Observations & Planning Tips | Interests, Schemas & Note Taking

There are many ways to plan and I have found a combination of both adult led sessions and child led sessions has been the right balance for my teaching.

Why & What Do We Gather in Observations?

Observations in Early Years Education are key in finding out where the children are and identifying how you can plan their developmental next steps. I use a variety of ways to collect this information to draw a picture of the child. I use information from activities inside & outside the classroom. The team collects these either digitally with a tablet or as a written observation. Alongside this parental links allow us to gather even more information as well as any Phonics or Maths sessions led by an adult.

Tips for observing.

1. Write down what the child was doing (add some context)

2. Record the speech and spell words the way the child says them.

E.g. 'I saw a dar (car)'

3. Write about how the adult interacted and supported the child's play.

This information can be used to not only find out where the children are developmentally but noting schemas & interests are key in being able to plan sustained, engaging activities where the children will be focused and interested. This is the perfect environment to be able to thread in next step objectives.

In this example in my video (see link below to watch) on planning I have drawn up the next steps of a child below. I use emojis to help speed up the planning process and keep my page minimal so there is more space to write notes and observations.

I then use my knowledge of their interest in Spiderman to thread these objectives / learning intentions into the themed games and activities. This could be done with more than one child, they may do the same activity but have different next steps. (I would list them in a different colour).

Keep the plan simple and open-ended - follow the children's interest and thread in objectives when applicable. 

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