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Observations

Discussion in 'Early Years' started by mummymaxi, Dec 14, 2019.

  1. mummymaxi

    mummymaxi New commenter

    Hello
    I’m new to reception and need some advice about organising observations.
    How do you manage them? How do you balance adult-led and child-led? How do ensure coverage of the areas of learning? How do you ensure all pupils are observed?
    Also how do you manage the adult roles during continuous provision? It’s myself and an LSA, so it’s how we monitor the pupils inside and outside, plus coordinate readers and an adult led task? I do feel in a muddle so advice would be so appreciated.

    Thanks so much in advance
     
  2. TeacherMan19

    TeacherMan19 Occasional commenter

    Lots of questions!
    I aim for around 2 observations per term for each child. I make sure there is a spread across the areas of learning. Do you use software? Are they being shown to parents too? We use Seesaw at the moment but don't share it with parents yet.
    You could make a grid of names down the left, areas across the top and tick off who has an observation that links to different areas. One observation might meet 4 or 5 areas of learning and characteristics so they'll get ticked off relatively quickly.
    How you manage the roles is down to your classroom, the areas and the set up of your timetable really.
    Don't forget that your timetable can be adapted to suit yours and the childrens needs. Try something and if it doesn't work, you can change it.
     
  3. grumbleweed

    grumbleweed Lead commenter

    Do you have any other colleague? Or another school nearby you can visit, local clusters or anything like that? They can be your lifeline if they exist.
    Everyone does observations differently. You could have say 6 focus children each week and observe them is a variety of things then rotate round the class, that way you don't miss anyone. I work with a few schools who use this approach.
    Regarding adult deployment, this will be a bit experimental to begin with. I would always say don't have both adults tied up with adult led groups too much so that one adult is free to play and support child initiated learning. Look at your timetable to see what has to be done and things you can negotiate ....assemblies, group reading, etc etc.
    Good luck.
     
  4. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    We don't generally record observations for adult led activities at all. So if one member of staff is doing an adult led activity, then the other is usually around and about in CP, observing and moving learning on there.
    We use Tapestry and take photos or just add a title and child at the time, then write the observation later.
    Tapestry tracks how many observations each child has in each area, so that's kind of helpful for coverage and also to ensure all children are observed. However some children have more observations than others and that's just how it is.
    We have small classes, so don't use focus children, but in a large class of 30 I would do as @grumbleweed suggests.
    We use ITMP type work in CP. So we see what a child is doing and then interact with them to move learning on. We also do what is fancily called 'reset learning' which really means tidy up and put things ready for the next child, usually in our creative areas. Or we intervene to aid compromise rather than bashing each other, when sharing has gone a little wrong.

    Readers are (sort of unfortunately) something we do by pulling children out of CP. Each week the TA hears them once and the teacher once. (We do have a reasonably high intake, so don't need to hear daily, which is fab.)
     

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