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Focus for an additional TA

Discussion in 'Early Years' started by hyssop_puppy, Aug 24, 2011.

  1. A good problem to have I know, but I have an additional TA working in Reception in September.
    We have two classes of 30 children with two teachers and two TA's, one in each class. There is also another TA, well that's to say two part-time TA's, one in the morning, one in the afternoon.
    My plan is to use these additional TA hours to support small group work, especially with phonics and Maths, to support 'zoning' (an idea I'm still trying to make work effectively), to support sustained shared thinking, facilitating child initiated learning and then to support the one hundred and one other things that go on!
    I should say that we do not run as a Recption unit, partly geography of our rooms, partly a reluctant colleague, and I think this is one of the reasons zoning is not working well.
    I would be very interested to hear how others use any additional staffing. I would also be keen to hear anyone else's views/ideas on zoning.
  2. I haven't heard of zoning before what is it? With additional adults when we plan everyone decides what activities we would like to cover during the week and where we would like to be. It is a shame that you don't work as a team you must have to double up on play areas/resources etc. what about cooking?
  3. Zoning is what I've called it but it might have a proper name I don't know about.
    We have two classrooms only accessible to each other via the out door area. One classroom is designated the Creative Development room and the other the Science and Investigation room (loosely speaking). One reason why we did this was to maximise the resources we have and simplify the planning for each room. On our weekly plans we identify a 'science' focus and a 'creative' focus.
    The main problem we have with it is that children do not all 'flow' into the classroom that isn't theirs. Consequently my children were accessing more CD activities and the other class were accessing more of the investigation activities.
    My colleague, usually behind these new-fangled ideas, just isn't committed to working equally with all 60 children, doesn't like the idea of a period of enforced children swapping, as in "you're working next door this morning (and you can't swap back till dinnertime!)", doesn't believe there is ever a time when all children should be 'invited' to do an activity, except maybe reading and phonics.
    I've got other ideas about how we can improve children's access to the different zones, but again she is not keen, for example, small groups going to work with the additional TA in the other classroom, possibly on the science/creative task, or PSRN/CLL activities. I also like the idea of one of us planning and delivering whole class phonics sessions toboth classes, the other the same for PSRN and then swapping each half term. Small group/individual needs could also be met by one person planning for it. Grouping children from both classes with similar needs, particularly later on in the year would then be possible, maximising deployment of staff.
    I've now got on my soap-box for convincing my colleague that we should trial this at least. I don't really need to persuade anyone else!!
    We do do our planning together, although not with TA's. We do it after school when they're not there. I'm not keen on this, but I am reluctant to enforce a dinnertime meeting (can't enforce anyway) especially when I took playtimes away and staff don't get to sit in the staffroom having a coffee (insulated mugs in the classroom instead!) until dinnertime.
    My word, I really have gone on. Sorry! Any comments would be welcome on any of this stuff.

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