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one more one less -lesson obs help please

Discussion in 'Early Years' started by Radient, Jan 21, 2012.

  1. Ive just returned to work after being off long term sick. Prior to my illness I was a Y5 teacher. I have now been placed in reception (gulp) for one day a week only, and am being observed by the head on Thursday. Im very nervous and feel like a duck out of water. Ive only just learnt everyones names..
    Anyway, I was thinking about doing the lesson on one more one less, but was wondering if anyone on here had any advice/ tips/ pointers..
    I need to show good differentiation/ afl obviously, but Im a bit of a loss for ideas.
    Any help would be most gratefully recieved
  2. I'm in nursery where I find a big leap between 1 more and I less. Think about your context, what topic you are doing and how can your resources reflect that ie not using cubes! Weave a story into the activity, can you do it outside ie a treasure hunt finding items for one more and hiding items that you have for others to find for one less . Remember to use the term'altogether ' each time to reinforce the final count, Think round your room for other opportunities for more/less that you could have ie items in the sand if they had 1 more .... (whatever they are using in the sand), pegging items on washing line etc. Sing counting down songs/rhymes at carpet time reinforcing the 'one less' each time. Hope that gives a few ideas PM me if I can help any more.
  3. Sorry if I'm stating the obvious but when you are making assessments/judgements about whether children are able to say a number one more/ less, it is without counting if they need to count to check they are not there yet. They need to be able to hold the number and count on or back. Do lots of 1 more and extend the more able to one less if they are finding it easy. In the nursery at the mo I'm doing lots of comparisons to develop understanding of what the term 'less' means. They are not finding it eSy but I wouldn't expect them all to it's seeing the seeds. Sorry just had to add to previous post.
  4. oh dear oh dear, someone has dropped you in the proverbial and its not fair, no it isn't but well from that standpoint you too can play a litle dirty. If you believe in yourself and that given the right amount of time, support and advice you will be a great teacher for this age group then the onus is on for others to do what they are supposed to do. THere is no free lunch and no neutral observer, they are your colleagues and not OFSTED, (who would know less perhaps anyway). If your observer doesn't have a proven trackrecord (ie years of experience in the classroom) with this age group then take what they say with a pinch of salt and point out that you need to know what actually works well not what doesn't work.
    A teacher needs time to reflect and grow to be part of the material with which they are working. You cant be expected to suddenly be a reception teacher. Neither does it matter that you do. There is lots of time, for them and for you. There is not a detailed program of life that needs to be followed, and once set off the whole wash will come out wrong; they are not washing machines, nor are you in the factory laundry shed.
    IF numbers are your thing then check out what number rhymes they know from the nursery; eg 10 in the bed, five little ducks, five currant buns, ten green bottles, ten fat sausages, this old man, one man went to mow- look them up on youtube andplay then on the class compu or whiteboard or whatever all-dinging-alldancing-interactive-soalr-powered-tablet-technology you ght have to hand. Best of all- use your fingers, props from the home corner and act it out with a small grou. DOnt worry about fine differentiation. Some will know it, some wont, allow them to show what they do, to participate and to help those who don't to learn the actions.
    look at kids tv,123 little numbers.
    Remember they are young, they need fun, participation, belonging, play, talk, structure but flexibility, and they need to express their own learning agenda, which is not just repeating back the teaching agenda. You need to learn about this age group- maybe you have had your own kids and thats a big help if not look at the 'open eye' website and follow up the links. Concepts don't matter so much as attitudes and a shared sense of wonder at the achievements of every day, the small things; the whole learning agenda is PSE, and Language, all the rest are add-ons for us.
    Play and language and knowing how to observe the course of life's development are the key tools for them and for you. Play with language gives them an insight into the great human meaning-making activity of life. If that language is about numbers- great- but unless numbers have a practical use in their life - ie add some meaning- then there will be no connection and no real learning. So in 'teaching' through play - which is the early years foundations stages 'bete noir',-everyone talks about it but no one is really sure what it looks like- is about autonomy - give them materials - the words and actions of a song- and let them take it apart, break it up and put it together again- there is no end result better than this if they are to assimilate it into themselves.
    Don't give them concepts and theories or endless words. Observe and listen to them, give them activity and connection, stimulus and new experiences and the take every opportunity to observe and listen then use that to build shared dialogue and enquiry and the cycle continues.
    Give them blank pieces of paper (not a photocopyor a worksheet- more to talk about- more development) and let them represent the song in their own way, share their efforts in the group and perhaps make them up into a book to read at group time- there you have a whole series of literacy and maths objectives rollled into one- all you have to do is get some nursery counting songs going!
    Try to not think too much as it will be the enemy of your own natural grace, lightness and inspiration which is the motor of our collective teacher mind. That is nothing to do with the accountants and bean-counters who invent silly and unecessary observation schedules to make themselves seem as though they have some handle on the learning that is going on when they don't!. Learning is free. However teaching comes with a price tag and that is that you can give up your freedom if you let them get a handle on you. Grease that handle with a little bit of learning theory, a whole coating of observations of children and questions along the lines of - well I observed the children doing/saying this what do you think it means? what do you think I should do next? too many direct questions which imply they (the observers) have to know something will either send them running or they might actually tell you something useful.
    Sorry if I rant a bit. Reception learning and teaching is not about a 'lesson' and judgements of your abilty and potential cannot be formed on that basis. The ignorance shown by those who belive this makes me angry and so I rant. Remember too anything that you do through songs and rhymes works because it connects in with their style of learning and with the practical counting language which repeated day in day out in daily organisation teaches them far more than any 'lesson'.eg counting the class, their teeth that fall out, their chairs, their bags, the ........
    The whole early years environment contains the buidling blocks of all language in experiential terms and where it doesn't then we plan to include it. But more than any essential materials - because in the end we can do without almost anything- there are key attitudes which are absolutely essential and without those no amount of material or teaching or lesson planning will create a teacher and child relationship. Openness,sincerity, flexibility of mind, simplicity, courage, playfulness, rigour, persistence, resourcefulness, patience, tolerance, a sense of awe and wonder and a love for the childlike sense within yourself that is the light of the future shining through you new in each generation. We are lucky enough to have that light to illuminate our daily work. Don't be blind to it.. Open your eyes and don't accept the blindness of the SMT as being the only way to stumble around the classroom.
    Oh yes and then bend, break and transform the school/class planning format
    until it is hot and plastic in your hands and can be shaped into
    something that is useful to you. Bring it to life - your life- don't let
    it bury you deep in an anonymous,
    could-be-anyone--tomb-of-the-unknown-teacher. Fight like hell- clean
    and dirty for your right to do so. Nobody has the right to bully you in
    the name of 'standards'.

