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Reception - first week planning tips please!

Discussion in 'Early Years' started by jaybee1, Aug 17, 2011.

  1. Hello,
    I'm a (nervous, excited) NQT taking a new reception class (due to expansion) and am looking for some tips about what to plan for the first week. The children are being phased in for the first 3 days and then full days on Thursday and Friday.
    I thought we would start with some basic classroom rules, a circle time getting to know each other and maybe some AD work based on the topic 'ourselves' - 'my family, what I like, what I'm good at etc' scribed by adults. I'm also putting together a basic 'birthday' display where the children will decorate something to add with their birthdays on.
    I've got 3 other noticeboards which I'm struggling to work out what to do with - a literacy / book board, a working wall an a PSRN one? Problem is, the boards are all really high up, so I feel a bit limited to what I can put up there.
    Last thing - can anyone recommend a place to go for advice on setting up the classroom? I've trawled the internet looking for photos, but quite hard to see how people have arranged their classroom.
    Any suggestions gratefully received - starting to panic a bit now! Thanks! [​IMG]
  2. One of the activities we do with our new children early on is a walk around the school.
    This includes going to other classrooms and meeting teachers, seeing big brothers, sisters, cousins, neighbours etc. It's also nice for staff to see younger children in families they know.
    It can take rather a long time so we always split KS1 and KS2 tours and do them on different days.
    It might work for you. Good luck and have fun!!
  3. Is there no way that you could get your caretaker/handyman/dad to lower your display boards.
    I have one board with colours and shapes on, just as a colourful display that I can refer to with the children and help with my initial baseline assessments.
    One display board has 'Reception Superstars' on it with a star with the child's photo in the middle decorated by the children with glitter/stickers etc and laminated that they did on a transition afternoon. I am going to get them to write their names to add to the display during the first couple of weeks.
    One display board will be an Autumn board and another has our Going for Green behaviour/rewards/sanctions.
    The rest will be filled up as we go.....
  4. We also do a portraits board in the first week. It lets us see children's view of themselves, how they represent that view, brush/mark-making control, willingness to do a set task, whether they stop or not when a piece is essentially complete - a good insight for later art work!!
    As they write their name on the back we also see how well they are able to do that.
    We also get them to write their name in felt-tip in a "My name is . . ." speech bubble, which is displayed with the portraits. Makes a lovely early display.
    Be warned though - I once had a parent complain that there were not enough brown faces on display!! I did try to explain that it represented the children in the class rather than a specific diversity.
  5. I would suggest that you don't try to do too much as everything generally takes longer than you think in the early days. lol. Definitely concentrate on settling the children into their new environment- where things are, how to hang coats up, where to put lunch boxes, washing hands after toilet, locating/using/tidying resources etc, allowing the children plenty of time for child initiated play. Above ideas are good and what you've thought of already and baseline assessments actually take up a lot of time too.
    Good luck.
  6. It is important in the first few weeks to establish routines so that both you and the kids will feel safe. Also don't be frightened to let them know what is acceptable and and what isn't, hence sort out your golden rules with the children and keep referring to them. I have a board that illustrates good listening skills. Eyes watching. Ears listening. Lips closed. Hands in your magic basket. During the first few weeks each time we have carpet time I point out these things. Gaining control in the first couple of weeks is so important for a calm classroom. One of your boards needs the sounds you are teaching and another the numbers to 5 or 10. Look in Belair books for good display ideas. Just stop worrying and enjoy your class!

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