# Nursery PSRN performance mgt observation!!

Discussion in 'Early Years' started by ineedsomehelp, Mar 5, 2011.

1. ### ineedsomehelp

i was after some advice! please be gentle with me - im in my first year of Nursery and just want to get this right!
got a PSRN obs on mon and just wanted to see what you think of my lesson...
my focus is calculating and i have chosen 'seperate a group of 3/4 objects in different ways, beginning to recognise that the total is still the same'.
My plan...
give the group an intro about a farmer who has 4 sheep and 2 fields. The farmer likes to give the sheep a change - what different combinations can we use for the sheep - keep changing where the sheep are and then keep counting to remind the group we have 4 in total still. i was going to use learning partners to work together to think of combinations that they could do.
I have go tthe lesson fromm a dfes suggestion so im not as worried about the lesson (unless you can think of ways to improve it)
what i wanted help on is:
should i record the answers? i thought that i would have some pre-prepared sheets divided into 2 and i could quickly draw the example on the sheet and we can refer to it if we get then same suggestion again - is this ok?
should they work as a group? or should i set it up so that each pair can have their own 4 sheep? although it will be a small group i will be on my own.
do i share the objectives/how do i share it?
is there anthing you think im missing?

2. ### ineedsomehelp

i was after some advice! please be gentle with me - im in my first year of Nursery and just want to get this right!
got a PSRN obs on mon and just wanted to see what you think of my lesson...
my focus is calculating and i have chosen 'seperate a group of 3/4 objects in different ways, beginning to recognise that the total is still the same'.
My plan...
give the group an intro about a farmer who has 4 sheep and 2 fields. The farmer likes to give the sheep a change - what different combinations can we use for the sheep - keep changing where the sheep are and then keep counting to remind the group we have 4 in total still. i was going to use learning partners to work together to think of combinations that they could do.
I have go tthe lesson fromm a dfes suggestion so im not as worried about the lesson (unless you can think of ways to improve it)
what i wanted help on is:
should i record the answers? i thought that i would have some pre-prepared sheets divided into 2 and i could quickly draw the example on the sheet and we can refer to it if we get then same suggestion again - is this ok?
should they work as a group? or should i set it up so that each pair can have their own 4 sheep? although it will be a small group i will be on my own.
do i share the objectives/how do i share it?
is there anthing you think im missing?

3. ### candyshrimpNew commenter

I wouldn't worry about recording that's too formal. Take photos if you want to record anything they do.

I would also try the whole thing out with a similar but different group to see what problems occur. To prevent any issues / arguments about sharing and the 'I haven't got one' scenario I think I'd model it for the group getting them to help, then I'd set it up as an activity they could choose to return to later.

I would share the objective with them but I'd say to help us to learn how to solve number problems we're going to practise putting some animals in two fields and see how many ways we can do that.

4. ### yohanalicante

You are new to nursery and that is fine, but what training or background in nursery education have you had?. If I were to observe this 'lesson' that would be my first question. You are not worried about the 'lesson' as it comes from the DFES, but you should be very worried. It has nothing to do with nurery education whatsoever. You will have bewildered children, a bemused observer and you will gain no evidence about children's development as it is not a task which arises out of their expereince or their own questions. This is what happens when we think teaching is like opening a micro-wave meal, take of the cellophane, opone the glossy package, look at the ready meal image on the front, maybe read the instructions about how long and what setting and hey presto push the buttons. What will the rest of the chidren be doing when you are 'teaching' this absolutely essential skill? What PSRN have you built into the routines, the resources, the conversations etc....?

5. ### ineedsomehelp

I can't say i found your reply very helpful. The purpose of this was to seek out help from other professionals. I apprciate that forums are also a vehicle for discussion/debate however i feel you have taken what little information i have given you and run with it!
I have never before used a lesson plan from a publication and not taylored it to my classes needs and i never intend to do so. I very rarely use examples and books as i prefer to let the children lead the way. You questionned what experience the children will have - we have recently been on a farm visit and been talking about animals and one of the children actually asked why the farmers have so many fields (as with gardeners doing crop rotation the farmer also said he does this with the animals). Far from opening up a 'microwave meal' it was chance that i came across a lesson that i thought would fit in well with what the children have experienced recently.
As for experience i have asked the previous nursery teacher who has years of experience and she said she always found this a hard concept for 3 year olds and never felt completely satisfied when she tackled the area.
You also questionned the other children and the psrn in other areas of the nursery - my performance management will not be looking at the settling or the other work that we do. It is a snapshot 20mins observation to see how we get on then and there. I hardly think it necessary to belittle me with irrelevant criticisms. As a practicioner these things are always at the forefront of my mind and i spend a lot of time preparing a rich environment.
I am sorry that you felt the need to reply so strongly rather than offer 'help' and I don't doubt you will have more to say however i will not be engaging in any more 'debate'.

6. ### thumbshrew

I think you are right to tell a story, about the farmer and his sheep, but you might be able to make it more engaging by elaborating a bit more, give the sheep a bit of character - maybe have a naughty one. Get the children laughing. I would introduce it as a game, maybe called something like, "Share the sheep" (geddit? In fact, one of your sheep could be Sean), this will get the objective across without it sounding like a 'lesson', and if you only have a few children do it altogether, making sure everyone had a chance to participate. Leave the resources out for children to access later. I also agree that you should have a dry run with another group to get a feel of what sort of responses you will get. Good luck. By the way, I haven't found those DFES lessons to be much good, they don't seem very child-friendly. You know what your children are like - think about how to effectively engage them with the concept.

