The principles underpinning the role of the practitioner working with children

During placement I worked as part of a team, during the morning before the children arrived, during dinner time and at the end of the day. During the morning I helped the other staff set up the different areas. The area I set up was the messy area and the water area. We decided who was going to set up which areas and what to put in each area. I set up the water area with the help a teaching assistant; I poured water into the water tray whilst the teaching assistant got the washing up liquid to pour into the water and a couple of whisks. The aim of this task was that the children could make bubbles using the whisk or using their hands, they could then feel the texture of the bubbles.

During Dinner time we all worked as part of a team as we had to decide who put the plates out, who prepared the meal, who washes up, and who sits with the children. I negotiated with the other staff members and decided that I would prepare the food, wash up my area and watch the children. When I prepared the snack, I had the guidance of the nursery nurse as it was my first time. Once the snack was prepared the nursery nurse took the plates out as I put all the equipment I used in the sink. Once the snack was put out I sat and watched the children whilst the teaching assistant asked the children to come for snack when it was their turn. Once all the children had finished the snack the room leader brought all the plates back into the kitchen, so I could wash them, whist she dried them and the nursery nurse put them away.

At the end of the day we chose who was cleaning which areas with the help of the children. I was asked to clean the water area and sand pit area. I ensured that the children cleaned each of the two areas to the best of their abilities. Once the children sat back down on the carpet, with the help of the teaching assistant I poured the water from the water tray back into the sink. Then I swept the sand pit areas and put it in the bin as it had dirt in it.

My supervisor asked me to do guided reading with the children during group time, as one of the practitioners were ill, I was also asked to plan and prepare snack time, and I was also asked if I could take the children out for outdoor play.

During guided reading we sat in the reading area and the children each picked a book that they wanted me to read to them. The first book I read to the children was called ‘Goldilocks and the three bears’ the children enjoyed this classic book as it was fun to read and had lots of pictures that the children enjoyed looking at.

I was also asked to plan and prepare snack time. I planned for snack time for the children to have vegetable pizza, low fat yogurt, oranges and bananas. I prepared the snack by putting the pizza in the oven to cook whilst I put the oranges in a bowl; I left the orange peel on, so that the children can learn to peel them, themselves, I then peeled the bananas and chopped them in half and put them in a bowl. I then checked the pizza, once they pizza was cooked. I chopped the pizza into small triangles and gave the food to them.

I was asked to take the children out for outdoor play; I asked the children if they wanted to go outdoors the children that did put their coats and wellington boots on as it was snowing. They then lined up at the door to go outside.

I carried these tasks out responsibly by ensuring I knew the procedures for cooking the pizza, using the oven and giving out snack. I had to ensure that the children were dressed appropriately for the weather before they could go out. I carried out guided reading responsibly because I was given a lot of responsibility to take the children for group time and I had to ensure that the children were listening and showing interest.

I reported back to my supervisor how well it went when I took the children for group time and how the children reacted. I told the practitioner that the children were well behaved and listened to the story with interest. A few of the children tried to talk over me a couple of times but soon settled down. The practitioner gave me her view of the situation and gave me constructive feedback. We came to an understanding of what I should do to improve next time.

I then decided to write an action plan so that in the future I can aim to improve my performance. I provided feedback to the practitioner as I thought the children showed a large interest in a book I read to them called goldilocks and the three bears. I thought that it would be an exciting and fun theme for the children. I provided feedback to a practitioner when I planned and prepared snack. The preparation went good and the children enjoyed what was given to them.

If I was to read a book to the children I could use puppets to make the story more fun instead of just reading the book. I could also ask some of the children to say some of the lines as this would get the children involved and they will be more interested in the story. I could also use facial expressions and hand gestures so the children may feel a sense of excitement or feel when a character in the story is angry or sad.

During the planning and preparing snack I could get the children involved with preparing snack as I could give the children a choice in what snack they want and also whilst preparing snack I could give them a plastic knife and they can cut their own bananas or they can help baking buns.

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