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Continuous provision ... noise, mess and no concentration?

Discussion in 'Primary' started by Wotworklifebalance, Jun 15, 2011.

  1. Wotworklifebalance

    Wotworklifebalance New commenter

    I know that lots of you have marvellous CP and swear by it so advice and support please.
    I have a reception, Year 1 and 2 class so CP is really the mosr obvious way to go. We have lots of activities set up for Year R children and optional, extension activities for the older ones. True self-initiated activity for the little ones just isn't possible in this case.
    My problem is that the noise from the independent learning activities is an enormous distraction when you are trying to do a focused teaching activity, the children find it really difficult to concentrate and seem not to have developed any concentration. I have Year 2s who spend all of their focused learning looking over their shoulders to see what they are missing or moaning because the fab den that they have built is being "adapted" by another user etc.
    My junior colleagues are tearing their hair out at the thought of my Year 2s fitting into their much more structured Junior class next year and there are dark mutterings ... I can fight the mutterings but some days I long for a quiet, orderly classroom where every-one is sitting on their bottom colouring! (That last is ironic but you get the picture). How do other people find CP with older children? My job share partner hates it and doesn't let them have all of the planned activities on her days so I spend my time saying "yes, the shop is open" "of course you can go outside" etc. She is terrified that OFSTED are going to arrive and fail her because it's not more formal and structured for the older children.
    To add to the hassle everything has to be put away at lunchtime and assembly time as those things happen in my class and I'm just at the end of my tether. I firmly believe that they are learning, their SATs, bluddy APP etc show that they are learning but I'm EXHAUSTED. Please reinforce by belief that this is possible and help with tips and advice. I can't partition the room so that there are learning bays where the distractions are limited because of the shape of the high Victorian building, lights, burglar alarm etc. I've tried looking at where the activities take place but we are quite restricted because of doors, IWB etc and the need to supervise the ones who are using the CP and where the furniture needs to be for mealtimes.
    Help ... anyone?
     
  2. Hi - this is my advice, for what it's worth!
    I found that I had to split the children into, say 4 groups. At any one time, I would have 1 group choosing, 2 groups working with me and TA and 1 group doing independent activity. I worked it out on a rota basis so that during Literacy and Numeracy time throughout the week every group would work 1. with teacher, 2. with TA, 3 .independently, 4 .choose. The afternoons were less structured and allowed more flexibility either for whole class teaching eg for Science, history, geography topics, or for longer choosing sessions. I made it clear to the older children that if they didn't concentrate during their teacher, TA and independent time, they would not get their choosing turn later in the week.
    We also had 2 types of tidying up. A quick one (ie just get the lego off the carpet so we can sit on it) and then 'a really good tidy up' where everyone was expected to tidy up properly within a certain time frame. I always did the good tidy up before lunch. Lego models etc stayed on display.
    I had a very small classroom and limited TA time so the method of splitting them into groups and limiting choosing time worked for me because it enabled me to achieve what I thought was a good balance of continuous provision and focused learning given my practical problems.
     
  3. Wotworklifebalance

    Wotworklifebalance New commenter

    Thanks Bomb.Since posting I have wondered whether I might, under pressure for results, be trying too have too much focused and directed time and just bolting on the CP for the older ones as it is available all the time for the little ones. your post has confirmed this thought. Will have a rethink and look at my planning. Ta
     

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