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Reception classrooms

(32 Posts)
Oakmaiden Fri 21-Nov-14 18:31:06

So - I have finally been offered a job! So excited, but also extremely nervous because - um - it is a reception class. I have only taught in reception a handful of times (probably not even a handful. I think probably twice. For a morning each time. As a supply teacher.) I normally teach in KS2.

Anyway - I can do this. The only thing, is it is a new class (they used to be a mixed year class, but are splitting into 2 classes in order to keep the class size very small). So I* have a new classroom. Which has in is a variety of things rejected by other classrooms, but no actual learning resources. Like books, or numeracy counters. Or anything like that.

So - as a bare minimum, what do I need in my classroom to make it operable for a small class of reception children? Any ideas?

MrsPepperMintonCandyCane Fri 21-Nov-14 18:36:00

Pinterest is your friend, and twinkle resources. Lots of excellent printables for numeracy etc.

Shaving foam, dried pasta, flour, food colouring for sensory play, pegs and a washing line to do number/alphabet sorting.

Ask your TA/the TAs as they will know what's about and spare that you could maybe have.

Congratulations on your job.

Oakmaiden Fri 21-Nov-14 18:37:25

I don't think I will have a TA. I think it is just me. In my own little building.

But thanks for the starting ideas - I will make a list!

MrsPepperMintonCandyCane Fri 21-Nov-14 18:40:21

Gosh. Sounds great smile

Straws for cutting up, wool and beads both for fine motor. You can thread onto uncooked spaghetti too. Play dough is easy to make and can be split up to do counting.

Sorry I'm doing tea and popping ideas down as I remember!

I'm in KS2 as a TA now but was in reception in the summer term.

AHotDenseState Fri 21-Nov-14 18:45:27

Congratulations on the new job! Sounds exciting!

There's probably and endless list of things you could have but some things we have:

- number line display
- letters on display that they can refer to from their phonics
- a quiet area or book corner - can you beg/steal/borrow some familiar picture books, ours particularly like fairy stories, dinosaurs, transport ones.
- alphabet cards/tricky words where they can easily refer to them
- role play area linked to your topic
- we have crates where they keep their book bags in their reading group as it makes them easy to find when needed!
- area for exploring objects - junk modelling, found objects etc

Will have another think...

AHotDenseState Fri 21-Nov-14 18:51:05

Yes to pinterest. So many exciting ideas there. Do you have an outdoor area as well?

Main thing is to have everything easily accessible at their height and have them know where it all is. Maybe a little technology station with laptop/camera/voice recorder so they can explore that?

We try to tailor the continuous provision to interest the children. E.g. last year we have some big dinosaur fanatics so had lots of counting and writing opportunities based around that.

rollonthesummer Fri 21-Nov-14 18:56:59

How many children will you have?

Have you got the basics? Cupboards of trays, book boxes, tables and chairs, construction equipment, easels, paint pots/brushes, puzzles etc?

Partydilemmas Fri 21-Nov-14 18:57:10


Oakmaiden Fri 21-Nov-14 19:04:57

Um - some of those things, rollon.

There are currently 7 children in the reception class, and another 3 or 4 will be joining in January. So it is a very small class, and we are lucky enough to have a larger than average classroom to use. There is a kitchen in the classroom (because the nursery class had been using it for their lunch hall). There are 3 round tables, and probably enough child sized chairs. There are 2 child sized sofas, a plastic crate with about 6 books in (that nobody else wanted), a single chalkboard easel, a broken roleplay kitchen (which I am hoping I can fix - although it has no kitchen equipment with it), a sand tray and a water tray. Oh, and a child sized computer desk with no computer. I think that is it.

There is an outside area, but is is grassed, so only really suitable for good weather. And it is completely empty. I understand there is some outdoor play equipment somewhere though... the year 1 teacher was talking about trikes and stuff, and the fact they wanted to change the time of playtimes so they could use them in the yard.

Oakmaiden Fri 21-Nov-14 19:05:47

I really am starting from scratch... but the fact you have asked about those things mean I need to put it on my list to talk about when I talk to the head!

sideshowbob2 Sat 22-Nov-14 13:01:09

ask your parents to supply wellies we did when we had a grassed outdoor area, you'll be surprised how quickly the children can get changed so they can spend time outdoors!!
there should be a budget for this empty classroom, ask your new colleagues as they will know, there may also be a literacy and numeracy budget that you can tap into to get a few bits, look online like free cycle to pick up some garden toys, also kitchen and role play things, ask anyone and everyone, you'll be surprised what people give away these days!!
good luck!!

LittleRobots Sat 22-Nov-14 13:05:35

Ours had regular outdoor provision and was outdoors a lot of the time (isn't that a requirement now?) So a lot of activities were available outdoors on a rotation - lots of craft and creative things as well as physical equipment to play on. A "home" corner outside etc.

