unsure of how often I should be doing structured activities
Thanks Thanks:  0
Likes Likes:  15
Dislikes Dislikes:  0
Results 1 to 11 of 11
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Posts
    44
    Registered Childminder since
    jun 14
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default unsure of how often I should be doing structured activities

    How many times per week do you do a structured crafty sort of activity? Is it one per day? I have a basic structure in my day where by I take the children out in the morning, then have lunch and free play, then an activity. But I'm all confused about what sort of activity I should be doing. My childminding development worker told me I should only be doing one observation every 6 weeks, so if that's the case can my activities be just general apart from the ones I plan specifically for an observation (I have 3 mindees so this would mean only 3 such activities per 6 weeks)?

    Can the other activities just be planned from what the kids are currently showing interest in and any festivals etc? Do I have to do one a day?
    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    3,579
    Registered Childminder since
    Mar 10
    Latest Inspection Grade
    Outstanding
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Your routine sounds great! I generally aim for one activity a day and the rest is free play, outings, mealtimes etc. Sometimes we don't do the activity I had planned - sometimes we do a different activity than the one I had planned and sometimes we don't do any adult led activity at all. Some days we might do two adult led activities in a day - it all balances out in the end. I don't plan specific activities for observations because I am observing them all the time, even when they are doing free play at home or playgroup or eating their lunch.

    Some days I will add four observations into their file, sometimes I will only get four in a month. My observations are short and sweet - just snapshots when I see them doing something new, for example using a glue stick correctly or spotting a number 3 on a bus when we are out on a walk.

    You need to listen to your DO, smile sweetly and then decide whether or not to take on board his/her recommendations. x

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Posts
    44
    Registered Childminder since
    jun 14
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Maza View Post
    Your routine sounds great! I generally aim for one activity a day and the rest is free play, outings, mealtimes etc. Sometimes we don't do the activity I had planned - sometimes we do a different activity than the one I had planned and sometimes we don't do any adult led activity at all. Some days we might do two adult led activities in a day - it all balances out in the end. I don't plan specific activities for observations because I am observing them all the time, even when they are doing free play at home or playgroup or eating their lunch.

    Some days I will add four observations into their file, sometimes I will only get four in a month. My observations are short and sweet - just snapshots when I see them doing something new, for example using a glue stick correctly or spotting a number 3 on a bus when we are out on a walk.

    You need to listen to your DO, smile sweetly and then decide whether or not to take on board his/her recommendations. x
    Thanks Maza,

    I should say that by one per 6 weeks she meant one big observation, and to always be doing what she called 'wow moment' observations, where I'd note when i saw them do something new for the first time. For these I intend on doing a short note about what i saw them do and note which area of the EYFS it relates to. Is this similar to what you do? The main observations I would do a slightly longer write up, a photo, and a 'next step'.

    To be honest I can't get my head around all the planning, observation etc, so the activity side of things is only a small part of what is confusing me!! I'm worried i will either have too many 'next steps' (e.g. if I do a next step for every wow moment that will be impossible to then plan for the next half term, as I'd have so many things to have to be planning for for each child) or not have enough next steps and Ofsted to say I haven't got enough evidence of their learning.

    I feel a bit like I'm out of my depth on the paper work side of things!!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    3,857
    Registered Childminder since
    Oct 97
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    It really depends what you mean by an adult led activity, do you mean a craft activity?
    Today adult led was wind up penguins and making French bread pizzas for snack time, neither were particularly structured or finely planned but they were my ideas and I set them off, the children took over and made them theirs. I offered them to promote fine motor skills.

  5. Likes Maza, bigfuntime liked this post
  6. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    3,857
    Registered Childminder since
    Oct 97
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    With the planning and next steps don't make every next step an activity, make it things you will already be doing.
    So baby crawls for the first time, next step is provide space to crawl, put toys slightly out of reach to encourage movement.
    Three year old masters scissors with thumb and fingers, next steps, consolidate the skill with opportunities to use scissors
    Child takes an interest in writing, next step offer reasons to write, involve the child in doing shopping lists, ask them what to write in their diary let them add a 'message' for mummy in the diary, keep it simple and do able don't make all next steps big activities.

  7. Likes Maza, bigfuntime liked this post
  8. #6
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    3,579
    Registered Childminder since
    Mar 10
    Latest Inspection Grade
    Outstanding
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Ahhh, it's so easy to feel overwhelmed. It sounds like you are doing everything right though. Some of your little wow moments will have a next step but not everything needs a next step.

    Rightly or wrongly (apparently there is no right and wrong when it comes to Learning Journeys) I don't do indepth observations for a number of reasons. I used to do them years ago when I first started teaching and I found that while I was doing an observation on one child the others were just being left to their own devices and if they asked me a valid question during my observation time I would get frustrated with them. Also, just because you set aside ten minutes or so to do an observation, it doesn't mean that you will discover something new about that child. Often I would look back at my sheet of A4 and realise that it told me nothing new about the child. Sometimes I will set up an activity because I want to observe a particular skill, for example throwing and catching ability. Some of my observations are one sentence long and others are naturally longer - not much longer though. As long as you link it to the EYFS and have some next steps then you are doing the right thing. Your next steps then become your planning.

    It takes a while to find a system that works for you so don't feel you have to get it right straight away. Lots of us are forever tweaking the way we record our planning/observations. Sometimes I wish that someone would come up with a standard form/layout that we all had to use! x

  9. Likes bunyip, bigfuntime liked this post
  10. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    2,858
    Registered Childminder since
    Nov 10
    Latest Inspection Grade
    Outstanding
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Maza said exactly what I was going to type.

    But also, what is your DO on about??!! Goodness me, the new EYFS is about less paperwork. Smile and nod. Find you own way.

