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What things do you plan for your Teaching assistant to do during a lesson?

Discussion in 'Primary' started by looby21, May 31, 2011.

  1. Hi all,

    just wondering how to use teaching assistants more effectively. What things do you ask them to do during the introduction to a lesson? What interventions do you have?

    Any help will be greatly received.

    Thank you
     
  2. Hi all,

    just wondering how to use teaching assistants more effectively. What things do you ask them to do during the introduction to a lesson? What interventions do you have?

    Any help will be greatly received.

    Thank you
     
  3. During input TA could be sat with child continually reinforcing what you are saying/asking
     
  4. We're discouraged from having TAs sitting with the children during the introduction. We're told they should be doing something more useful but I always wonder why as I think that they should be reinforcing what we're talking about. My TA is also rather headstrong and doesn't tend to listen well when I'm outlining what we're doing (even though I speak to her 1:1 before the lesson). She regularly gets her group to do things that aren't quite right simply because she doesn't listen. I must admit, I think my head assumes that all of our TAs have an excellent understanding of the primary curriculum when in reality, I often find I'm teaching my TA along with the children. She's told me on many occasions that she has learnt a lot during Literacy.
     
  5. If I had the right TA, I would be asking them to take an intervention group to differentiate the teaching during my Lit/Num input. Either those very few very low children, or my very able children to stretch them - I would then note on my planning what she is to do with those children, usually very similar to what im doing just differentiated accordingly.
    This year I find it hard as my TA is incredibly lazy, never delivers what Ive asked her to do and isn't reliable enough to keep something like that consistant so its been quite hard - but last year I had a TA who this worked amazingly with.
     
  6. Are you in my class?! Do you share my TA?! I should also ass that my TA prefers to wander off down the corridor and have a chat instead of helping the statemented child she's meant to work with. I regularly have to stick my head out of the door and call her name or send a child to find her. Oh and she wants to work with me again next year... probably cos she thinks she can disappear when there's any work to do!
     
  7. NQT1986

    NQT1986 Occasional commenter

    That's funny-our TAs *have* to be there on the carpet with a child during the carpet input! If they are listening to readers or running intervent groups, we get our wrists slapped as the children shouldn't be missing the teaching input!

    It makes me laugh how different HTs interpret what's *best*!
     
  8. To the OP, maybe post this enquiry in the Teaching Assistant section to get their views too :)


    Personally, as a TA, I quite like to sit in on the input most of the time, so that I know what the children have been told and can therefore re-enforce it with them. I tend to sit with/near the LA children so that I can help them to listen and work with them in partners if needed. I usually then work with this group for the rest of the lesson.


    Quite often though I might also be preparing resources, photocopying or writing on the board for the CT.
     
  9. NQT1986 - I dont like her pulling children from the teaching input to do reading etc, but when I ask her to take a group it is to teach exactly what I am teaching but differentiate it further for the children in that group - so they arent missing teaching time, they are just getting it at their level. I then try to alternate the children she takes so its not always my lower ability, for example, going with her. But I do agree that constantly pulling children from the carpet sessions when the intervention doesn't relate to what teaching is happening can be counter productive.
    And to the other poster (Im sorry i cant remember your name now!) with the TA that wanders off - YES YES YES! That is mine to a T. She finds any excuse to walk over to our other building, or go for a wander around school for something. She also roles in at the same time as the children so I have little time to brief her, but then makes any excuse about doing something for the parents group she leads (I use the term loosely) etc. I find it ridiculous that somebody can find so many reasons not to be with the children. The hard part is that even when she is working with children she is terrible - shouts them down, is very inpatient, gets cross when they dont know what theyre doing yet doesnt try different ways of explaining it...quite often proceeds to teach them the completely wrong thing...occasionally does something completely different to what ive asked her to do and seems really proud of herself!? Only 7 more weeks..
     
  10. lindsay84

    lindsay84 New commenter

    I have to say I have always had fantastic TAs. My current TA couldeasily teach but doesnt want all the other stuff that comes with being a teacher. She works really hard! I think it dpends on the key stage as to what they do in general. I work in KS1, so my TAs day often starts with seeing the children in with me, making sure they register for lunch if they are having one, checking book bags, dealiing with letters etc. Then she does 5/10 minutes phonics with a SEN child followed by a phonics group. During the maths input she takes 2 SEN children for their maths 'lesson' before taking a group for a guided maths session. While the children have their snacks and story, she will be tidying away or sticking stuff in books. We all do break duty apart from 1 day a week. During the literacy input she will bewither listening to the input, changing reading books or taking an intervention group eg catch up or handwriting. The afternoons she works we do guided reading or she takes a group off at a time for intervention or group activites.
     
