puppets, two tone blocks as musical instruments (horses hoof sound) for all the children to use and lots of theme related songs and stories with bright colourful pictures..

 

Outdoor playtime also included the sand tray full of saw dust and lots of plastic horses.

 

Spontanious activity- this involved getting a large plastic box filling it with a little water and soap and all the plates, whisks - cooking utensils used and the children got the opportunity to wash the dishes!

 

The the session was packed full of lots of benifical activities that didnt nesesarily involve making a craft however it was well planned and linked in well with the theme.

 

It was really refreshing to see this in a playgroup class.

 

Rachel (In Hong Kong)

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  • 2 weeks later...
I don't think there is anything wrong with topic/theme related activities as this can be expanded to not just involve crafts.

 

Today I observed in a playgroup class a number of really good ideas which was theme related giving the children a variety of skills to develop from.

 

see ideas below:

 

The theme: On The Farm

 

Floor/ table top toys set up were linked with the theme - one table had four trays on it containing plastic pigs, shaving foam and mixed in was brown paint (PIGS IN A PIG STY!)

 

the carpet had a selection of farm story books and a plastic farm toy set with different animals, farmer, tractor etc etc...

 

Another table had matching puzzles on that the teacher had created for herself. (one large laminated piece of paper with a selection of farm animals on it _ PIG, COW,SHEEP, HORSE and a number of loose pictures and the children were to match the pictures with the pictures on the large laminated paper.

 

Cooking activity _ the children made scrambled eggs! The all had their individual bowls, whisks etc etc (they then got to eat the scrambled eggs at the end as well).

 

Circle time/ music and movement - this involved using resources such as farm puppets, two tone blocks as musical instruments (horses hoof sound) for all the children to use and lots of theme related songs and stories with bright colourful pictures..

 

Outdoor playtime also included the sand tray full of saw dust and lots of plastic horses.

 

Spontanious activity- this involved getting a large plastic box filling it with a little water and soap and all the plates, whisks - cooking utensils used and the children got the opportunity to wash the dishes!

 

The the session was packed full of lots of benifical activities that didnt nesesarily involve making a craft however it was well planned and linked in well with the theme.

 

It was really refreshing to see this in a playgroup class.

 

Rachel (In Hong Kong)

 

I agree that there are many opportunities to be gained from having a theme we always start off with one and find activities and play opportunities to support what we have chosen.Our biggest problem is planning for a group of children that range fron 2 - 4.5 how to incorporate BT3 & FS into the session. Any ideas? At moment we brainstorm ideas for topic put them into development areas and then onto a weekly plan sheet that rotates some activities on a daily basis. We tend to have a topic activity for the week which we prepare a planning sheet for in more detail. is this too much too little advice welcome I'm back into child care after 4yrs out and feel a bit rusty!

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