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URGENT - PSRN activity idea for nursery

Discussion in 'Early Years' started by zulwoo, May 21, 2011.

  1. Hi!
    I have an interview on Tuesday and need to do a 20-25 minute whole class teaching activity with a PSRN focus (numbers as labels and for counting or calculating)
    Was thinking of dropping coins in a box for children to count as a mental starter and then having children order numbers on a number line and then doing a bingo style game on the carpet, finishing with a number rhyme.
    Not sure if this is creative or interesting enough for an interview though and whether they will want me to keep the children on the carpet or to move them to tables as in a normal lesson?
    Any advice or ideas would be appreciated!
  2. From my experience with nursery I would advise that, unless the nursery has a very unusual catchment, you can expect the children to be working within the 30-50 and 40-60+ months age bands with many having achieved points 1-3 on the profile for counting and numbers as labels, but few having achieved points 1-3 for calculation. Admittedly, I have worked mostly in inner city schools with very high percentages of EAL pupils, but I do feel you need to look at the framework and try to imagine yourself into the nursery environment.
    When you say you might move children to tables, would you be expecting them to go to an allocated table, do an allocated activity and stay there? Or would you provide a variety of resources and allow the children to choose and move around freely. I would strongly advise the second choice. You could intervene in play, or have a specific focus activity for a small number of children. I would avoid keeping them on the carpet for the full 25 minutes and would say 15 minutes maximum, and involve lots of singing and movement in your 15 mins. With a large group like this you may lose many if you try the ordering activity (not many would really be up for that) and the bingo game although if it's on an IWB that may be less of a concern. You might need to ham it up, joke and be silly to keep them engaged whatever you do. Number rhymes are fine. A problem people have with nursery is that they try to make things too impressive to the watching adults and don't get themselves into the heads of the children. The observers should be looking for how you engage and interact with the children to keep them interested while supporting their progress at the simple levels they will be working at - that's the key in early years.
  3. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    I agree I would probably go with counting songs [​IMG]and rhymes keep it active no sitting just watching
  4. Thanks, that's really helpful! Changing activity slightly and doing a a number line with a rhyme, getting children to line up with a number each so that they're moving and involved.
    Am dubious about keeping them on the carpet for the full time but not sure if I would have time to set up the tables beforehand, also when teaching nursery I've done a whole class input on carpet and then let the children go off and do a variety of activities as you say but with it saying on the interview letter to do a whole class activity would they expect me to do this or to keep the whole class together?
  5. I have to say it sounds like they are expecting the whole class bit to last for the 20-25 minutes. That's a long time for nursery children, but if you incorporate lots of movement and fun you'll be fine. I have an interview tomorrow where I am asked to do a "short 30 minute lesson" (sic) with nursery, incorporating an introduction and a plenary. Mama mia!
  6. Thanks, that's how I read it as well, think I might plan for staying on carpet but get children to move around - I have some number cards so could get them to find the person with the matching number and then do a number rhyme, hopefully this will occupy twenty minutes without them getting to bored, just not sure I'd have time to get the whole class settled on activities and then bring them back to carpet for a plenary in twenty five minutes!
    Think I'd have preferred 30 minutes because at least then there's time to move about and then bring them back to the carpet for a plenary. Good luck with your interview, hope it goes well!
  7. I've been involved in observing lessons as part of the interview process and it always makes me glad when candidates actually give the school a ring and ask a few questions about the expectations for the lesson. Putting things on paper always gives room for different interpretation so I am sure it will be more than acceptable for you to give the school a ring and ask 2 or 3 questions as to what they are expecting. Ask direct questions such as, will the children be expected to sit for the whole 25 minutes, or what TA / NNEB support will be available, or how much time will I have to set the room up before the observation begins, etc rather than questions such as what is expected. lol, you'd be surprised!!!
    As a teacher in nursery myself, I would never keep children of that age sitting for 25 minutes. Even an activity where they are standing up to form part of a number line - there's always going to be some children who won't get a turn and so end up just sitting. A great counting activity is to get the children to do a different action for each count. E.g. put a hand in the air for 1, another hand for 2, a jump for 3, etc. When they get to 10 they have to jump up and down and cheer. Kids love it, you can ad lib your actions and everyone gets involved. You could always decide your actions in advance and laminate them on to A4 sheets. That would tick numeral recognition as well.
    If it was me having the interview I would have a 15 minute max carpet time, then the opportunity for practical small groups or 1:1. I would then bring it all together for 1 - 2 minutes at the end to recap learning objectives etc.
    Hope all goes well for you. Sounds like the interview letter has been written by someone who would quite possibly pass out if they ever had to teach nursery lol!
  8. I'm sorry if I seem negative reb77, but the people writing the letters describing what is expected are supposed to be professionals. Nobody should have to ring up for clarification because it should be clearly expressed and unequivocal what is wanted. People with senior positions in schools should have a basic command of the English language. I'd like to earn their money.
    I'm hopping up and down with annoyance because I am supposed to be going for an interview tomorrow and teaching 'a lesson' to 3/4 year olds and the letter is utterly ambiguous. I've given it to three family members and they've all come up with differing intepretations and I've wasted my precious weekend trying to get my head around it. It really is not my job as a candidate to get this clarified. I only received it on Thursday evening anyway. I work full time and just cannot be chasing this up at a moment's notice. I am sorely tempted not to go for the interview under the ambiguous circumstances because I feel whatever I do is going to be wrong one way or another. In fact, I might just attend to give these fools a piece of my mind. And, actually, I need a job as my supply position finishes in July, so I'm not thinking LOL.
  9. mystery10

    mystery10 Occasional commenter

    Oh good luck Thumbie. It is incredibly badly written - a short thirty minutes does sound comical. I'm sure you'll do a short thirty minutes (whatever that is) as time flies when you're having fun.
  10. Thank you, mystery. The short 30 minutes is the least of it! I'll let you know. I'll certainly be trying for it to be fun. [​IMG]
  11. Thanks everyone!
    Have ended up with two plans now and hope that when I get there I'll decide what is best!
    Agree with everyone that 20-25 minutes is too long for nursery so am planning to do a short 5-10 mins on carpet and then send children in groups for 10 minutes with activities such as playdough mats, game with rolling dice and matching numbers, ordering number lines, matching number cards to objects OR if i have no TA support and children are expected to be kept together then will do a whole class number hunt (though this may turn into chaos! Lol) and then bring children back to carpet to match/order numbers.
    Hope your interview and lesson went well thumbie!

  12. Just wanted to say thank you to everyone who took the time to reply! Interview went really well - although I didn't get the job! Went with advice (and gut instinct) in the end for activity and got really good feedback from the school!
    Was my first time posting anything on the forum as didn't think I'd get replies but will definitely do it again!
    Thanks again!

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