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Focus group in lessons

Discussion in 'Primary' started by sara2323, Mar 13, 2012.

  1. sara2323

    sara2323 New commenter

    I teach year 2, recenly I had an observation where I didn't really have a focus group, I started with top group made sure they had undertood task on carpet and got them working and then moved around to check all the children understood task and not struggling. The head's feedback included the need to have a focus group each lesson and work with this group to teach/extend. My TA has a focus group (different group every day) but I tend to float around!
    Just wondered if others have a focussed group in every lesson and how you extend this groups learning.
     
  2. sara2323

    sara2323 New commenter

    I teach year 2, recenly I had an observation where I didn't really have a focus group, I started with top group made sure they had undertood task on carpet and got them working and then moved around to check all the children understood task and not struggling. The head's feedback included the need to have a focus group each lesson and work with this group to teach/extend. My TA has a focus group (different group every day) but I tend to float around!
    Just wondered if others have a focussed group in every lesson and how you extend this groups learning.
     
  3. From reading this, wouldn't it strike you that you would be more useful with a focus group and have the TA to wander?
    I'm Year 1 but have a focus group every lesson, my TA also has, remaining group (about 7 pupils) always have practical activities (nothing recorded in books but must have something to show in plenary). In Literacy it may be further teaching, target teaching (what's the problem with that particular group), modelled writing, extending a group by carrying on the learning, keeping a group on the carpet to conitnue/consolidate learning etc.
     
  4. coffeecakes

    coffeecakes New commenter

    I have a guided group every lesson too and if I have a TA in the lesson she has a group too. Like previous poster I use it for further modelling that is more specific to their ability level or tackling certain objectives that are appropriate for this group but not necessarily the whole class. I rotate the groups so each group works with me and TA once a week.
     
  5. chocolateworshipper

    chocolateworshipper Occasional commenter

    Hi there. I am a TA, and just thought I'd let you know that in most lessons both myself and the teacher have a focus group each. If she is being observed, she always has a focus group - and normally asks me to "float". It does sometimes cause a problem if we both have a focus group, as there are often several children who are not in a focus group who need some support. May be worth asking other teachers / your HoY what they do in an observation?
     
  6. s1oux

    s1oux New commenter

    No, I can't see anything wrong with floating - as long as you're still teaching / supporting etc. I would only criticise a teacher for not having a group if the class were working independently and the teacher was just walking round looking over their shoulders. I'm sure you weren't doing this.
     
  7. sara2323

    sara2323 New commenter

    Thanks I'm an NQT and have struggled with this-I worry if the other groups are really getting on with their task (watched a few lessons where chn chatting/off task ). My teaching assistant prefers to work with one group and as she's only part-time I never really get a chance to explain activities in detail or get detailed fedback from her, this is why I tend to let her work with one group and she can give me brief feedback as she rushes off.
    But I like the ideas especially using practical acitivites they can get on with themselves. I have kept the high attainers on carpet to extend and low to simplify but wasn't sure what to do with medium as the lesson generally at right level for them.
     
  8. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    I don't normally have a TA so I work with all the class every lesson.On the occasions I have support in the class we both work with all the class.
     
  9. lardylegs

    lardylegs Occasional commenter

    I hate guided groups with a vengeance and avoid them whenever I can. My TA usually sits with the weakest children while I float about helping the stuck ones and keeping them all on task.
     
  10. We have to have a focused group every session as well as our TA, but an outstanding teacher needs to move around all the group to ensure they make good or better progress. I would start your guided group off and tell them what you expect of them before you get back to their table, high expectations!!
     
  11. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    We have short guided group work meaning all children work with an adult for some of the lesson and the independent groups don't have long enough on their own to go off task.

    I have a group for guided/shared work, as does my TA. Two other groups are doing practical work which may or may not be linked to the lesson itself. We swap half way. This works for literacy and maths. Groups rotate so that all children work with me and with the TA each day, either maths or literacy.

    But this is for standard run of the mill lessons, we often have lessons where there is no group work, or where we go outside, or where groups mix up, or where classes mix up, or, or , or.
    I thought one of the criteria for outstanding was that children could get on and learn independently, without prompting from an adult?
     
  12. We have to have a teacher-led focus group, and I usually assign a group to my TA too. I tend to start my group off, then give them a task that will take a couple of minutes while I whizz round and check if everyone is OK, before heading back to my group. I might repeat this a couple of times throughout the lesson. This was referred to very positively in a recent obs.
    A next step for me, though, is making sure that my TA is actually doing what I asked her to do with her group, rather than doing what she thinks she'd like to do ......
     
  13. I often set the task, put 5 minute timer on table - that usually keeps them focused until I'm back!
     
  14. My next step too!!!!!
     
  15. Firerose

    Firerose New commenter

    And me, especially when one of them turns up 1 mins before the session starts!
    I have guided groups every day with lots of modelling for about 10 minutes then I leave them with a timer and go around the independent groups. An APP sheet is completed, adapted slightly for guided groups and we highlight and fill that in.
     
  16. With the focus groups, are the children in ability groups which don't change or do they change daily based on the work you've done, so the children that don't quite understand something are the ones you work with? For example, after an extended write, would those children that haven't used a range of openers,say, practise that skill with you? So, you may work with some children more than once a week until they grasp a particular concept?
     
  17. Yes, my focus groups in literacy and numeracy are my "target groups" (dictated by tracking info) plus or minus a few children, depending on who needs what.
    This is what happens, but I still have to show on my planning that I have worked with every group throughout the week, so it's a case of trying (again!) to fit it all in.
     

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