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green hippo

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green hippo last won the day on July 6 2015

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About green hippo

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  • Birthday 10/07/81

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  • Your interest in Foundation Stage education

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  1. Hi all! I recently read an article which discussed the problems with ability grouping for any area learning - with the main point being that it actually widens the gap! I have always been an advocate of mixed ability grouping and have seen many benefits of the children support each other's learning in a way that couldn't be achieved if they were ability grouped. However, I have always been lead to believe that ability groupings are necessary for phonics and fine-motor/gross motor development (and for some number work) with the justification being that each group need very specific teaching and different learning outcomes. I am now wondering whether to ditch these groupings and try mixed ability groupings for all teacher-led activities. I'm in Nursery so these are only 5-10 minutes anyway! I found the article very interesting as I had been having a discussion with the Reception TA about the children doing better in Read Write Inc as they had been kept together as a class, as opposed to split up into smaller ability groups. What are your thoughts? Green Hippo x
  2. Looking for a bit of advice please. What do you do with 3 to 4 year old son who have hurt someone. In previous years we have been advised to do time out - (2 mins not playing) but now we have been advised to fuss the child who has been hurt and distract the offender. We are finding that more children are hurting each other. Not sure if it's just the time of year or whether the children are picking up on the fact that nothing is really done. That sounds awful to say as I know most hurting is an emotional response which can't be controlled. Also, parents want to know what is being done. We do lots of nurturing activities where we talk about feelings. Any advice gratefully received! Green Hippo x
  3. Hello! I know that this post may be a bit controversial but I'll go for it anyway... Over the past few years as a result of my experience and copious amounts of reading, I have moved away from using rewards and use praise carefully and genuinely e.g not using it to get other children to follow suit but to say 'thank you' for following rules or show delight in their efforts etc. We try to use positive comments and show interest through conversations instead of just saying 'well done.' There is an awful lot of research out there that highlights how rewards (and punishments) can be detrimental in the long run - it's basically all bribes, manipulating behaviour and it just doesn't sit well with me as the years go on! That doesn't mean to say that I never give out a consequence or a little bribe as a means to an end, however, I do not use rewards as a way of getting children to follow rules. Our focus is always on intrinsic motivation. However, the main issue I have with this way of working is that for SEND children the advice is always the same - use bribes in the form of 'working towards' boards, over the top praise etc etc and who-ever you speak to (outside agencies, special schools etc) the advice remains the same - motivate them to do something by giving them an external motivator e.g time on the tablet, time to play with xxx. Is this really the only answer to encouraging SEND to change their behaviours? I read an article recently about an SEND school who had got rid of any form of reward or public praise and the children responded much better than with the external motivators but it didn't give any pointers as to what to do instead apart from taking a genuine interest in the children and building better relationships. So I have a boy who hits out all the time...is the only way forward to say... if you get 4 smiley faces you can do... or is there another way? Of course, as well as these 'working towards' ideas, it is advised (and we do) nurture/emotional literacy groups etc. What do other's think? Please be honest! Green Hippo x
  4. Snack time

    Thanks guys. X
  5. Snack time

    Thanks for all your advice and thought-provoking questions! We have 1 piece of fruit per child which are providing whole so if 1 child has more than 1 then there's not enough! We have a system where the children took their name cards off the board, stuck it on the back of their chair, washed hands, took fruit and milk/water and tidied up after themselves. Usual culprits for taking extra always came first anyway! So they have lots of time for extra! We have a couple of tricky children this year so although we can be right next to the snack table, our attention is diverted - time for a quick sneak in and a bite! Therefore, (don't shoot me down!) we have decided to do snack altogether. I intend keeping it like this for a good period so won't be swapping and changing. We still expect the children to choose and tidy-up, also gives us a chance to give some children jobs. The additional needs team were very pro-snack-time and encouraged us to work that way to support our children with additional needs. I love rolling snack but we have to go with our children. They get lots of other opportunities to be independent and snack in the rest of the school is done altogether! Green Hippo x
  6. Snack time

    Hi, For the first time since opening our snack bar system (7 year ago!) we are having problems with 3 children eating their way through all the fruit! They all have additional needs but no 1 to 1 support as yet. Although their is a member of staff in the vicinity in case of choking, these little lovelies manage to sneak up and take a bite! One also takes the fruit out the bin and has also bitten through the skin of a banana!! So...I'm thinking of going back to having a snack-time together, which would mean that they can't sit at a table (we'll make a circle with the chairs instead) but the children do still tend to have sit down meals with their families and all children stay for lunch so I'm not too concerned about them experiencing sitting at a table. I feel like I'm going backwards but I think it will be the best thing for this particular cohort. What do you think? Thanks, Green Hippo!
  7. Outdoor equipment

    Thank you. We have a walk in sandpit - we made it ourselves from sleepers so it didn't cost much. Our children love it too. We've got lots of kitchen equipment but our homemade mud kitchen fell apart this summer ? Will have a look at tts. Thanks
  8. Outdoor equipment

    We definitely need a proper mud kitchen and a water tray set/system. Other than that we've been discussing seating and shade. Any advice of successful purchases would be gratefully received. Thanks x
  9. Hi! We've been given £5000 to spend on our outdoor area. Could everyone remind me of good companies to get good quality equipment from. Thanks Green Hippo x
  10. In the moment planning and Tapestry

    Hi, We do it all on Tapestry as well. Before a child's focus week, I write an observations that basically says it's your child's focus week next week please tell us about your child's interests and anything they been up to recently and invite them to add photos. We then just upload observations as we normally would but there are more for the focus children in their week and the observations are more descriptive - outlining what the adults have done to support the child. Green Hippo x
  11. Gun play

    Hi! Thanks for all your replies. In answer to your question below, Wildflowers, I suppose I don't 'know' for sure but I look at children's body language, facial expression and of course, if they communicate their feelings to me. (I work with 3-4 year olds whe are on the whole able to tell me if they don't like something. It is a dilemma. Thank again Green Hippo x
  12. Gun play

    Hi! I'd like to hear all your thoughts on this. I am familiar with the research about gun play and tend to allow the children to engage in gun play as long as they are not scaring anyone. However, last week I had an incident where a girl said to another "I'm going to get my mummy to shoot you in the head." Of course we dealt with it at the time and informed the parents. I had an email from her mum who explained that she doesn't play with guns at home etc. I have a boy in my class who loves Star wars and army play and nearly always has something in his hand for a gun. I try to develop his ideas through this interest without encouraging violence! But I do find it very hard to know what to do? Any thoughts? Green Hippo x
  13. Help with maths in nursery

    The lack of measure in 30-50 drives me mad as well! Maybe a good idea would be to brainstorm mathematical language with your team using the ELGs as a guide? Then everyone can be on the look out for the language which will help with observations. Green Hippo x
  14. 30 hours - teacher led

    I'll check that out. Thanks.
  15. 30 hours - teacher led

    The children are not registered on the afternoon in terms of school attendance. It's taken on a separate register.