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Learning Journal Advice please...

Discussion in 'Early Years' started by Miss.hendo, Sep 12, 2011.

  1. Miss.hendo

    Miss.hendo New commenter


    I hope everyone is having a good week back at work, is it really only Monday?

    I am an experienced Ks1 teacher, however, i am new to reception this year as Foundation Stage Leader. i have just got to grips with planning (i think) but my next question is Learning Journals...

    Do u lovely people put EVERYTHING in the childs journal or more of a selection of work, obs, and photos?

    i am thinking of putting a selection into the journal and then having a whole class file putting any separate incidental 'post it' notes on a separate piece of paper stuck onto the 6 areas particular area of learning.

    what do other people do?? (that is managable)

    We have our ofsted visit this year and want to start on the right foot.

    Thank u x
  2. We put photos that show learning and then comment on them in the LJ and the learning they show.
    We put photos of important class/school events and scribe for children in the early days, later getting them to write about what the photo shows as a 'diary' of significant things during their reception year.
    We ask children to do specific tasks in LJ's, we sometimes send them home for them to do something in them with their parents.
    We let them put work in them that they are particularly proud of and then comment on why the child has chosen it from what they tell us, and we then put in why we think that piece is good too.
    We put in 'Wow!' sheets (which I've uploaded to my resources) on which parents tell us about their child's achievements at home.
    We don't put in observations which we do on sticky labels rather than post-its. These are put on the A3 profile sheets we have (one) for each child, reflecting all Areas of Learning without needing to separate them out into each area.
    Ofsted liked our profiles at our last inspection (July 2010) and our LJ's. I'm not saying any of it's perfect, but it does work quite well for us and is relatively easily managed.
  3. hi there - this all sounds great but I am just going to struggle this year with over 30 children to maintain these - when do you do them?!
  4. Observations are done at all sorts of times - we have a bit of a clipboard culture!! We also write a lot of stuff down at the end of sessions if we didn't have time at the time.
    Learning Journals are done as regularly as staffing allows. It's probably not as often as we'd like, but they do build up over the year quite well.
  5. My Learning Journals will run over both years of nursery (ages 3-5)
    I do one observation a week on each child, noting 'what the child did/what the activity was', whether it was a planned activity to fit a particular part of the cirruculum, or whether it was a free play session, an evaluation of their learning, and the next steps to extend learning.
    I also include any 'mind-maps' that we do together - which is us just chatting about something (today we were talking about our noses), and I note down what the child says, word for word. ie "sick is a bad smell", and "bogeys come out your nose!", which they can decorate when we're finished talking about it.
    Also, I put in any artwork/photographs of wall displays etc that demonstrate what that child did for a particular activity, with a post-it note stuck to it saying about the activity.
    The child is very involved in making it - during the first week we make the cover for it, and pick a picture of ourselves to put in it too. And they help to hole-punch/staple things together (supervised of course, otherwise there'd be hole-punch confetti everywhere!) and put it in.
  6. Our Learning Journeys are an A4 book and everything goes into it. I don't see the point in putting some things in this file and some things in that file, it's just duplicating the evidence and having two places to put it in instead of one. We do observations when the children are playing as well as for adult led activities and they all go in the Learning Journeys.
  7. Leapyearbaby64

    Leapyearbaby64 New commenter

    I've done the same as you Emnemz. When I took up this job, I followed the 3 book system (mainly because the lovely TA had already sorted out all the books before I got there) that they had. At the end of the year, none of the 3 books was even quarter full, so to make things simpler and save money it's all going in one book. So the book will have all the adult directed work, obs, photos and anything the children want stuck in there - although in my experience they want to take things home.
  8. Hi there - this all sounds wonderful but I'm still not sure how to resource this - I have no 'team' of people, just me! Any reception teachers out there struggling to fit this in? If I have a TA with me then surely they should be working with the children rather than sticking photos in books?
  9. I don't have my TAs sticking anything in books while the children are playing. They do it while I take the children for PE or if I have the whole class on the carpet.
    I do agree with you though, if I was on my own I wouldn't have a clue how I would do the amount of observations I do now! :(
  10. I know how you feel - it's just me too!
    Do you not have non-contact time?
  11. One thing I particularly like to do is an activity such as drawing a face, maybe themselves, as the first piece of work in the LJ and then repeat it as the last piece of work to go in. Parents love to see the difference.
  12. sjca

    sjca New commenter

    We have one folder which everything goes in. Obs are done daily of CI and AF and the children each have a place to put these. Two days in and the childre are adding their own things and copying our postits...so lots of mark making evidence. We are trialling getting the children sticking their photos and postit obs in their file once a week and then writing what they say about their achievements. This will be done during story time a group of 4/5 children will do this and then catch up Friday afternoon with remaining children.
  13. Learning journeys are so valuable for assessment and parental involvement but they really are difficult to keep up with!
    I have accountability for 52 books.
    Each child has an A4 book. I try to have a range of incidental, focus and long observations alongside different mark making examples in each book. The only way I manage this is to have a separate file with a poly pocket for each child. I then ask a member of staff to file all the obs into the pockets. On a weekly basis I then TRY to stick a few children's obs, in date order, into their books.
    This does not necessarily mean the books are up to date, but that the evidence is available in the file, per child, should I need to plan/assess evidence from it.
    It does take PPA and additional time, but if the rest of the school is having assessment time/meetings made up of curriculum based materials, then that's an ideal time to ask for to update your books! I found trying to sort into area sheets or using a tick list a complete waste of time. It will become evident as you build up their LJ the gaps in their learning :)
    Good luck!
  14. I am a Rec teacher too and I have a magazine file for each child's learning journal and I put any snapshot obs straight in their box so I can stick them in. Takes up a bit of room on the side but so much easier so at lunch or quickly at the end of the day I can stick them straight in. I then make a quick note in my assessment file that the evidence for that profile point is in that child's LJ. I upload photos from my camera with the children and they love selecting the photos with me to stick in their learning journals (it's very quick to do if you keep on top of it every week). It's all very scrapbook like but it's still a lovely book. I type up my narrative observations at the weekend and stick those in their too but have sometimes got the child to stick them in as I do refer to it as 'their special book'.
  15. I think maybe I need some advice on workload after reading this! At the end of the day it normally takes me an hour to tidy all the resources away, clear up the outside area and check what I need to take home to mark. I run an after school club one night a week and we have a staff meeting another night. I think I'm struggling for time. All observations are filed during the course of the day and I normally print all photos out on a Friday after school but I took the learning journeys home to do this weekend and spend about 10 hours on them, still not finished everyone! I just can't see how this manageable every couple of weeks? What am I doing wrong? All feedback welcome!
  16. We update our learning journeys every 1/2 term I allow a ta a week off timetableevery half term to talk to their 8 chidlren, select observations and photos from their main obs folder and print these off and type up the observations up before asking each child's paretns or carer to come into the unit and comment on the learnig journey this half term. We ensure 1 ob from the 6 areas are added and any parent/ carer obs from home are also added
  17. Do the children not help tidy up their resources? At the end of every part of the day (free play, story time, snack etc) the children have to tidy away their own things or they cannot join in with the next activity. This means that everything is always organised, and they soon realise that the quicker they tidy up, the sooner they can get on with something else!
    Are you a reception teacher? As a nursery assistant, there's no marking for us - is that different for reception?
    I also have 6 hours of 'non-contact time' during the week, which means I can catch up on missed entries in LJ's etc - do you spend all your time with the children?


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