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What does the rest of your class do at the start of a lesson when you are teaching a group? E.g maths/language

Discussion in 'Scotland - Primary' started by 2011starter, Aug 22, 2011.

  1. Hi All,

    I have just started my probationary year and am trying to muddle through my first couple of weeks with a P6 class. I could do with a bit of advice on how you timetable/structure your classes & days with regard to group work and teaching input. This probably sounds like a really daft question, but I just don't know how best to sort it!

    All of my placement schools (PGCE) taught one subject at the same time, all pupils would do maths at one time, language at one time etc, but in relevant groups for differentiation. However, my probationary school does not have timetables and instead works so that different groups in a class work on different areas of the curriculum at the same time, so one group may be doing maths, another language, another reading.

    Somehow the staff seem to structure their days so that 1 group may get teaching input, but the others do other subjects which don't require teaching input at that point. I just can't get my head around this way of working though, and the head teacher has agreed that I can timetable my classes so all groups do the same subject area at once in their groups as long as it doesn't jeopardise teaching input for them.

    However, I'm stuck on this - in my placement schools the pupils would try to tackle the work and the teacher took one group at a time for input, and just rotated round each day so that a different group would get teaching input at the start of a lesson first each day. This seemed to work ok in my mind, but the head doesn't think this is a good use of time.

    So - I guess I am looking to understand how other people do this for some ideas!

    - How do you timetable/structure your days & subject areas? Do all groups do the same subject at once?
    - If all groups do the same subjects at once, how do you plan your teaching input so they all get the input they need and aren't hanging around waiting for you?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Hi All,

    I have just started my probationary year and am trying to muddle through my first couple of weeks with a P6 class. I could do with a bit of advice on how you timetable/structure your classes & days with regard to group work and teaching input. This probably sounds like a really daft question, but I just don't know how best to sort it!

    All of my placement schools (PGCE) taught one subject at the same time, all pupils would do maths at one time, language at one time etc, but in relevant groups for differentiation. However, my probationary school does not have timetables and instead works so that different groups in a class work on different areas of the curriculum at the same time, so one group may be doing maths, another language, another reading.

    Somehow the staff seem to structure their days so that 1 group may get teaching input, but the others do other subjects which don't require teaching input at that point. I just can't get my head around this way of working though, and the head teacher has agreed that I can timetable my classes so all groups do the same subject area at once in their groups as long as it doesn't jeopardise teaching input for them.

    However, I'm stuck on this - in my placement schools the pupils would try to tackle the work and the teacher took one group at a time for input, and just rotated round each day so that a different group would get teaching input at the start of a lesson first each day. This seemed to work ok in my mind, but the head doesn't think this is a good use of time.

    So - I guess I am looking to understand how other people do this for some ideas!

    - How do you timetable/structure your days & subject areas? Do all groups do the same subject at once?
    - If all groups do the same subjects at once, how do you plan your teaching input so they all get the input they need and aren't hanging around waiting for you?

    Thanks!
     
  3. Flyonthewall75

    Flyonthewall75 New commenter

    So, the HT has agreed that you can organise your teaching in the same way you worked on your placements. How did you and the class teacher/s plan the teaching input so that the pupils got the input they required and were not hanging around waiting when you were on placement?
    That, of course, is the great challenge of primary teaching and it's not easy, especially when you are the one making the decisions without the class teacher on hand.
    So, don't panic, take a deep breath and make things as simple as possible, at least in the early stages.
    When you are group teaching, the rest of the class need to be able to get on with meaningful work without constantly interrupting you.
    So, here are some strategies. Teach a whole class lesson where the children have a number of differentiated, follow up activities to complete. Have a number of routine activities available which they can underake without direct input from yourself. Once you have topic work started, there will be other research etc they can pursue. In short, try to make them as independent as possible.
    Of course, if you are only used to organising one subject area at a time, this may prove more difficult which is perhaps why your HT wanted you to give yourself more flexibility with the subject areas the children are covering at any one time of the day.
    If it's any consolation, we once had two experienced secondary teachers who came to our school on a 'snow closure day' and they were together allocated Primary 3. Being used to teaching one class, one lesson at a time, they just couldn't manage the age group and range of work. They didn't return.
    Take it one step at a time and allow yourself to build up confidence.
    Good luck.
     
  4. Thank you!

    As you say, relevant independant work is key to making this work and balancing teaching input with children working alone on tasks they understand. I have tried to start this off with topic work today to settle into a more flexible way of working rather than completely subject based! I think that is a big one in making this work for me!

    Thanks for your suggestions!
     
  5. Hi,
    I have a composite P5/7 and yes we all do the same subject at one time or I'd totally lose the plot!
    Some examples of how I work it:
    Reading, hear one group and set task, set one group prep to come to me next ready to report, other group written work related to last lesson's reading to discuss with me at end of lesson.
    Maths: Input for whole class, send off less able goup to get started, extra input for more able set them off and check on first group.
    Topic: Mixed ability co-operative learning groups.
    Writing: Whole class task differentiated but support, materials and outcome.
    Hope that helps
     
  6. It can take a bit of time to start with to teach them different forms of independent work but once this initial input has been done (and that could be done as a whole class) then they can get on with an independent or small group task while you work with others. For reading I would recommend the Highland Literacy Project for lots of rich tasks for children to do while you listen to a group read. In maths I tend to give an introduction to the whole class then break them up into groups for differentiated activities and circulate among them giving additional input/support as needed.
     

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