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How do you use TA's in starters and plenaries?

Discussion in 'Primary' started by Lilybett, Mar 5, 2012.

  1. You sound awesome!
  2. I agree!
  3. Any teachers able to share their opinions? x
  4. I agree, the HLTA above sounds fantastic! That is what i'd expect from a TA in an ideal world.
    In reality mine is either changing independant reading books just to fit it into the day somehow, or often sitting listening to my input (She's quite inexperienced and takes a lot of prompting to use her own initiative at the moment). That's not what i'd do in an ideal world though obviously!
  5. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    I plan for my TAs for maths and English, not that I have them at any other time. So they do what I plan really.

    My TA tends to do all the admin type work in starters. So laminating, cutting out, making displays, filing, etc. This is just 5-10 mins at the start of each maths and English lesson, so I do do most of these jobs myself.

    In the input she sits with whichever group of children I've asked her to and does whatever I've asked her to do. It could be repeating questions to ensure they understand. It could be suggesting ways to get started with answering. It could be adding to my explanations to extend their understanding. Whatever I've put on her plan.

    My 1:1 TA works with her child at this time, and occasionally one other. If she didn't keep him on track and continually prompt him to focus he wouldn't take any notice of the lesson at all and would be in his own world entirely. Her jobs is really to ensure he accesses the lesson.

    In the main part my class TA has a focus group in the same way I do. My 1:1 TA works with her child as part of a small group.

    In plenaries again whatever I've planned. My 1:1 TA will prompt her child to feedback if that is appropriate, or focus him on listening as in the starter. She will also write me a few notes as to what he achieved in the lesson if he wasn't part of my focus group. My class TA will fill in feedback sheets for her focus groups, add to the plenary (scribing/questioning/whatever), photocopy work on whiteboards if needed. Whatever is appropriate really.

    Hope this helps.
  6. My TA is fantastic - she follows my plans but she uses her initiative also (especially useful during random learning walks!!)
    I usually plan for her to work with a couple of SEN children during the input, she supports them when the other children are talking with partners etc by using questioning to make sure they are focusing on the learning and understand what is expected of them.
    When we have had discussions or brain storming sessions and the children are feeding back their ideas to the rest of the group she usually writes up their ideas on the board to scaffold independent writing for the session.... Plus, she has much nicer handwriting than me anyway :)
    Sometimes I plan for her to take the highest ability children out of the room and carry out a similar input but with more differentiated questioning etc to really push and challenge them. I then stay in the classroom and work with the rest of the class. Equally, this is sometimes reveresed and she takes out the lowest ability children for a differentiated input to their level and again I keep the rest of the class.
    These examples have been highlighed as good practice in observations and learning walks so must be ok.
    I only have my TA for literacy, where I have the lower ability group, (we are a 2 form entry school so children are streamed for literacy and maths.) Am afraid I don't have her for maths so can't help you with specific examples although I would try to use TA support in a similar way.
    Hope that helps...sorry if it is a bit rambly!
  7. I've previously had my TA sitting by specific children on the carpet to support them during the starter and plenary but have been criticised for this and told that it is better use of the TA to have her with a group at this time. I try now to have her with a group for Maths - doing a mental and oral starter that is appropriate to that groups' needs. Sometimes in English they all need to be on the carpet - e.g. if introducing a book I have one copy of, but I sometimes have a group having their input with my TA (who is fantastic so I can trust her with this).

    Does anybody else have their TA lead the input for a lesson for a group or do you always have all children together?
  8. Luke88

    Luke88 New commenter

    This sounds awesome and is how I use my TAs in my starters to my lessons, especially for maths and english lessons. I have 2 LSAs that sit with 3 children and work with them on the work that their peers are doing, so that they cna be supported and given hlep to stop them getting stressed and upset that they cant do something. My other TA(s) sits with a couple of children who either can't concentrate properly without an adult next to them or children who are struggling. She is also able to see which children need supporting and able to make assessment notes for me based ontheir contributions and abilities.
    Things like photocopying and displays get done after school or in the holidays by myself as I always use my TAs (most of the time) for supporting the children.

  9. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    Sometimes, but not always or even often. I prefer them all together to be honest, then they spark off each other. But sometimes she takes a group for something similar, but not the same.

    Sometimes we team teach as well, forgot that earlier.

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