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Moving to a reception class - need advice on groups

Discussion in 'Early Years' started by lavieestbelle, Jul 3, 2011.

  1. I really struggle to do an activity each day. We listen to readers twice a week and this basically takes 2 days. I am on PPA/NQT time one full day during which the TA does PE (which takes most of the morning getting changed etc). There are therefore 2 days left to try and squeeze in focused activities. My class are still struggling to work independently so if I'm doing a writing activity I cannot work with more than 2 children. You can imagine how long it takes to get through 30 children. I always feel like I'm not doing enough but never have a spare minute.
  2. JEH

    JEH New commenter

    I'm not an NQT and I still struggle! There is never enough time and very few of my children can complete a reading/writing type task independently - or as part of any 'group' that has more than 2 children in it! ! I think we often expect too much of them, especially as some of them are not 5 till August, but this is because of the dreaded profile score requirements! I just hope the Tickell review changes expectations to be more age appropriate - but am not holding my breath! I just do my best and try to encourage them without stressing them out.
  3. Rather than listening to individual readers 2 days - I would do group guided reading.
  4. Glad I'm not the only one JEH!
  5. teacherof30

    teacherof30 New commenter

    When we had plenty of adults, each adult would lead an activity for the week (so CLL/PSRN/KUW/CD etc) and would get through each child in the cohort over the course of the week (60 children).

    Now our whole process has changed. We have daily literacy, numeracy and phonics and it goes like this:

    whole class teaching
    1 x teacher led group
    1 x ta led group
    3 x independent groups

    Each group has an activity to complete. The independent groups are now used to this and work very well *if* it is the right activity - if not it can be a complete nightmare!! 1 group is usually in the outside area. This takes place for literacy/numeracy every day.

    In the afternoons, we focus on KUW/CD/PD activities and each adult in the setting is going to have an activity as per the way we used to do it, and aim to get through all children in the 5 days.

    Guided reading happens every week and we get through every child in a group. I get through as many individual readers as I can in spare minutes. Last week I got through the whole class - but that does NOT happen often!

    It's quite a formal structure, and I cannot change the morning's structure so we have worked hard to make it work for the children. They quite often carry on the activities independently which helps me to cope with the formal structure!
  6. I have colour groups that are mixed ability that I use for most things, eg writing and small group activities, then shape groups that are set by ability for numeracy activities - this really helps to differentiate effectively. Guided reading is also ability grouped. This works for me, as long as i don't try to do writing, guided reading and numeracy groups simultaneously!
  7. laconn

    laconn New commenter

    In the reception class I am doing supply in they have ability groups (colours) for maths and literacy focus activities. So 'red' group are asked to stay on the carpet after the class input and the others have choosing or a TA focus group. After break I take a different group for their input.
    In my new school it appears that they dont have groups as such that they assess on a daily basis and if 3 children need work on something they will group them together to work on it. I think I would rather have set groups to make it less confusing and at least the others in the group will consolidate their learning whilst completing the activity or you could challenge them further when working with them.
    Im sure it will all come together in Sept but dont feel like it will at the moment.
  8. I do guided reading as well, but sometimes struggle to fit all the groups in. I've been told we must listen to them read AT LEAST twice a week and more frequently those who don't read regularly at home (about half the class!).
  9. louisea

    louisea New commenter

    The individual vs guided reading is always a tricky one! I love guided reading and feel the children get a lot out of it but parents often ask for extra home reading books and it's tricky to do that without checking if they have read/understood their reading books which takes time!
    Even to physically exchange a book takes time and multiply that by 30.... so I completley understand.
    I teach Y1 at the moment (moving into EY in Sept) and I hear them read once individually and once in a guided reading session, even that is tough and I only have 24 kids this year!
  10. laconn

    laconn New commenter

    Hi Louise, out of interest when do you start guided reading in reception?
  11. I too love guided reading and they do get a lot out of it. For my top group I also include a writing activity at the end such as writing in a speech bubble what one of the characters might say. But I might only get 2 groups done in a morning because of all the unplanned stuff that goes on.
    I always end up changing books at lunchtime.
    Good luck in EY Louise!
  12. I have mixed abitlity groups for literacy and numeracy but for other activites I have mixed groups which I change the children so the get to work with all children in the class at some stage. My TA and I both work with different groups to try and fit all that we need to get in that week done. It takes time to organsie and find what suits you and your class and it is ok to try new ways to find what is best for you.
    Good luck [​IMG]
  13. u2kezza

    u2kezza New commenter

    Thanks lots of really interesting comments. My school is fairly high profile private school, expectations are set very high!
    I also love doing guided reading. I live overseas now and its warm all year round, we used to go outside and do guided reading on the grass. Was perfect the children were relaxed and I was chilled out too! My favourite part of the day! I have a feeling the new school is going to be much more formal. Although we do have a nice outdoor area also...so fingers crossed!
    Hopefully it will become clear once the year starts. Always hard starting at a new school. I've been teaching PYP the past couple of years, so feel a little out of it with regards to EYFS.


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