I get asked lots about our time table and planning. We have started “Table Top Activities” this year. This is linked provision using gap analysis to really develop those skills that our children struggle with. Careful and considerate assessment is done to really get to grips with what our children need to move them on in their learning. This is done purely through observation based assessment.
The activities change on a weekly basis, and are put out for the first session each morning. This session lasts from 8.50-9.40am. The activities are then packed away in storage boxes and popped under the table.
On each activity is a card which details the skill we plan to cover using the resources set out. The outcome of the activity is absolutely up to the child, we are teaching the skill not choosing the outcome. There are three adults in our setting, and during table top time, each adult is stationed by a table to model, and help move the learning forward with affective questioning and focused guidance. This is also the time that we hear any readers that we have identified as “Every day readers” (this hasn’t started yet as we feel it is a little too early, and are knee deep in baseline!!)
I’ve decided to write this this week for two reasons… The first one being I need to get better at my questioning when chatting to kidlets about their artwork, and secondly I know our new intake this week will be creating lots of lovely pictures,so hopefully this post will be helpful in reminding us about the comments to make!
I kind of cringe when I realise that in the past I’ve said to a child “oh wow that’s a lovely dinosaur/dragon ” and they reply with “It’s not a dragon, its mummy!” I’m sure we’ve all done it at some point!!
Instead of guessing what they have drawn or painted it’s much better to use open questioning where they can explain what they have done and why!
- ASK them to tell you all about their drawings and artwork
- COMMENT on the lines or colors, etc. that they are using (Wow, I see that you are making lots of orange stripes. I like how the Orange paint is mixing with the yellow paint there.) Can you tell me any other colours that mix together to make a different colour?
- ACKNOWLEDGE how hard (carefully, enthusiastically, long) they worked on their artwork
It’s so important to show how amazing you think their work is by either sending home to mummy/daddy or displaying on the wall in your classroom for all to see!
I love looking backing back at my own children’s paintings from when they were dinky, and just seeing how much development they have made!