Jump to content
Join Us
What's New
About Us

green hippo

Full FSF Member
  • Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Everything posted by green hippo

  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

    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!
  5. Snack time

    Thanks guys. X
  6. 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
  7. Hi everyone, I recently downloaded a document from here that a wonderful person had done with the phase 1 letters and sounds activities. As I've had a bit of time over the past 2 days due to knee opp, I decided to add a bit to the end! I've made a table for each Aspect of Phase 1 to show an overview of the main purpose, the activities and the look, listen and note reminders for each strand. I'm going to laminated them and use them as a quick reference to check that I'm covering all the strands in each aspect in some way. I've also added the main purpose to each activity card. Hope the person who posted these originally doesn't mind?? Green Hippo phase_1_activities_1_.doc
  8. 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
  9. 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
  10. 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
  11. 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
  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. 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
  14. Hi, So, the wrap-around care in my setting do Fluffy Duck type activities regularly and although some of the staff work with me and know my feelings they do it anyway. So, usually I can just let it go (along with the colouring sheets). However, today I found them making Bats for HALLOWEEN!! It's still 3 weeks away! Arrgggg. When I say 'make', they are completely cut out with only sticking required. What makes it worse is that the children were excited to show me which then makes me feel bad as I start to wonder whether I'm getting it wrong! Of course, the children are excited when they make something of their own in my session and have got infinitely more out of it, but I wonder whether I'm providing enough inspiration/ideas for starting points. Some children will make these fluffy duck type things that don't choose to use the creative area in my session. Is it because they know what they will come away with or they know it won't be very hard work? I know from Anna Ephgrave's books that she provides Craft books in her creative area for inspiration. What do you all think? How far do your ideas and inspiration go or do you leave it too the childre? Thanks, Green Hippo xxx
  15. 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
  16. 30 hours - teacher led

    Hi! Does anyone know if the extra 15 hours that are expected to come in from September for working parents will need to be teacher led if the nursery is part of a primary school. Our Foundation Stage adviser has told us to continue as we are which is 15 hours teacher-led (every morning) and child-care in the afternoon run by teaching assistants. However, I'm not sure this will be ok. Thanks Green Hippo
  17. 30 hours - teacher led

    I'll check that out. Thanks.
  18. 30 hours - teacher led

    The children are not registered on the afternoon in terms of school attendance. It's taken on a separate register.
  19. 30 hours - teacher led

    At the moment we have a Nursery Class in the morning which is teacher-led and the afternoon is classed as wrap around childcare as this is paid for by parents and run by teaching assistants. It has been this way since the Nursery opened over 10 years ago. We will continue like this next year - all the children in the nursery class will be in in the morning for the 15 hours that everybody is entitled to. Then the afternoons will then be a mix of children who are funded through the new 30 hour scheme or those paying for extra childcare. We don't have any other children coming in for just the afternoon session. So, do you think we can run as we are? Thanks, Green Hippo x
  20. 30 hours - teacher led

    8 to 1 in the afternoons, sorry
  21. 30 hours - teacher led

    But would it have to be teacher led as stated in the Foundation Stage now for the free 15 hours or could the TAs run it in the afternoon as they do now? Our ratios are 13 to 1 for the morning session and I to 1 for the afternoon as the staffing is different. Thanks
  22. 30 hours - teacher led

    We're a nursery of which I'm the teacher for the free 15 hours as it's within the school just not sure what will happen with the other 15 hours. Parents can currently use childcare vouchers for the afternoon slot. thanks
  23. Finger-gym

    Hi, Over the past 3 years I have included small group finger gym sessions twice a week using ideas from the 'Finger Gym' book as well as other ideas especially those needing more gross motor development. The children a put in differentiated groups for this. However, I'm not quite sure whether to continue with these activities apart from for the children who need the extra support as we have so many opportunities for children to develop their fine-motor skills available anyway - do they really need extra specific games? Wondering whether to do dough disco with those that need extra support? What do other settings do? Thanks! Gree Hippo x
  24. Finger-gym

    Thanks Scarlettangel - is that with all your children or just those that need extra?
  25. Teacher Directed Activities

    Hi! I agree with the above comments. It is very likely that disadvantaged children will be identified as having extra need - therefore in my setting, they would have an individual needs sheet in which extra support would be planned for them which would come in a range of formats including adult interaction during child-initiated play. There would be a specific purpose to those planned interaction but could be done through the child's play. Green Hippo x