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Help - new child working significantly below the rest of the class.

Discussion in 'Primary' started by salofi, Jan 23, 2011.

  1. I have a new child in my class who started last week. He has been in and out of school (mostly out!) but traveller services have set up transport to ensure he attends regularly. He is a really lovely boy - very polite and appreciative of any help he recieves - but I am struggling to find work for him.
    I have a Year 6 class whose abilities range from 2a - 6c. My new boy can do basic addition and subtraction, read some (about 15) of the first 100 HF words and can write his name. I have tried to encourage him to 'write' about himself but he refuses to make any marks on paper unless he copies something.
    I just don't know what to do for him - I can give him some TA time but I have eight other children on IEPs who also require time and support. He has also joined us in the end of a writing unit and the next few days will be spent writing stories, editing them and then typing them up. He was able to join in with the drama aspects of the unit last week and has drawn a comic strip (well, he drew two unrelated pictures).
    We have shown him how to use stile tiles, this week we will show him how to use education city and he will have some 1-1 support out of the classroom when possible. Any other ideas would be great...

  2. slippeddisc

    slippeddisc New commenter

    ummm a tricky one because you don't want him to take all your time or all your TAs time.

    It sounds like he needs lots of phonics work if he can't read many of the HFW. Could one of your sensible children do 10-15 minutes a day working their way through letters and sounds together. The child acting as 'teacher' would need a simple child friendly plan so they know what to do but I found this worked well for me in the past. Then maybe once a week your TA could do a short follow up phonics session to see if this is working. It's no wonder he is refusing to write if he can only read 15 of the HFW. He probably doesn't have the phonic knowledge to even begin to know how to write a word he doesn't know how to spell. Are the parents on board at all? Could you send some simple HFW spellings home?

    Could a different child listen to him read daily. Again I found this worked for me in the past. I could hear the teaching child reminding them how to read a tricky word! The constant repetition of books led to them recognising common words.

    There is no point introducing loads of new things until he is secure on things he sort of knows. Keep things simple even if he has to do different work to the others. Also ask your SENCO for advice.
  3. Thank you so much - I love the idea of using a child to support him in terms of his reading. I have done something similar with EFL children but hadn't even thought about it for him! What a great idea.
    Getting parental support might be hard - I would doubt that they can read... He has happily taken a list of HFW home at the weekend so we'll see what happens with those.
  4. slippeddisc

    slippeddisc New commenter

    Yeah it was with EAL pupils I used peer support for too. You could ask your KS1 colleagues for advice too as he sounds like he's at their level.
  5. I would forget all about the HFWs unless they are the decodable ones (which most of them are!) and concentrate on the systematic phonics; letter/sound correspondences, decoding and blending for reading, segmenting for spelling and lots of practice of both reading and spelling with the correspondences he is learning. Beg borrow or steal some decodable books from EY for him to practice with. He probably won't mind at all that they are not at his 'level', he'll just be amazed at being able to read them!
    HFWs are usless unless you can read the words which they 'accompany', so avoid a complex and unnecessary learning task.
  6. Don't fall in to the trap of palming him off to your TA full time, not saying you would but seen it so many times. Your lessons will have to be differentiated to an even greater extent. Make sure you have the HFW words on display in the room for him (and others if needs be) to refer to. He will need (and deserves) some of your time each week, even if it is 1:1 some times and he also needs to be get into the habit of working independently, with an appropriately differentiated activity which reinforces your teaching.
    I would be very wary of using other children to read with him on a daily basis - children can be cruel.
    Seek the advice of your SENCo and ask about the possibility of finding some spare time for him to be read with daily with an adult. Your SENCo should be looking to re-deploy the LSA times in order to meet his needs but this may not happen instantly. Are there volunteers who could hear him read during the week?
    Good luck.
  7. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    If he needs to copy then let him do so. He can copy work from other children in extended writing tasks. this will familiarise him with the skills needed to longer writing tasks, the way letters are formed, letter strings, etc, etc. Just explain it in a kind way tot he others.

    Be a bit careful of using children as TAs. They must not miss out on their own learning in order to help him read/write/socialise. I'd be furious if my child was not doing their lessons in order to hear another child read.
  8. Spot on, totally agree.

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