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Struggling to fit it all in!

Discussion in 'Primary' started by lisalegend, Aug 2, 2011.

  1. Hi all, hope the holidays are going well!
    Trying to be organised this year as moving into Year 1 in Sept after several years in Reception and Nursery, and have started thinking about planning already. I just wanted to ask, anyone in Year 1, how on earth do you fit everything in each week??!! I have 29 children, and a TA only for the mornings. The head wants children to read and change their reading books twice each week (which i do think is important), and has suggested that the TA does this as part of her tasks each morning (then also working with groups when this is done). I have 5 ability groups, and was going to work with one focus group each day for literacy and maths. Literacy and Maths are generally done in the mornings, with topic/science/PE in the afternoons.
    But...where on earth do i fit in my Guided Reading, weekly spelling test and handwriting??!!! I don't want to them in afternoons as i would like to work with the children on topic/science inputs and activities, and will be spending my mornings on focused Lit/Maths sessions.
    Also, is it right for me not to be hearing the children read at all (other than in Literacy sessions and activities), as not having Guided Reading sessions won't give me the opportunity to do this?
    Please help, i'm really really struggling!
     
  2. Hi all, hope the holidays are going well!
    Trying to be organised this year as moving into Year 1 in Sept after several years in Reception and Nursery, and have started thinking about planning already. I just wanted to ask, anyone in Year 1, how on earth do you fit everything in each week??!! I have 29 children, and a TA only for the mornings. The head wants children to read and change their reading books twice each week (which i do think is important), and has suggested that the TA does this as part of her tasks each morning (then also working with groups when this is done). I have 5 ability groups, and was going to work with one focus group each day for literacy and maths. Literacy and Maths are generally done in the mornings, with topic/science/PE in the afternoons.
    But...where on earth do i fit in my Guided Reading, weekly spelling test and handwriting??!!! I don't want to them in afternoons as i would like to work with the children on topic/science inputs and activities, and will be spending my mornings on focused Lit/Maths sessions.
    Also, is it right for me not to be hearing the children read at all (other than in Literacy sessions and activities), as not having Guided Reading sessions won't give me the opportunity to do this?
    Please help, i'm really really struggling!
     
  3. It is very tricky, and i've never really cracked it.
    I have Lit and Num every morning, and two hour long sessions each afternoon. This year I am going to try using Monday mornings to do spelling tests, followed by listening to children read and changing their books. We only change books once a week and it is a challenge to fit that in and still listen to them all.
    PE eats up 2 of those first 1 hour afternoon sesions.
    One afternoon is my PPA and is RE done by my PPA teacher, followed by a long achievement assembly.
    That leaves 2 afternoon sessions (for the first hour) for topic work - which within our curriculum incorporates science, dt, art, hist and geog. I know it's not alot, but it's all i'm left with.
    The last hour of every day after playtime is reserved for Phonics, followed by guided reading and handwriting (I will do one, my TA will do the other, and I have a rota for working with every group during the week - the other children access phonics/reading application activities independantly). Then its story time (we are meant to do 'storytelling' with Pie Corbetts actions etc) and hometime.
    There is not enough time to fit everything in to the week, which is why I am trialling using Monday mornings literacy as spellings/independant reading time. Im not sure it's 'right' but as far as Im aware its part of Literacy and if it doesn't happen then it's either not happening at all or my children are getting even less 'wider curriculum' time which is just not fair.
     
  4. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    In literacy lessons? Make your literacy lessons 45 mins long and add these into the beginning or end of them.

    Yes it is fine for you not to hear children read, so long as you have a good TA who also asks the children questions about what they are reading and encourages sounding out words and all that. Oh and feeds back to you as well.
     
  5. Thanks so much for your reply impulce, i was thinking of using one of my literacy sessions each week for spelling tests (and fitting in a Guided Reading group if possible!). The only thing is, that would leave me with 4 literacy sessions left to fit in work with 5 groups...how many groups of children do you have, and how often do you work with each group each week?
     
