View Full Version : Group planning

26-07-2009, 11:17 AM
I have just received a despairing email from a childminder who is struggling with group planning...

She is at the point where she is ready to give it all up :(

After I had replied to her I thought it might be a good idea to share my reply on here... if she is struggling, then I am sure lots of other childminders are too.

I hope it helps! :D

Hi, you are not alone. Lots of childminders are using paperwork that seems to drag them down. I think that is partly because we try so hard to get things right and we work so closely with the children, it is hard sometimes to see the wood from the trees.

First of all, you should not be duplicating everything!! ONE set of group planning is enough... you can use it to draw information from for each child, but you only need to do it once, everything else goes in the individual planning. So your theme is things that crawl next week because child x was really excited to find worm casts in the garden and when he showed the other children, they all wanted to know more. You spend a little bit of time this weekend looking at ideas for their next steps...

For group planning you put together some ideas - worm songs & poems (CLL), worm puppet play (PSED),making playdough (PSR&N) and using it to make worms (PD), moving like worms and other minibeasts (PD), looking at other things that crawl such as ants (KUW), making a wormery (KUW), finding info about the worm charming championships on the computer (KUW)... those are your ideas, your group planning with something to appeal to every child. You can write it up on a continuous provision sheet which shows eg. books, songs and rhymes, garden activities, messy play, mark making, puzzles... etc OR you can write it on a sheet which links to the 6 areas of L & D - it's up to you, whatever you find easiest.

It shouldn't take you long and you are building up a stock of ideas for the future as you go along, so no time is wasted, even if an idea isn't followed by the children. The ideas are not in great depth either, so you've not spent ages filling in daft forms or writing reams... just remember at the end to write up a few notes like an evaluation to say what they did and didn't enjoy - it will help you for next week.

Leave lots of gaps for child initiated activities - this one takes a bit of confidence to start with. It is ok for you to do some planning, but let the children come up with ideas too. If they are old enough brainstorm with them... then fill in their ideas as the week progresses. If you have part timers like me it is fine to do the same things over again, so long as children who are there both sessions are having their needs met as well. I often find if I put a new slant on an activity, they love joining in again anyway!

Then you need to move on to meeting each child's individual needs. You will take account of parents wishes, child's interests and learning styles, age and stage of development etc... you know the child best so you are best placed to do this... again it is not about writing loads of information that nobody is going to read.

I then went on to share information about my mini e-books on the subjects of group and individual planning ... but since this isn't the 'for sale' section I won't mention them here.

All the best, Sarah

26-07-2009, 11:21 AM
thank you sarah:clapping: :clapping: :clapping: :clapping:

what would we do without you:D

27-07-2009, 06:54 AM
Could this be done in a simple spider chart? and over what period would this planning last?
btw thank you for this:)

27-07-2009, 06:55 AM
Thank you Sarah :thumbsup:

Miffy xx

27-07-2009, 07:27 AM
Could this be done in a simple spider chart? and over what period would this planning last?
btw thank you for this:)

You could fill it in any number of ways...

- A spider chart to check you have a range of activities from all 6 areas of L & D through the week...

- A continuous provision form...

- A list of activity ideas with links to other settings / outside play etc...

- A friend of mine plans in bubbles - central theme in the middle and thought bubbles coming out...

It lasts as long as the child is interested then we move on :D

27-07-2009, 07:53 AM
Thanks sarah thats very helpful
I'm ok with it all, thanks to your books, but reading that is useful

Just for others i have recently purchased Sarahs individual planning ebook, and it is brilliant and so clear, for anyone who is struggling it really is a must!!! (and will hardly break the bank):laughing: Fanastic:)