Once upon a time...
2 Ace teachers began to plan a theme for the following half term. And as they talked together about the previous half term we realised that many of the children had showed an interest in dinosaurs. Some of the children had brought dinosaur books into school to show and there had been lots of 'monster-trap' collaborative play. During our recent Parents' Evenings several parents had mentioned that their children loved dinosaurs - especially those sometimes tricky to engage boys! Well, who couldn't see that dinosaurs would be a fab topic?! At Ace Early Years we might start a topic with something engaging but we won't worry if the children lead us in another direction. So we looked for dinosaur related ideas and soon settled on a dinosaur cave in the classroom...
In the half term holidays we spent time making a dino cave, as well as resourcing the classroom with artefacts, books and resources that would interest the children. We couldn't wait but we weren't quite ready yet...
Time for a change...
We had recently been lucky enough to have EYFS speaker (and all-round happiness champion) Shonette Bason-Wood come to visit our school and spend time with us, and several other reception teachers.
We covered many things during the day and it gave us food for thought - especially when it comes to our timetable.
We've said many times that we constantly evaluate our provision and that includes our timetable. We want to make sure it reflects the current needs of our children and we realised that there were tweaks that we could make to incorporate more physical activity with music - something that would keep our day fun but also allow the children to explore trickier concepts without being very formal. We also wanted to tighten up when we were exploring literacy and maths concepts to ensure we had good coverage. Here's our current timetable - although even over the course of a week it's changed again!
Broadly speaking we start with Super Sentences (check out Ace TV below), which has now progressed to the children having a sentence starter only.
Afterwards we have Dough Disco - which is high-energy, fine-motor control finger 'dancing' to some banging tunes! We love it and so do the kids! After our fingers are all warmed up we do some handwriting practise. We're only at 9.15 by the end of this session!
The following session is literacy based around a book - and this week has been 'Dinosaurs Love Underpants'! We use our Objective Led Planning to help our on going assessment during this time. Some of the adults come up with a fun activity which they promote to the children before continuous provision. The adult led activities are designed from our Objective Led Plan - check out the video below for more information.
The children 'plan' which activity they are going to in their heads - we find this helps to maximise the number of children undertaking an adult-led activity first. We ask some of the children to tell us what their 'plan' is. The children move into continuous provision and may or may not choose to come to an adult led activity. The children may choose to follow their own interests, perhaps interacting with enhancements that we have added during the week. Once an adult led activity loses its appeal the adult will take the Objective Led Planning sheet and observe children in whatever they are doing.
At the end of the session we spend time talking together to review what we have all been doing. This promotes oracy but we intend to develop this into a written activity as and when our children are ready.
Check out our next blog to see what actually happened....!