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Year 1 Help

Discussion in 'Primary' started by Misslwrites, Aug 1, 2016.

  1. Misslwrites

    Misslwrites New commenter

    Hi, this will be my second year teaching year 1 (previously I've been in y2 for ages and y3 before that). Last year was a baptism of fire! I'm still struggling with how to teach in the first term - most people say continue EYFS provision (not so easy when you don't have all the equipment etc and are NOT EYFS trained i.e. have no idea :) ). My question is if you are doing a kind of Reception free flow, focus group type teaching, how do you get through the Y1 Curriculum esp in Maths?? I really struggled last year. Any advice would be hugely appreciated. Thanks!!!
  2. pcsmush

    pcsmush Occasional commenter

    I operate carousels up until October Half-term. I have a TA most mornings and they complete either a Mathematics or English activity with a group of 6 and I complete the other subject with another group of 6. I make sure all of the children complete both of the activities. I have a relatively small classroom (no outdoor area!), so I just set up a variety of other theme related activities for the children to complete on the tables or in the role-play area.

    In the afternoon I try to introduce the children to full lessons. Theme lessons lend themselves well to this, as there is no real differentiation at the start of Year 1 (apart from word banks etc etc).

    By Autumn 2, I'm into full teaching Maths, English, Guided Reading & Phonics every morning and theme lessons in the afternoon.
  3. KnightRider

    KnightRider New commenter

    All the evidence and best practice says that EYFS child initiated learning should continue into year 1 - there's a really good book called Moving on to KS1 by Julie Fisher, which I read carefully, found inspirational and would recommend you read. But I've been a KS2 teacher for most of my career and so don't find it easy to work with a group with the rest of the class playing around me and I find it particularly hard to think of appropriate provision to put out for those working independently. Although I had a good sized classroom last year, I took over from someone who firmly believed that proper lessons should start right at the beginning of year 1 - no more play - so the resources I had available were very limited. Put all that together with dreadful behaviour in the class I inherited (two thirds boys, lots of summer birthdays, couldn't cope with the freedom and just ended up fighting/chasing each other round the room with lego guns), and after careful consideration I decided to go for structured mornings from the beginning of the year. It worked incredibly well, despite flying in the face of everything I read. The children really, really enjoyed being "grown up" and having "proper" lessons.

    I will be doing the same again this year - the opposite to pcsmush. I will do fairly formal English and Maths before lunch (which will contain lots of practical, hands on activities but the whole class doing the same/similar things at the same time so they start to learn how I expect them to behave in lessons). Then in the afternoons for the first week I will let them choose what they want to do while I hear individual children read and get them going on the reading scheme. Then after a week or 2 I will start to do 1 lesson in the afternoon followed by choosing time. Gradually I will build up so that by January their choosing time is limited to 30 minutes on a Friday afternoon.

    So I would say do what feels right for you and your pupils - there's a huge difference in the experience children bring to school with them and their readiness for more structured lessons. And just because you have a more formal structure, it doesn't mean that you can't provide the kind of practical learning that the children need.
  4. vannie

    vannie Star commenter

    I would echo @KnightRider about the Julie Fisher book. It's worth a read.
    I have taught Y1 in some form or another for about 8 years and to be honest every year is different. I think when planning the first term it's really important to know as much about them and their approach to learning as you can. How do they cope in continuous provision? Do they know the rules? Can they work quietly? How can you ensure that your Y1 provision builds on what they already know and can do? I think it's much harder than going for formal learning from the beginning as there is so much more to think about. I last had Y1 two years ago when I moved schools. Went in in the holidays and set up CP. Didn't know enough about my class ( and assumed they would be just be OK) and the CP was completely trashed in a matter of minutes. They had no idea - boy heavy, summer born, behaviour issues etc etc I then limited the 'choosing' group to 6 maximum and made sure that I had a TA with them. They just couldn't work independently and were unable to interact without incident.
    FWIW this is what I intend to do this year:
    CP - Role play, maths, writing, phonics, sand, construction, malleable - with challenges that each child will be expected to do each week (Gold, silver and bronze)
    Literacy - Independent working in CP on challenges, two focus groups daily and a floating TA
    Maths - three way split
    Phonics - split according to ability
    Afternoons - Topic work - short input and challenges
    When I had this bunch on transition I was able to observe them working in CP and they have been grouped after discussion with our Reception teacher.
    I would say in the early days to always have one member of staff doing general support to train them to use resources properly, tidy up, put away etc

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