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Discussion in 'Early Years' started by BrainJim, Oct 27, 2010.
but anyone who knows EYs knows that it's so much easier teaching big kids SOAPy
Anyway in the same way that proper reception teaching has been murderd by the FS I'm off to watch Agatha Christie.
TUT SOAPy don't let the truth get in the way of your version the hyperlink was there but I had to add the cut and paste because you didn't know how to use it
The butler did it!
That they do
Is Brain Gym son of a Parson?
Has SOAPy not returned ?
and then there were none
I just goggled EYwatch and that was scary. Maybe Ityped in the wrong link!
I miss the Billy story. Never found out what happened.
Last I heard he was in Year 3 and had an Individual Behaviour Plan along with a number of his class who never got used to sitting at a table for 10 minutes and working on their own.
Anyway back to the original question. Having just looked on 'resources' none of the examples showed any columns for differentiation but just had bland objectives like 'count objects to 10'. Not taking the more able into account. Is this standard reception practice?
On our ST planning we have a column headed Child/ren and we put the intials of the children and their focus and another column for evaluation which might be move onto or needs more practise simply because they don't fit into nice neat ability groups
I'm a bit lost! What is SOAPy? What is scary about EYWatch? I daren't google it now!
Brain Jim AKA SOAPy (Son Of A Parson)
No. There is only one teejay.
But BJ does speak a lot of sense....
Yes, I differentiate for most areas of the foundation curriculum, either by activity, questionning, level of support or outcome. The range of ability in Reception can be vast and you need to differentiate to ensure you're supporting and extending all the children in the way they need.
...Actually yohanalicante I am not a father I am a mother, that's my husband and child in picture (which I think is rather adorable). Yes I am very happy with this planning, and I guess they are too otherwise they wouldn't be using it I guess. There is NO you WILL do this (probably on occasion but not as a general rule in early years any way). An example would be "All children will experience a range of different sized objects' "Most children will identify big and small objects." "Some children will use correctly use a range of size vocabulary, such as bigger than, smaller than, long, short, large." I think this includes all children very effectively and allows for enough flexibilty for picaso's thinking, picaso would have loved my daughters response, creatively flapping a small and giant paint brush in her face for more than a week!!
Look, Brain Jim was incredibly rude to me in a post while back. But I am interested in his question, and on this thread I don't understand anyone's answers. And I'm a Mensa member!
I am interested to know if it is common in reception classes to do your planning along these lines as it might be in a mixed ability secondary school class.
If you do, I would like to know on what you base your judgement of "ability" at this very early stage. At least by late primary, or early secondary, a teacher has results from ability tests, as well as school performance grades. In addition for some children you might by then have quite detailed results from Educational Psychologist reports on non-verbal, verbal and other measures.
However, in reception you seem to be relying on your own observations of the children. As they are almost complete unknown quantities when they turn up at school, apart from nursery school reports which a lot of you find most unreliable, it must be very hard to assess them as you are going along. Obviously the ones at the extreme ends of the spectrum will be pretty easy to identify from day 1, but on the vast majority your initial judgements could be prone to larger error.
I would like to add to Brain Jim's question, if you do have these three columns in your planning, do you provide the same opportunities for all, or would you already, early in reception, be effective "ability grouping" in the activities you provide for children .......... and how do you do this when it is mostly playbased, child-initiated etc etc.
Don't shoot me down, but have got second child going through foundation stage now. She is relatively young for the year, but turned up in reception able to read v. simple books, and do some basic number work ( one more, one less, add /subtract with number line from 1 to 20, order numbers 1 to 20 etc, count backwards etc). She has picked this up from big sister.
When I ask the staff how she spends her day and more specifically what they have seen her do in number, they say she always chooses to play in the sandpit doing imaginary baking games with her friends, and they don't know about anything else. But I also have the impression that maybe behind the scenes they do have some judgements about each child and they plan accordingly. So the whole thing is unclear to me and seems prone to error if you make these superficial judgements about a child's "ability" and then plan accordingly.
Do reception teachers ever look at children as they carry on up primary and secondary to see if their judgements about individual children (lower, middle, above) were appromately right or not, and learn from where they got it significantly wrong?
Teachers in reception tend to approach each child individually (in CI play) and interact with them on the level that they present. If your child does not choose to count backwards from 20 while playing in the sand the teacher will not engage on that level. They will engage with what she is doing - social and imaginative play. Counting back from 20 is not more important as a skill than being able to create and follow through a role play scenario, and the teacher will not try to steer your child towards counting when she is not interested in it. The teacher will learn lots from watching your child role-playing. She will assess language, social and creative and maths skills and be able to 'place' your child in these areas. Your child will learn lots from the play, especially if the teacher puts in a little input to develop it. The sandpit play is not wasted time. The skills learned will feed into literacy, PSHE and even maths (capacity, sharing etc).
Reception teachers do not tend to operate with a narrow view of learning which insists that children jump through specific hoops at specific times. Counting skills are examples of those kinds of easily measurable chunks of learning and the teacher will probably do slightly more formal assessments of these towards the end of the year so she can tick them off on the profile (end of stage assessment). Meanwhile reading and maths skills lend themselves to development through focus activities. Your reception class teacher may be holding back on the focus activities until round about now, having concentrated on settling children during the first half term of the year.
I would also suggest that if your child keeps going back to the sand to play it means she has a developmental need for this sort of play. Children do not develop in a uniform way. Her PRSN skills may be well developed at the expense of social and pretend play.
As regards planning for different abilities. I personally find it pretty much a waste of time to plan activities by ability at this stage or to operate with targets and objectives. I approach the children with the EYFS statements in mind. I interact with them on their level and whether it is CI play or a focus activity I will respond to what they show me and 'think on my feet'. SLT insist on differentiated planning and objectives, and I guess that does help focus me on what I need to provide. But it is more to do with provision of resources which can then be used flexibly to meet each child's learning needs than learning chunks to aim at with children of particular abilities.
You seem to be making assumptions about different types of learning and grading them in a false hierarchy, as in "My child can read, why is she wasting time in the sand tray".
I would say, why do you need to judge ability at this stage? What you judge is what the child needs to do developmentally. Judgement of ability might help in this task but it is not the purpose of this task.
I would say, what is the relationship between ability and achievement? Because your child has well developed reading and maths skills, does it mean her ability is higher than another child's who has not passed those milestones yet? She has achieved more and is likely to be an able child. But children do not develop at a uniform rate and the children that have not learnt to read from siblings will soon be learning to read in school. I am not going to make judgements about ability yet, they will get in my way. But I can make judgements about achievement. That judgement might conclude that a child had achieved highly in some areas but is showing the need for development in others.
I hope this answers some of your worries. Of course there are as many approaches to assessment as there are reception teachers, but this is how I approach it!