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Experienced yr 6 teacher advice sought re teacher input for low ability maths group

Discussion in 'Primary' started by Trapin1, Feb 13, 2011.

  1. Trapin1

    Trapin1 New commenter

    I'm an NQT with a year 5/6 class and, as you would expect, their abilities vary. I can live with that and differentiate appropriately. However, I have a couple of children (yr5 and 6) who are working way below level, probably at early year 3 in maths. I do have an excellent TA and ensure that she and I mainly support the LA and MA children, but feel that my teaching input is wasted on this small group who really need to go back and focus on basic number skils. Should I ask my TA to 'teach' them separately whilst I deliver my input to the rest of the class? She is a level 3 TA and, although fantastically knowledgeable and capable, sometimes likes to stick rigidly to what her role entails and I'm not sure that includes direct teaching. I'd be grateful for any advice on how others tackle this problem.
  2. You could ask her to do some reinforcement/consolidation work while you teach and extend the middle and high ability then have them as a guided group teaching them at their level a couple of times a week while the others are learning independently from your teaching. Although it would be helpful to have her teach them, they need to be taught by the teacher and should be able to access some of your class input some of the time as long as you have good questioning and opportunities to talk through thinking/responses etc. Hope this helps.
  3. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    Sometimes the direct teaching is not totally relevant to the most or least able groups, that is life in a mixed ability classroom. Frustrating, but normal. Throw in odd questions that everyone can answer to keep them listening, challenge the more able with super hard questions as well. It is a balancing act.

    I give the least able children a task that is linked in terms of content to what everyone else is doing, but at a lower level. I also give them more practical tasks to do to develop their understanding. Work with them sometimes, but allow them to develop independent learning skills by working alone sometimes as well.

    The least able only need to focus on number skills when everyone else in the class is doing so. They are not exempt from the NC and so need to be taught all topic areas. Also sometimes they get to shine in lessons where number skills are not needed and that is a hugely valuable experience for them.

    And no, much as it is tempting, you cannot hand them over to the TA to teach every lesson. :)
  4. Trapin1

    Trapin1 New commenter

    Thanks ChrisTuff and Miniminx, both your replies and suggestions have given me food for thought.

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