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Literacy TA's

Discussion in 'Primary' started by School Boy Error, Jul 16, 2012.

  1. School Boy Error

    School Boy Error Occasional commenter

    I'll be getting a TA for my Literacy set from September for the first time. I have an average set with around 25 children (Year 5). I want to make sure I use my TA effecitively but having never had one before wanted to see how others used theirs.....
  2. School Boy Error

    School Boy Error Occasional commenter

    I'll be getting a TA for my Literacy set from September for the first time. I have an average set with around 25 children (Year 5). I want to make sure I use my TA effecitively but having never had one before wanted to see how others used theirs.....
  3. hi, I'm a HLTA and when not covering, I am used for interventions, or booster/target groups.
  4. Vanadesse

    Vanadesse New commenter

    I make sure I plan for my TA throughout the whole lesson. So during the main teaching part, I have in my mind, and on paper if possible, what I want my TA to do - this is usually sitting with particular children, encouraging them, supporting them etc. Then after during activities, I'll get them to work with a particular group - sometimes this is LA, sometimes MA, sometimes HA. I try to make sure everyone gets the TA and me at different times rather than particular groups never getting input and others relying too much on the support. I try to make sure my TA is aware of what's going on that day/week so we have a chat on Friday afternoon/Monday morning and then quick updates each morning about any changes as well as at the end of the day about anything she needs to feedback to me about how her group worked.
  5. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    I have a sheet I fill in with what I want her to do in each part of the lesson and with whom.

    Then she fills in the bottom part with how the children got on with the work.

    Lots of extra work in a way, but definitely worth it.
  6. School Boy Error

    School Boy Error Occasional commenter

    Thanks for the replies! Certainly some food for thought.
  7. Vanadesse

    Vanadesse New commenter

    I like the idea of a specific TA sheet, good for getting feedback. I might start doing that, thanks minnieminx.
  8. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    Definitely worth it if you have TAs working with groups and wouldn't otherwise know how they got on. Does take some training to ensure they don't just write 'worked well today'.
  9. Hopefully an experienced TA will know how to give useful feedback. I support groups of all abilities. We use a mixture of guided, group, paired and independent writing and I give feedback both verbally and in note form on the lesson plan. It is a good idea to ask your TA to note in the margin if verbal support has been given, so you can take this into account when marking work. I also put an I for independent in the margin, if a pupil has produced work without any support. It will depend on how experienced your TA is.
  10. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    I would be really concerned if I got feedback from my TA that said the child had had no support at all. What the heck was the point in the TA being with that group if they didn't get support?

    Relying on verbal feedback is fine if there is time...My TA often fills in her bit of the sheet during the plenary. That seems to be the part of the lesson where I need her least and she doesn't get paid for breaks, so I'd never ask her to do anything then.
  11. modgepodge

    modgepodge Established commenter

    Sometimes I ask my TA to support a group who are all doing an individual Maths task. It may well be that one or two kids in the group don't actually need her support. If they can do the task independently then great, and I'd rather know that have the TA support them just for the sake of it. There's bound to have been other kids in the group who needed the support more so she would have focused on them more.
  12. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    So do you have your TA sit with a group and support them if asked, rather than leading the group?
  13. Sometimes when working with a group of pupils you may spend more time with some pupils than others. The class teacher finds it helpful to know if they have produced a few sentences or a paragraph independently. Sometimes as a TA it is ok to step back and give the children some independence. Obviously if they need support they get it. I don't see any benefit to spoon feeding children. I have seen pupils become far too dependent on adult support, this is not helpful in the long term. It is a question of balance. I am a TA this is how I am generally deployed during literacy lessons.
  14. Vanadesse

    Vanadesse New commenter

    This. In two of my placement schools I saw that FAR too much. The TA was always with the LA/SEN group and she was a fantastic TA and did try to get them to do things themselves but they had got used to being spoon fed and so would do very little independently. It meant that if there were times where it was just me in the classroom (I know, as a trainee it shouldn't happen but it did on the odd occasion, usually not for a whole lesson) then I would have to work with the LA group because they wouldn't do anything by themselves, which isn't fair to the rest of the class who deserve input from the TA and teacher as well.

    In the end I actually swapped us round a fair bit and put myself with that group for a week or so and put the TA sometimes with the MA and sometimes with HA. The group were completely shocked, they were so used to having Mrs X and then when it came to work, kept asking me what to do, what to write etc. so instead of explaining or modelling to them, which I have no problems with when needed, I got them to show me, explain to me. It took a lot of probing to get anything from them and yes, their work wasn't quite as good as it would have been if we'd come up with sentences as a group and written them on the board for them to copy but their work was their own and they learned to become far more independent. I have no problems with a TA supporting and guiding a group but think that they do need to be encouraged to be independent rather than relying on adult support.
  15. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    Goodness definitely agree...doesn't it go without saying that the TA should not be with the LA any more than with any other group?

    I can't stand hearing teachers say 'oh but what can I give the least able to do, they can't do..... they are only level 1a/2c really' Well Duh! What do you think happens in year 1 and 2 when EVERYONE is at that level?

    Give them tasks they can do at an appropriate level of challenge and leave them to it. The same as for any other group of children in the class!

    Sorry massive soapbox of mine...

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