  11. We had OfSted in this half term and they criticised any TA that was not working with children during an obs.
     
  12. nick909

    nick909 Lead commenter

    I often use mine to give the input to my more able groups during my input to the rest of the class. The more able often do something quite different, or certainly more challenging, to the rest, so there's little point in them sitting through the whole class stuff that they already know or can do. The more able group will either then work with the TA, with me, or independently so that the TA can then support other groups during the main part of the lessons
    I've had this approach praised highly during observations, both by HTs and inspectors.
    Plus, the TA gets to work with all ability groups - must be mind-numbing to work with the LA groups all day, every day. I also think that all children should be able to benefit from their assistance, not just the LA.
     
  13. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    As a SENCO I feel strongly that children should be in the class when the teacher is giving input and that they are taught by a teacher and not sent away with a TA. These children are the very ones who can't afford to miss being "taught". TAs should help keep them on track , supporting the children and the the teacher.
     
  14. But Msz, if we have extremely good TAs - is it not criminal if we dont use them to teach small groups themselves? Then they can really personalise the learning. I dont mean something completely different to whats going on, just teaching the same (or similar) objective but differentiated right down for a select group of children.
    I dont see the problem with this at all - it may mean children are not always being "taught by a teacher" - but experienced and innovative TAs can teach just as well. Its a bit self-obsessed of us to think that just because we are qualified teachers, we are infinately better teachers than TAs. TAs who have observed good teaching for years will have picked up so much.When I was an NQT, my TA was actually a better teacher than me.
     
  15. Sometimes they do - I alternate between my TA taking my SEN, and my G&T.
    It seems to me you dont think TAs are as capable as teachers, and I think in alot of cases your wrong. I wouldn't do it if my TA wasn't capable - so this year, I dont!
     
  16. I really like the idea of sending a small group (either HA or LA) off with my TA, to have a differentiated input. I teach in a Y4/5/6 class and the ability range is huge.
    But, although my TA is very capable, I know I'd have to plan almost a script for her to follow, and make/find all the resources for her. It would seem like planning two lessons for every one.
    I'd be interested to know how people who send groups off with a TA for personalised input deal with this?
    At the moment, my TA does seem to miss the beginning of most lessons (break duties, etc) and then she tends to gravitate towards the LA children. I can hear her repeating and rephrasing what I'm saying, which is sometimes a little off-putting! There's just never a spare minute in the day to go through any planning with her or really discuss what I'd like her to do. I do give her copies of planning for English and maths, and I've also started asking her to mark her group's work in maths as they are going along, but I know I'm not using her to her full potential.

     
  17. Absolutely, a script is what I plan for my LSA when they are guiding their groups. We teach in guided groups only with the exception of the start of Literacy units when there are more natural whole class opportunities.
    I guide one group, my LSA guides another group and there are independent groups who are applying the skill taught in their previous guided session. For my LSA, I have to write a script for her to be effective. That is not derogatory to my LSA but simply needed in order to ensure she delivers what I want her to deliver.
    The thinking behind why we do is simple and you have already stated it:
    We get around that by teaching at their ability level in the guided groups, which are very flexible to ensure that the children recieve the correct teaching. It also prevents what you mention as:
    This was the subject of the DISS project, which found that constant LSA contact was not beneficial for children. It may be where she feels she is more effective but then that can be overcome by providing her with a detailed plan.
     
  18. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    Not at all some TAs are more capable than some teachers but I believe support outside the classroom should be additional not instead of the lesson.

     
  19. What do you think would be the best use of a TAs time while the teacher is teaching? Im genuinly interested, I dont mean to be argumentative :)
     
  20. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    Working with the teacher as a team, teaching in tandem to ensure everyone is supported and learning within the classroom. Keeping children on task, being the eyes and ears of the class teacher. Very much a partnership with the teacher valued and skilled.
     

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