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Year 1 Organisation - Help!

Discussion in 'Primary' started by magicbeans, Aug 30, 2012.

  1. Hi!
    I have spent hours looking at all the different Year 1 topics and threads on here, some made me feel more secure in what I was doing and some more confused, so I need to get my head straight.I am going into Year 1 in Sept for the first time ever! I have been in Year 2 for 2years, but our Year 2 is much more formal than Year 1.I have my morning time table sorted - phonics, lit & num, but I have a few questions about these sessions...1 - The current Year 1 teachers (who I am pretty much just following like a sheep at the minute) have lit/num mornings (2-3 of each per week) so as not to need to change activities at playtime, or bombard the children with new info every hour. We cover a new LO in M&O each day for the Maths input, but only 1 objective for focus groups over the week.
    Each 'work time' will be approx 45mins. This will give me time to work with 2 groups per session, thus 4 per morning. I have a class of 30 and at the beginning of the year am only expected to work with 4-5 children in a focus group at a time.The aim is, over 2-3 mornings of lit/num to cover this LO once with each group and consolidated with those not secure. IS THIS ENOUGH? Am i being daft because I am moving from a very formal classroom? I am used to covering at least 3 LO's a week in each of lit/maths.2 - I will be working in an open plan classroom with 2 shared TAs. The consensus is that one TA will lead an art-based topic related activity throughout the morning, whilst the other is based outside.This means that I will only be able to work with 1 focus group for the LO whilst the other children are independent. How many of my independent activities should be CP and how many related to the LO in some way? Also (sorry about this, I am just so anxious and confused), how do the afternoons work, when it isn't PE or Music? For instance, when I am teaching Science i will obviously do a whole class input, but then how will I get all the children to do an activity related to this throughout the course of the afternoon if, again, I am only able to have 1 group working on the LO with an adult? I am basically just asking for guidance. The other teachers in Year 1 are VERY much Early-Years orientated and I have been told I have been moved down from Year 2 to help make it more focussed and get the children producing/recording a bit more work than they do currently. I am under no illusion that when they first come up from Rec that they will be very young and I wont be able to enforce this straight away, but I would like to have a good idea of where I am headed as I am expected to have this down to a tea by the 3rd week...Oh, and we are due an OFSTED inspection any time soon!Please help :( I could cry with worry.
  2. I had this all laid our in paragraphs and now its all mushed together. Hope it doesnt put you off reading! Please put my anxieties at ease!
  3. Do you have continuous provision set up in your classroom as the children would then be able to access resources independently when you were working with groups?
  4. Yes, i will have CP set up, but i'm just confused as to how more curriculum
    Focussed work gets covered.
  5. You have just described my situation!!

    I was in year 2 for 2 years then came to year 1 last year as KS1 leader. Other year 1 teacher came from EYFS and the hope was we would meet in the middle somewhere with our expectations of work from the children.

    Having completed a year in year 1, I still trawl the year 1 topics and threads for ideas of how to organise the classroom and day. My main aim is to make year 1 a successful year group in terms of the childrens progression from reception to year 2. Year 1 is an incredibly hard year, but I was ever so pleased with the children who left me in July.

    Last year we started off with Maths, phonics and literacy in the mornings, then phonics, whole class topic session, and CP in the afternoons with myself and TA working with focused groups. By the end of the year CP was phased out with much more topic work through the afternoon.

    This year I am not starting with the same morning routine. It was awful and I felt exhausted by lunch as I had tried to work with every group of children twice in 1 morning. We are now going to try the alternate literacy/Maths mornings so that I can work with every group over the course of the morning without rushing through an objective to move on to the next subject.

    At this early stage I think having 2/3 literacy/Maths mornings is enough especially when you think of what they have been doing in reception. When I am working with my focused group the CP will be related to the subject area, but not necessarily LO. Afternoons will be one focus group and the rest unrelated CP. As the year progresses the mornings will contain both maths and literacy with more groups working at the same time. By Xmas I would be expecting to have all children working on the learning objective. Differentiated of course!!
  6. Hi, this will be my third year teaching year 1. I'll tell you what we do and see if it helps. I teach phonics for 20 minutes every morning. This is set across the school. I then do my literacy input. I send one group to work on the activity we the TA and i work with a group. The other half of the class then work independently on CP. We then swap over. This then repeats with numeracy. I find this works well at the start of the year as the children find it difficult to work on an activity for a longer period of time. We continue like this until Christmas and then in the new year i have all the children doing literacy and numeracy together. In the afternoon i do my input and then the children have particular activities that they know they need to complete by the end of the afternoon as well as choosing from other activities set up.
  7. Thanks for all the help so far everyone! After being in school for a week now I am starting to get my head around things.

    However, even though I KNOW children learn through play and all of the CP stuff is worth while... how do I prove this to a critic?? (I.e. an inspector or our DHT who is very ks2 minded). I have a medium term planner with all my areas on and what the focus is (e.g. Our topic is bears so week 2 on the art table is bear sketching) but should I be putting links to the NC too? This seems like an awful lot of work!

    Also, how does everyone keep track of the independent activities children access? I seem to have children who never end up on the jigsaw table or always go onto construction. I have a tick list and I direct children to activities I can see they havent done yet, but after 5mins they walk away and choose whatever they want. Each of our sessions is roughly 45mins and although I work through 2 focus groups I am unable to stop the whole class after 20mins to rotate activities in a carousel like some people do.

    I only have 1 TA who spends most of her time in the outdoor area (other than when we do phonics and register time when she does 1:1 reading) so I am on my own 99% of the time with 30 kids (minus the ones who are outside) in quite a small classroom (not build for an integrated day anyway.)
  8. Glad you're getting your head around it all :) I'm so glad you wrote this, I have been in year 1 before but my old school ran it very differently to my new school and after a year out working in year 2 I feel like I have forgotten everything!! I am in a very similar situation (including dreaded ofsted!) and feel the same about continuous provision- are they always learning (especially when they are making guns out of construction and throwing sand over the floor and each other?!)
    I don't know if this helps but we are starting challenge cards in each area so that the children have a focus to work at, (which will eventually be differentiated by 2 colours) and I have found that in the first few weeks if you heavily praise those who complete the challenges in the areas, others will start to do them too! (Not all children, but gradually!) And if there is an incentive (like I do a boys v girls phonics challenge) that can encourage them (although this is all quite idealistic it has wored for some children!!) My aim is that eventually it will only be the challenges that are completed in he each of the classroom areas, except during special choosing times. I am also quite mean and only have certain areas open during certain times of the day to avoid childrenworking in the same areas day in/ day out and also because some children in my class struggle with too much choice.
    I have also seen little job books work well at other schools where they have a few 'Must do' jobs that must be completed and then 'Can do' and the children have to write what they have been doing. This is my next trial!! But is that enough evidence? I would love to be photgraphing them, collecting all their bits and pieces, especially when they are actually completing given challenges but find it impossible with focus groups too! Has anyone been through a recent ofsted with a similar set-up?
    I also find it hard to fit everything in, especially with 2 hour long PE sessions and at the moment 1-1 reading. Does anyone else struggle with this?! Thanks!

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