7. ### marymoocowStar commenter

I also wouldn't bother with the recording at this age. How many children are you going to work with? Personally I would do it with a max of 4 children and do it together. My children couldnt do this in learning partners but yours maybe more advanced than mine.(very deprived area with big CLL and PSED delays) What is your PM target that they are looking at? I think they should be looking at your whole routine and class environment inaddition to your focus group to get a rounded view. However having worked for heads who dont always understand EY I know this doesnt always happen. I would make it explicit in your plans where other PSRN ops were occuring in your classroom and the context re your topic as to why you are doing this activity. I would share the objective by saying something like "We are going to find how many different ways we can share out these sheep and count how many we have." You could even remind them of the problem of field rotation by setting the problem in a little story and ask them to help the farmer.

I got bored when the opening poster went on about fields and sheep. Probably a personal lack somewhere in me.
Seperating 3 and four objects and recognising the total is still the same is a right turn off. You can have 2 and one, one and two, then you have to get into 3 and 0 and 0 and three. I'm still bored.
I would use something that hid one of the groups. For example, put 2 (Sheep, why sheep?) into a bag and leave the other in the field. Ask how many there are now? Ge them out again and count them.
But I'm still bored.
Would it be better if you started out by asking them to tell you all the things they know about 3?
I think when they wrote this objective they were thinking of number bonds really. So I kinda think that things like multi link are the best way for remembering the concepts and then you need lots of little games to reinforce these concepts.
If the children can see everything then they can see there are always three. No matter which field you put the sheep in.
Now if you had a carpet tile, and you had some velcroed sheep or frogs or whatever you could show them the three, turn it to face you, say, I have put two on the top and one at the bottom, how many do I have? I find that a bit more interesting. They would have to really think about that.
I think there are reasons why we start with partitioning five with our songs and finger work for five. It is just so much more interesting.
And multilink, that is interesting too, building different patterns using the bricks. But I guess I am not always in a three year olds head so I don't really know about this sheep and field thing. I just imagine myself putting three sheep into two fields and then counting them altogether with the most of my group getting bored and restless ......

9. ### yohanalicante

well I am sorry you feel so badly but it isn't really a debate. I felt the need for a robust response to this way at looking at young children's learning. It is not meant to be condescending but to maybe stop you in your tracks and allow you to grow into the excellent nursery teacher you will probably make - as you take the trouble to post and ask advice. Children will get something out of every shared experience with an adult but what is in question here is the whole basis on which this proposed activity is based. That a partitioning of numbers and its recording (or not) is in anyway really worth the time and energy spent in nursery. Don't debate anything but go and read a little more by Tina Bruce, Mary Jane Drummond, Cathy Nutbrown, Vivien Gussin-Paley, and a host of other writers on young children - to give you conviction that would allow you to robustly reject limited assessment observations of you as a teacher and allow you to focus your undoubted passion, energy and burgeoning skills on activities that are relevant, interesting, and synchronised better to the learning needs of young children. This is probably a first step for you and wll be evident to anyone observing who has any early years experience. ONce you consider if these concepts are easily accessible in daily life activities and therefore likely to have some meaning ans sense and contribute to children's growth. You will know that only by observation of children in the following days and what (if anything) they show -enthusiasm and interest in the first place.. about what...and what aspects they come back and tell you /show you were interesting to them, what they recreat in their play. Watch and be fascinated. I doubt that there will be any of them celebrating the fact that 1 +3 and 2+2 = 4.

10. ### MszEstablished commenter

As for experience i have asked the previous nursery teacher who has
years of experience and she said she always found this a hard concept
for 3 year olds and never felt completely satisfied when she tackled the
area.

so why bother? Leave it until they are ready

Oh my word!
I thought we were talking about reception!

12. ### thumbshrew

This is one of the points that children are expected (by most SMTs) to get in nursery. If they don't get it they are not considered to, "be on track".
Yes .... I know .... don't shoot the messenger!

13. ### MszEstablished commenter

But it isn't a point ?

14. ### thumbshrew

No. Sorry, I was too quick to say that, off the top of my head I thought it was on the profile. It is actually in development matters 30-50 months for calculating, so it precedes points 1-3 of the profile, "Separates a group of three or four objects in different ways, beginning to recognise that the total is still the same". It is difficult to think of a CI practical context in which a child might do this, I have usually set up an adult directed activity to see how the children respond and counted it as being within my 20% not CI.

15. ### thumbshrew

This means it is even more expected by SMT!

16. ### MszEstablished commenter

perrhaps in your school and that of the OPbut not in any I know

17. ### thumbshrew

Yes, in my school and in all schools in my LA this 'point' appears on the nursery assessment and I have to assess my nursery children against it on assessments that are updated each half term and submitted to authority at the end of the year.

18. ### MszEstablished commenter

fortunately my LA is more child and teacher friendly

19. ### mystery10Occasional commenter

Ah, and I thought it was to do with Piaget's theories on conservation of number, mass etc. He would have expected this to develop around 7 I think - but in practice it is recognised that conservation of number appears earlier than this. But still 3 seems early for most children, and isn't it kind of one those things where you've either got it or you haven't? It's an interesting psychology experiment, but little more than that ........... really no different from can you get yourself to the toilet in time or not ----- either you've got it or you haven't, but you can't make a child have it earlier than they are going to "get it" anyway, so why bother?
I'm sure there's plenty of better things to do with sheep that will appeal. I'm not being critical, but if you have some choice over what to do for this observation why not avoid this one and give your very sound reasons?

20. ### MszEstablished commenter

mystery10 children will be doing this naturally at all ages it's the fact some teachers are Assessing 3 year olds that makes me want to cry!