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Reception Class Tips & Advice

Discussion in 'Early Years' started by miss.c, Aug 21, 2009.

  1. I saw a similar thread on the Primary Forum and thought it would be useful to start one here. I'm an NQT teaching Reception in September so any tips will be much appreciated.
    I wondered if anyone wanted to share some things they do with their classes that has worked really well or the kids have loved - classroom organisation, displays, activities, role play, book corner, outdoors, behaviour, anything really...
    And what should I do with them in the first few days?! Should it be mostly free flow play? If you could suggest some settling in games or activities that would be fab [​IMG]
  2. I saw a similar thread on the Primary Forum and thought it would be useful to start one here. I'm an NQT teaching Reception in September so any tips will be much appreciated.
    I wondered if anyone wanted to share some things they do with their classes that has worked really well or the kids have loved - classroom organisation, displays, activities, role play, book corner, outdoors, behaviour, anything really...
    And what should I do with them in the first few days?! Should it be mostly free flow play? If you could suggest some settling in games or activities that would be fab [​IMG]
  3. Hi Miss C, hope you are enjoying your summer! I have just qualified after doing a PGCE and will be doing Reception in September so I think we are in pretty much the same boat! How prepared are you? I have been into my classroom a few times and its pretty much sorted now but done very little in terms of planning etc! Rich
  4. Hi,
    Nothing new but here are a few things I have either already implemented in the last year or will be this year,
    A Magic box - idea is that you put something inside ( number 4 ) and then the magic happens and you pull it out and the thing has changed and the children have to tell you what so if you put in number four and you pull out number 5 the magic has added one more on etc etc you get the idea, we use it for everything words, sounds, colours, shapes,
    A Class Mascot every Wednesday two children hide him and then they tell two other children where he is using positional language - he is on top of the cooker, behind the bin, etc - it helps with their positional language and we also use him for hiding treasure etc
    Weather boxes - Rainy day - food colouring, different containers, oil, pastels etc etc you can find lots of information on this in the forum and in the resources section.
    Having an imagination area, we use our builders tray for it permanently and we make it into different things, for example one time we had a jungle and the tuff spot was filled with grass and leaves and jungle animals, we had green tissue hanging from the ceiling and had books about the jungle (fiction and non fiction) There is a document in the resource section with loads of ideas of different things you can have in there, definately worrth downloading and refering to it when planning etc
    I also think having an investigation area was good as well - Globe, Magnifying glasses, worm/ant farm, sensory boxes, feely boxes, magnets, discovery bottles, natural objects, colour lab, etc etc list goes on again if you type this into the search box you will find out loads.
    Making sure that when you plan focused activities for certain children this doesnt only mean everyone being called over to do an activity ( as we used to do ) but plan for staff to use the wonderful area's we create in our classroom to go in there and teach/scaffold etc sometimes with targeted children and sometimes with whoever wants to, I have found this invaluable this last year. We are also preparing to spend more time in the first few weeks on showing children not only what we expect in the area, but also how to use it.
    Story Box- resouces change from time to time, adults model how to use it and then the children access it independently, the idea is that the children use what resources they have in the box to make up a story so not your conventional story sack, this is more to stretch their imagination, look at alternative endings and we use it as a focus, on the carept and in Guided Reading.
    We also have a display with our photo's and our names underneath for parents and anybody who comes to pick up, they know straight away know who is who.

    Pretty basic but;
    Make sure rewards and consequences are immediate, visual and consitent.
    Have a place where children can put their work/creations so a board for writing/pictures, maybe a gold covered top for construction/creative peices.
    Have a folder for all your main copies, class lists, admissions sheets, objectives, plannning formats, one main place where they all go, this makes it easier for yourself and whoever else works in your classroom also.
    Check out the Durham Website for planning, this is what we are using this September and I love it!
    If I think of anything else I will post...[​IMG]

  5. Thank you for the great ideas rachndylan, I will definitely be using some of them in my classroom.
    Hi DrDre100! I've popped in to see my classroom once but it's just an empty shell just now - it was being constructed over the summer and it's just been finished. Leaves me with a big blank canvas as to what I want in it which is a bit daunting but I'm trying not to worry about it too much! My school will be providing most of the planning which is great for me as an NQT but I haven't seen any of it yet... I know my topic so I've been having a think about what my role play areas should be and just watching Teachers TV clips, reading lots of posts on here and looking at the resources and trying to absorb as much as I can before it all starts.
    Good luck with your class! I had Reception as my final placement and I it was really great fun.