Pipbin Sat 22-Nov-14 13:06:01

Sounds like an amazing classroom.
I would be cautious about having a computer. Although I know that children should have access to technology I found that some children would just spend all day on it.
With such a small group you can do some really fun stuff.

LittleRobots Sat 22-Nov-14 13:07:22

The classroom itself sounds amazing in terms of potential. There's a classroom I love on cbeebies "Time for school". It's the one from Holy Island whcih is also a small school I think, with sofas, and lots of different role play areas.

ladygracie Sat 22-Nov-14 16:59:17

At a school I worked in the reception classes had Welly Wednesday so they would all have waterproof and would be outside whatever the weather doing a variety of things.
Our (amazing but tiny) reception class has:
Small world play
Role play area (a huge box that changes use regularly)
Writing area
Reading corner
Interactive whiteboard

KittyandTeal Sat 22-Nov-14 17:12:41

Gosh, that's really not a lot!! Especially for reception.

I do ppa once a week in reception. Amongst other things we have:

Train set
Building block
Puzzles and games
Fairy treehouse/small world play
Role play area
Writing area with access to lots of paper, pens etc
Play dough
Dressing up stuff
2 computers
CD player with multiple headphone points to listen to stories
Cuddly toys with doc kit
Tonnes and tonnes of books both reading scheme and 'normal' story books

Outside we have:

Building blocks
Big tyres to climb in/on
Musical instruments
Plants to look after
Various boats and ducks etc for water play

There's loads more too.

Plus we have an interactive whiteboard. You really need one fitted, however big or small the class is.

Outside play is a requirement for eyfs.

Be prepared for lots of photos, sticking photos into learning story books with annotations.

Oakmaiden Sat 22-Nov-14 19:01:00

Thank you so much for all the helpful ideas. My head is buzzing with all the things I want to do! One of your posts reminded me of my son's reception class, which had a "Mud Pie" area. I wonder if they would let me...

ChippingInAutumnLover Sat 22-Nov-14 19:05:04

CoNgRaTuLaTiOnS flowers wine

So - as a bare minimum, what do I need in my classroom to make it operable for a small class of reception children? Any ideas?

Some children

Everything else is a bonus and if you keep that in mind, you'll stop worrying smile

It sounds like a brilliant opportunity and such a small class, it sounds really, really fabulous!! smile

(Oh - forgiveness is easier to obtain than permission!! wink)

Momzilla82 Sat 22-Nov-14 19:08:20

I'm not a teacher but a reception parent and have been looking at ideas to bring home to our playroom.

All the ideas on here are fab (especially dough gym)
There are some pretty insane mud kitchens on here too!!

Good luck. It's a very important job you're doing and how wonderful to have such a small class.

toomuchicecream Sun 23-Nov-14 12:13:04

What sort of budget will you have? You need some attractive books to put in your quiet corner for the children to sit and read, and some bean bags/cushions for the children to sit on when they're looking at them

Numicon is a must for me - a set of tiles, base boards and overlays won't be too expensive to get you started.

Think about having a theme per week or fortnight ie a book or event, and then dressing your role play area to match.

And make sure you know what assessments you need to do at the end of the year so you can be collecting evidence in their early learning journals as you go along so you don't get a nasty shock in the summer!!

There's sooo much you could do here, but you'll have to be very proactive to go out and hunt for ideas - I say this as a year 6 teacher who ended up teaching a mixed year 1/2 class in a small school where there is no one else to ask what I should be doing/where I've gone wrong.

Oakmaiden Sun 23-Nov-14 15:51:59

I don't know about budget - very small I suspect. It is not a wealthy school. I think it will mostly be a matter of what I can beg or borrow, with only absolute essentials being purchased. I am just trying to work out what those essentials might be!

I think I am getting there in my head... Hopefully I will be able to pop in tomorrow and have a word with the head about resources...

Oakmaiden Sun 23-Nov-14 15:53:25

And everyone who has made comments - suggestions - thank you so much. I am so excited about this - I am really a very lucky girl! smile

Just want to make it all perfect smile

LittleRobots Sun 23-Nov-14 18:22:53

Can you visit/shadow an infant class nearby before the end of term perhaps? It might give you some ideas and see the children interacting with them. I also gained some fab policies/term plans when I shadowed as they were happy to share...

Oakmaiden Sun 23-Nov-14 19:43:43

Little Robots - yes, that is a good idea. I have a couple of schools I know would be happy to let me visit.

lilyloo Sun 23-Nov-14 19:56:05

I would look at meeting the areas of continuous provision to start with. So sand , water , craft / messy area , maths and writing area , technology of some description , reading area and construction / role play area.
Maybe a nice carpet area for registration etc.
Your outdoors really does need to be accessible often so if it's grassed wellies and waterproof. Add a few crates , logs for den building. If there's a muddy patch some pans and spoons to create a mud kitchen.
I work in reception so if I can help pm me.
Good luck and congratulations.

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