  6. Pink n Fluffy

    Pink n Fluffy New commenter

    As a school we don't have assemblies until the afternoon so this frees up a lot of time in the mornings. After either Lit or Numeracy I fit in a guided reading session before first play. We change our reading books 3 times a week so my TA checks these off first thing(whilst I do the register) into 2 piles, those who need to change their books and those that don't. Then whilst the children have milk and fruit I then get those who need to change them to change them on their own. The others just put theirs back into their bags after their milk before they get their coats on for play. You have to try and snatch minutes here and there and be a bit creative with tasks otherwise you will struggle to fit it all in. Hope this makes some sense.
     
  7. I had 4 groups when I had Y1 last year, so my TA and I would each work with 1 group each at a time - sometimes we would get through 2 groups each in a lesson so we'd get through all 4. It depended what activity we were doing. It does mean your planning changes quite a bit though as I was never quite sure how many children I would get to work with.
    This year I am with Y2 and have 5 groups due to a larger class. I will probaby have 1 group with me, 1 group with a TA, one group working independantly and the other two accessing 'choice' activities (We still work this way in Y2 but it is more structured than Y1). Again, if we get time we will work with the other 2 groups. I dont schedule who im going to work with each day because it changes due to a range of factors, but I do make sure I work with them all as equally as possible.
    As for the person who suggested putting 45 mins aside for Literacy and using the rest of the time for GR - do you teach Y1? This would be very hard as everything takes longer.
    If you do register followed by activate/brain gym, and have an assembly every morning (dont get me started - my biggest bugbear and on the whole a big waste of important time) such as we do - that only actually leaves 45 minutes for the entire literacy lesson - input, main activities and group work, and a plenary which very rarely happens. That is barely enough time to apply a taught concept, let alone squeeze a guided reading session in too. I appreciate it may be more practical with KS2 children, but still tricky when schools timetables don't give a full hour for lessons.
     
  8. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    Ahhh but you already do your literacy in 45 mins, so it seems. Assuming the OP has a full hour, s/he could do spelling and handwriting for 15 mins and then do a 45 min literacy lesson just as you do.

    Nothing to do with KS2/KS1. Apart from year 6, in my school, every year group puts handwriting and GR into literacy. KS1 put spelling into phonics (or will in Sept.) and KS2 put it into literacy.

    If you don't teach all of literacy in literacy lessons, you do end up not giving children then full range of curriculum areas. If you were to do a literacy hour, then 20mins phonics, then 20 mins spelling/handwriting, then 20 mins GR every day it would be 2 hours a day! Madness and totally unnecessary.
     
  9. lillipad

    lillipad New commenter

    I usually structure in 20- 25 mins of phonics first thing, followed by about 45 mins of Literacy. Then we have again, about 45 mins of Numeracy, followed by 20-25 mins of guided reading. That's all in the morning.

    Afternoon, usually do topic for an hour, then break, then 20-25 mins of handwriting/ PSHE/ and anything else like that that I haven't managed to fit in.

    Alternatively, in KS2- I found 25 mins of guided reading straight after lunch, followed by 45 mins of one topic, and then 45 mins of another worked nicely.
     
  10. lucye

    lucye New commenter

    Hi Lisalegend, If you leave me your email I will send you my timetable. We generally get good levels for reading, but we get alot of parental help in guided reading sessions, and I make sure I hear each group at least once a week. Sessions are timetabled for half an hour first thing 3 times a wee and we generally have a phonics linked activiy after. This is independent to the literacy hour.
     
  11. When do you do your Liteacy? Do you have assemblies etc to fit in too? Im genuinly interested :)

     
  12. Hi I'm moving to yeat 2 in September and am trying to figure out how to fit in all the curriculum areas. Could you send me a copy of your timetable thanks in anticipation gaynor.lewis13@btinternet.com
     
  13. I don't know if this would work in your situation but the children self register. They then bring their reading book to me and of they need to change it they go and pick a new one, the ta then writes the name of the book in their record. All children complete a 'busy job' in this time recapping something we have learned previously. All of this takes 10 minutes max and we can change books daily if necessary (what we tend to do though is let them choose 2 books at a time). I'm not sure about september now as my school wants to go down the route of all ks1 guided reading at once first thing in the morning then all ks2 doing it later in the day e.g. after play.
     

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