    Any more tips or ideas are very welcome [​IMG]

  6. missjivebunny

    missjivebunny New commenter

    Don't overplan for the first few days/weeks. This time can be quite unpredictable. In my NQT year I planned each day meticulously and then didn't teach very much of it. Last year I just did formal planning for Letters and Sounds, operated basic Continuous Provision and spent time getting to know the children and teaching them how to play in each area. As I began to recognise their interests I introduced enhancements slowly and with lots of modelling and introduced themes based on what they were interested in. At this point I started to do weekly planning and formal planning for Literacy and Numeracy.
    For the first couple of weeks my carpet times (apart from phonics) were mostly based around learning each others' names (to stop them calling each other Boy or Girl!), rules and routines (as demonstrated to them by our class bear, Mikey) and activities from Letters and Sounds Phase 1. We did lots of singing and chatting. I let the children choose which stories we would read. I introduced them to knives, forks and spoons to get them ready for dinner time and showed them how to use them.
    If something doesn't work out don't dwell on it, just move on. Be flexible and prepared to adapt your classroom from what you initially think will work.
    September until Christmas is a very physically and emotionally challenging time. But it is lovely getting to know your new children. Enjoy them! Good luck!

  7. Hi rachndylan
    Would you be able to post a link to the Durham website? I'd like to take a look at the planning.
  8. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

  9. Thanks for all the suggestions :)
    Can you suggest some good learning names activities?
    Did you do knives forks & spoons on the first day?
    Sorry for so many questions but it's all looming up very soon. I'm really looking forward to September but I'm nervous too. What did the schedule of your first day look like? I think that's what I'm most nervous about, once I get started I'll be fine !

  10. missjivebunny

    missjivebunny New commenter

    We sing 'Tommy Thumb' and subsitute with the child's name e.g.
    Teacher: Rachel Jones, Rachel Jones, where are you?
    Child: Here I am, here I am, how do you do?
    Not all of the children will join in at first but we usually get at least a wave! We also sing Higgeldy Piggeldy Bumble Bee, which goes like this (more of a chant really).
    Everyone: Higgeldy Piggeldy Bumble Bee, can you say your name for me?
    Child: My name is Patrick.
    Everyone: Well done Patrick.
    I do knives, forks and spoons on the first day that the children stay for dinner. This may not be necessary in your school, it depends if your children have come across cutlery beforehand. I just like to prepare them! I tell them what they are called, show them how to use them and give them all a little try. I have done this as a carpet time and at snack time. It kind of saves me rushing around them all as they try and eat their jacket potato or soup with their fingers. I also talk to them extensively in the first week before they stay for dinner about the type of food available in the canteen and we try some samples, as the children who exist on supernoodles are petrified when confronted with a nice piece of fish. Again, may not be necessary for you but just made things a little easier for me and my children.
  11. Hi
    Some great ideas here! Does anyone have any suggestions of rewards/sanctions to use in a reception class?I'm moving from year 3 to reception this year and am a bit stuck for ideas as I think it will be very different from what I am used to.
    Any ideas will be appreciated.Thanks.
  12. They will do anything for a sticker!

  13. Haha I know, I already have them ready!!
    Would they respond to a happy and sad side?? How about time out or have I been watching too much Super nanny?!!
  14. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    Most 4 and 5 year olds will do anything for "praise"

  15. I have used happy/sad side but only really towards the end of the year. i tend to start with lots of stickers and spend a lot of time talking about the rules (downloaded golden rules from **********!) i have found in first few weeks they are a bit shy but if i have any naughty ones i just keep reenforcing the rules. i also have a thinking chair where they have time out to think about what they have done! They have to have had a warning already or have lashed out etc. works well for me and don't have to use too often. I have also used super star - each child has laminated star with their name on and if they get to go on board the get a certificate to take home! also listening leaves in first term to encourage good listening - basically a tree with leaves that can be stuck on - with velcro that are laminated and can have children's names written on!
    The first week i tend to put out a range of activities, i also try to do a little booklet for them to take home to show what they have done in first week with name writing, picture of family, handprint and photos of them working. It also gives me a chance to see what they are like at name writing etc,
    I spend a lot of time showing them how to use the areas - and this is basically the adult focus for first week or however long needed.
    will try and think of more ideas!

  16. Thank you! You've given me some great ideas here especially the thinking chair-I will definitely try that out! [​IMG]

  17. Thanks for these great ideas. I am an NQT doing some supply teaching in Reception. Have picked up on the concept of not asking too much in the first couple of weeks and love the thinking chair idea!
  18. Will be keeping an eye on this thread. I'm training in reception at the moment, really loving it and on the look out for lots of creative ideas!
  19. HI miss.c

    i was looking for the same as you but saw a link here to a site www.mygonow.co.uk which is amazing!!! The games are gorgeous and it's got all the planning too! The kids all love designing the mini-me and it was a great tool for introducing everyone, especially all my EAl children.

    hope you find this useful


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