    I never do big planned obs. All my obs are spontaneous. Sometimes there is an obvious Next Step, sometimes not. I almost always do a photo because I like photos. I might write 1 sentence, I might write 2-3 sentences. Some obs are about something 'adult-led', many are not.

    I might have an idea that this week we'll make birdfeeders. We might, we might not. We might suddenly decide to make something else. If you know your children and follow their interests and you know what they need to 'work on' then every time you say 'Let's have a go at... making/cutting/trying...' then that is an adult led activity. Whether you 'planned' that last week, last month or 2 seconds ago makes no difference IMO.

  11. Likes bunyip, Maza, bigfuntime liked this post
  12. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    at my computer, of course
    Posts
    4,986
    Registered Childminder since
    Nov 11
    Latest Inspection Grade
    Outstanding
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by bigfuntime View Post
    How many times per week do you do a structured crafty sort of activity? Is it one per day? I have a basic structure in my day where by I take the children out in the morning, then have lunch and free play, then an activity. But I'm all confused about what sort of activity I should be doing. My childminding development worker told me I should only be doing one observation every 6 weeks, so if that's the case can my activities be just general apart from the ones I plan specifically for an observation (I have 3 mindees so this would mean only 3 such activities per 6 weeks)?

    Can the other activities just be planned from what the kids are currently showing interest in and any festivals etc? Do I have to do one a day?
    Thanks.
    Sounds like you're doing absolutely fine.

    Fact: children are evolutionarily wired to learn. They'll do it with or without 'structured activities' (I think these just keep Ofsted happy and educational 'experts' in a job.) I personally feel they learn more, the less I get in the way.

    Oh and beware of 'Irrelevant Festival Syndrome', which is rife amongst EY settings. I actually asked our local preschool and several nursery staff why they "do" Chinese New Year and Diwali, etc. to an audience of tinies for whom they have no cultural significance. Best answer anyone came up with was that the resources were easy to come by. It can very quickly teach the wrong messages. An awful lot of under-5s must be convinced that Chinese culture, far from being an ancient, sophisticated civilization, consists solely of people who believe in dragons; subsist entirely on fried food; and have an obsession with red paper lanterns and similar cheap tat.

  13. Likes cookiesncream, Maza, bigfuntime, Jiorjiina liked this post
  14. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Posts
    44
    Registered Childminder since
    jun 14
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Thanks everyone for your replies and reassurance that I'm doing OK! I have spoken to a few other local CM's this past week who have the same DO and they all said they were told the same- only 1 ob per half term and the rest 'wow' moments. I know it'll take time for me to get into the swing of things but I feel a bit better about it than I did this time last week! Thanks again. x

  15. Likes Maza liked this post
  16. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Exeter
    Posts
    435
    Registered Childminder since
    Oct 11
    Latest Inspection Grade
    Good
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by bunyip View Post
    Sounds like you're doing absolutely fine.

    Fact: children are evolutionarily wired to learn. They'll do it with or without 'structured activities' (I think these just keep Ofsted happy and educational 'experts' in a job.) I personally feel they learn more, the less I get in the way.

    Oh and beware of 'Irrelevant Festival Syndrome', which is rife amongst EY settings. I actually asked our local preschool and several nursery staff why they "do" Chinese New Year and Diwali, etc. to an audience of tinies for whom they have no cultural significance. Best answer anyone came up with was that the resources were easy to come by. It can very quickly teach the wrong messages. An awful lot of under-5s must be convinced that Chinese culture, far from being an ancient, sophisticated civilization, consists solely of people who believe in dragons; subsist entirely on fried food; and have an obsession with red paper lanterns and similar cheap tat.
    Er, I do Chinese New Year quite extensively! But then I was born and spent my early years in Hong Kong (British parents there for work, not ethnically Chinese), and as I found out year, one mindees dad was born in the same hospital as me but a year later, and the year before my brother! We've always marked Chinese New Year in our family.

    I've always tried to keep the number of festivals we do down to a minimum, and mostly the English ones that they would notice going on around them. I also have a three year old philosopher mindee whose mum is an RE teacher, so we've had some interesting conversations on this subject!

  17. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    at my computer, of course
    Posts
    4,986
    Registered Childminder since
    Nov 11
    Latest Inspection Grade
    Outstanding
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Jiorjiina View Post
    Er, I do Chinese New Year quite extensively! But then I was born and spent my early years in Hong Kong (British parents there for work, not ethnically Chinese), and as I found out year, one mindees dad was born in the same hospital as me but a year later, and the year before my brother! We've always marked Chinese New Year in our family.

    I've always tried to keep the number of festivals we do down to a minimum, and mostly the English ones that they would notice going on around them. I also have a three year old philosopher mindee whose mum is an RE teacher, so we've had some interesting conversations on this subject!
    Excellent. Sounds like it's relevant to you.

    I just think we need to make sure we do the festivals where they are relevant and make sure we put out the right message. Too many settings do festivals cos they feel they "have to" and/or there are easy resources there to make it a low-effort activity.

    It's the same with fundraisers. I have mindees coming out of school with their red noses and Pudsey Bear tat, telling me how they've learned that all African children live on rubbish dumps or all the dirty, thin UK children must live in high rise flats.

  18. Likes Maza liked this post
 

 

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

Quick Links and Advertisements

Important Information Links
Some Useful Quick Links
Advertisements

 

You can also find us on:
unsure of how often I should be doing structured activities unsure of how often I should be doing structured activities unsure of how often I should be doing structured activities

We use cookies to make this site as useful as possible. They are small text files placed in your browser to track usage of our site but they don’t tell us who you are.
By continuing to use this site you are consenting to cookies being placed on your computer. Find out more here: Cookies in Use

Childminding Help and the Childminding Forum are part of Childcare.co.uk