  5. It's really not fair to observe you so early after your return, and with a new age group. Would it be worth mentioning that you are still finding your feet and that you are hoping that the observation feedback will give you some pointers about practice. You could also ask if you can visit other settings to see how things work elsewhere. Have you had a chance to observe the colleague you are covering for? I would try and turn the observation into a chance to request some relevant CPD.Meanwhile, think about the aspects of one more, one less that you will be addressing. It's a strand that goes through the development matters and the profile, moving from being able to make a set one more or one less, to being able to say the number that is one more or one less. Your less able pupils may be just starting to be able to respond to the language more/less, and those pupils may need to compare very different sets and identify which has more, which has less - more about understanding and using terms than actually recognising difference. I've played games in nursery with tubs of mini dinosaurs etc, or pretend sweets. Pretend sweets are good because you can ask the children which tub they would like and why, I've found that to be quite a good focus activity with less able and EAL children.Other children will have enough knowledge to add one more to a group, or take one away for one less. Don't assume anything though (unless you already know). You might want to do an activity with attractive sorting resources to check that they understand that they need to add one or take one away for more/less before moving on to specific numbers. The big problem is usually that the children do not listen and always add one, whatever you ask, so concentrating on differentiating more/less, and listening with care is important. When dealing with specific numbers I would still use resources and hands on experience to support the children's responses. You can find out if they know the number one more/less by asking them to predict how many there will be when you adjust a set. If they need to count they have note really internalised a number line. I hope this helps you to see where the childre mighty be and where they need to go. It might give you some ideas for focus activities. Then you could set up your continuous provision so that children have the materials you have used and other materials that would lend themselves to the topic including number lines (they like number washing lines). If you have a TA, she/he could be interacting with the children to support number work wherever possible.
  6. I would also suggest you use number rhymes and songs, and perhaps have resources so that the children can sing these and act them out during their play, as they may do this fairly independently.
  7. pete72

    pete72 New commenter

    I had an observation on this last year.....I used teddies , dollies and the millions of different clothes that we have for them and took them on/off etc etc. Then the children photographed their results. There was other related stuff going on in the class too.
  8. InkyP

    InkyP Star commenter

    There are also plenty of stories you could use and act out with props - I have used 'Oi get off our train' (1 more) and 'The shopping basket' (1 less) among others - both by John Burningham

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