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Losing my TA :'-(

Discussion in 'Primary' started by lillipad, Jan 4, 2011.

  1. lillipad

    lillipad New commenter

    So found out today i've lost my TA. She has been sent elsewhere. I am very sad about this but accept it as the need is greater elsewhere.

    Am just wondering if anyone has any tips for managing a class totally on your own. What do you do with that LA table who the second you turn your back they start messing about? How do you cope and still manage to make the class make progress?! Any tips, or ideas, or thoughts welcome. Help me cope! lol . Thanks.
     
  2. lillipad

    lillipad New commenter

    So found out today i've lost my TA. She has been sent elsewhere. I am very sad about this but accept it as the need is greater elsewhere.

    Am just wondering if anyone has any tips for managing a class totally on your own. What do you do with that LA table who the second you turn your back they start messing about? How do you cope and still manage to make the class make progress?! Any tips, or ideas, or thoughts welcome. Help me cope! lol . Thanks.
     
  3. Which year are you?
     
  4. Split the LA table up so they're not all sat together? I have a 'working table' where the children who are working with me that day sit and the rest have their places and are mixed ability. This is because my class is such a nightmare I've got them sad 'good - bad - good - bad' etc. to break up behaviour problems.
     
  5. lillipad

    lillipad New commenter

    I'm year 3.


    How do you do this? I always felt that chn of the same ability should be sitting together to support each other. I can see why you do it. How does it work? Do you have one table for you and your group of the day? Does this change through out the day according to lesson?
     
  6. oldsomeman

    oldsomeman Star commenter

    I dont have a regular TA..just one day a week ...and i have to manage an unruly class.....one way might be to make sure they are engaged in work appropriate to thier level...and to make them realise you watch them...for example if your on anothe table sit so you can watch them...and make comments bothsupportive and if needed, rebuke.
    Mine will be very lazy and unless you almost tell them what to do will moan they dont understand..even though you have jus done that.......so i keep them in at playtime and they soon start to learn to listen! Unfortunately there are always exceptions to the rule!
     
  7. The children are all sat in mixed ability - but generally 'close' so a bottom child might be next to a middle/low child and a top child next to a middle/high child but my main criteria is sitting children next to each other who either encourage better behaviour or at least don't chat / squabble when they're near each other. Then when it comes to a maths / literacy lesson where I want a group to work with me I say 'I'm working with orange group who will be sat here, if you're sat here and you're not orange you need to go and sit in a 'spare' seat.' Then the orange children come over to me and those who aren't orange go and fill one of the newly vacated seats. I make sure I sit so that I can still see the whole class. They know that they're not allowed to disturb our group or me. If they get 'stuck' they ask someone near them / skip the question / get a resource etc to help them. It takes training but it enables me to work with a different group each day and they know they will get my focussed attention when it's 'their' turn. At the end of every lesson every child writes a note for me in their book (I did this with year 3s right up to years 6s) letting me know how they got on. I make sure to quickly read these notes so that if there is any problem I can address it in my main teaching, individually or when they work in my group.
     
  8. lillipad

    lillipad New commenter

    Once when I was observed by my old head teacher, he told me that I shouldn't make myself unavailable to children and should be scanning the room and helping those in need. This interfered with my focused 'group' work and this year i've tended to start a group off, and then float around, and then return to my group.

    My real concern is that if I block myself off this way, then a lot of the capable children in my class will slack off and see it as an opportunity to sit back.

    I'm so anxious about this!!
     
  9. The problem with making yourself available to all children is that you get sidetracked by the same 5 or so children every lesson and the majority get no attention at all and this ends up with the top children not achieving as high as they could and the quiet children slipping behind etc. The children should learn to be independent in their learning and if they know that they have your attention every time they get stuck then they don't develop skills to help themselves and overcome difficulties. Our LA advisers told me that if you don't let the children thrash a bit then they'll never learn to swim.
    The children know that I check through their books and I have an expectation every lesson of how much work they should do - if they do less then they miss their break. For example - if they're writing I expect a decent paragraph, if they're having a discussion I might want two group members to present something to the group, It takes a bit of training but once they realise you WILL check what they've done and you WILL make them do more/better you'll find they don't slack off. It takes about three weeks to train them properly. I always discuss with them what I'm doing and why and they all 'get' that everyone deserves attention not just those who constantly ask for it.
     
  10. lillipad

    lillipad New commenter

    You make a very fair point. So now a new question - at what point do you check how much work they've done? I often find suddenly it's the end of the lesson, books are in the middle of the table and they're off! Or it's plenary and straight out. I don't get a chance to go around the room and read each one?
     
  11. If I don't have time before the lesson ends, which I generally don't, I do it when I mark/have a quick look at the books. So the 'reward' for not doing enough isn't always instant - but it always happens. I try to do it before the next lesson. It doesnt take long of being quite harsh before they twig. I also reward 'good' work/independent skills - e.g. "Sarah worked really well in that session, I can see she got stuck but she used a resource to help her and did well (she might have written something like that in her note) she gets a team point." "Daniel added some really good words to describe X in his writing" "Callum did the most questions right in his group" "Billy checked his own work and corrected a few mistakes" "Sue, thanks for your note, I can see you got stuck and because you were specific about what you found heard we can go through that together in our next group session, thank you,"etc. That way they're getting 'good' independent learning modelled to them through comments I make.
     
  12. Sillow

    Sillow Senior commenter

    Do it at the end of the lesson; it won't take long for them to realise that you check their work and they will have to stay in at lunch/break the following day to make up the work.
    I like the idea of having the children write an actual comment at the end of the lesson. My class currently use a P/T box, but only for Maths. Mine are also sat "good", "bad" while I work with a group and I have found it dramatically reduces the amount of time they talk/squabble/generally distract each other during lessons.
     
  13. Sillow

    Sillow Senior commenter

    Beestoni, I also like the idea of mentioning and praising those children who obviously engaged in their learning. There are some things here I need to try - I must remember them tomorrow!
     
  14. What's a p/t box?
     

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