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I'm a probationary teacher looking for some advice/tips please

Discussion in 'Scotland - Primary' started by madtrombone, Oct 28, 2015.

  1. madtrombone

    madtrombone New commenter

    Hi I'm a probationary teacher looking for some advice/tips please.

    I have a Primary 1-3 class with 10 children. My primary 1s are progressing through phonics steadily and I am feel fairly confident following Jolly phonics.

    However, my P2 and 3s are struggling especially when it comes to reading and writing. I have been finding my reading lessons tricky as I would usually have given pupils a comprehension activity to complete while I was listening to reading groups but they are unable to complete such activities as they are not able to read text. They are so needy and I am not sure what to give the other pupils to develop comprehension/reading skills when I am listening to individuals read.

    My question is what would advice would you have for this situation.
  2. sir2006

    sir2006 New commenter

    The first thing that came into my mind was do you have PSA support during these lessons? If so, I'd be making good use of them to work with the group you are not direct teaching.

    If your P2/3 group is struggling to the extent that they can't really read much, if any of the text independently, then perhaps you need to consider the level of the reading book they are currently on. Yes, you want them to be challenged but not to the extent that they can't read any of the text. Take them back to a book/level they can read and go from there.
  3. madtrombone

    madtrombone New commenter

    I have help who takes my P1s to do their phonics so that I can get time to listen to the reading etc. Each child is on a different book suited to their ability. I have them on ORT books that they are able to Read to me but they are finding the questions tricky (which I have gone over and spoken about the answer to each question) so they are constantly out to speak to me about it. I don't know if it's just laziness but I really want to build up their independence without being mean. I also give them a week to read their book at home before doing the comprehension activity so they have time to get to know the book. Might just need to be trial and error. It's one of the lessons I find tricky but not sure how to develop better to support the kids.
  4. sir2006

    sir2006 New commenter

    Hi again, is there any reason why your PSA couldn't sit with the group in question to offer the support the children are seeking from you. Without knowing your class it's obviously hard to say if the pupils in question are indeed being lazy but perhaps you could vary the activities they are doing independently. Perhaps you could have the group working on something more generic that they can do with greater independence such as capital letters/full stops, basic sentence up-leveling, unscrambling words to make sentences, matching words from their reading books with meanings etc. Something I have also done in the past is to quarter a page in their jotter and ask them to draw 4 pictures of things that have happened in the story, with a sentence for each one. You could also consider handwriting activities that are still worthwhile but crucially, give you the time you need to work with your P1 group.
  5. madtrombone

    madtrombone New commenter

    I hadn't thought about activities such as up levelling a sentence etc. I think this could help the pupils. Thank you. Deffinetly activities there I can think about!! Thank you for your help.
  6. sir2006

    sir2006 New commenter

    No problem - does your school use VCOP in writing?
  7. madtrombone

    madtrombone New commenter

    Yes but to be honest I've not got into it yet. So overwhelmed with everything!
  8. sir2006

    sir2006 New commenter

    I can understand that. You could provide the group with a word bank and ask them to up-level sentences using some of the 'wow words' in front of them or give them sentences on a sheet which they can highlight ambitious vocabulary, punctuation etc. There's loads of relevant activities on-line. Try not to get too stressed - it will all come together for you I'm sure. Remember also that your mentor should be advising and supporting you on such matters so make sure you are asking, as you no doubt are. Also, you might want to ask if you can observe other practitioners during Language lessons as a means to improving your own practice.

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