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Does this sound a little odd or is it normal (yr3)?

(7 Posts)
Amnname Sun 18-Nov-12 20:38:29

Dd (and none of her close friends- don't know if it's different for a few of those who struggle) has never read to the current teacher individually and her group has only done guided reading once all term so far. Some of the other groups have done it more but on their day, the class misses it due to some other activity (they also miss numeracy on Wednesdays due to a dance workshop every week this term and next and literacy is dropped every Thursday as that's PE day). I like these other activities but between this and other events e.g. outings, they then miss quite a lot of numeracy and literacy. Shouldn't they do both every day other than if there's something really special going on e.g. nativity play, last day of term?

They appear to only have two levels of differentiation in the class in numeracy despite a wide range of levels at the end of year 2. At least 16 kids are all getting the same work. They are definitely not all at the same level.

In numeracy, they have mainly gone over work that the top groups did last year, so these kids are getting the same work again and nothing new. Reinforcing and revising is fine for a day now and then but that's most of the term gone and I know dd was fine with it all last year.
They spent a week of numeracy sessions measuring with a ruler for example -they did that a lot last year and it's not exactly difficult.

There is a lot more I could add but I don't want to go on. Is this sort of thing normal? If not, what can we do about it?

juniper904 Sun 18-Nov-12 20:53:10

1) Reading. In my school, year 3 children don't read with the teacher individually. I tend to go off my guided reading timetable every half term, and listen to individuals then, but that's my own choice and not official protocol.

2) Missing lessons. If the children are missing a maths and a literacy lesson every week, then the teacher really should reorganise the timetable. That is a lot to miss. According to the TES website it is recommended that KS2 do between 4 1/4 to 5 hours of maths per week, and 5 to 7 1/2 hours of literacy per week.

3) Differentiation. How do you know that there are only two tiers of differentiation? Differentiation can be done through the amount of support, the amount each child produces or through the alteration of the worksheet. There may be lots of differentiation going on, even if they all have the same work. With the maths and the measuring, it's quite likely there is progression taking place, but you might not see it. For example, a year 2 target might be to measure to the nearest cm, whereas in year 3 it will be to the nearest 1/2 cm. Also, in year 2 it might be with support, whereas year 3 will be independent. To say it's not hard is just not true- we did measuring last week and it was like pulling teeth!

In summary, I think all of that is normal. It's not ideal, but I don't think it rings any alarm bells.

Pozzled Sun 18-Nov-12 20:54:46

No, it doesn't sound like effective teaching from what you've said, but is all the information coming from your DD? A lot of it sounds like it could be misinterpreted or not have all the relevant information e.g 16 children having the same work- maybe some were given practical resources to make it easier, while the brighter ones worked with the teacher to push their reasoning skills on.

The missed numeracy and literacy could easily be made up elsewhere- writing in geography, frequent 10 min maths sessions which are presented as fun puzzles rather than a 'maths lesson' etc.

So I'd say if you're concerned about your DD's progress, speak to the teacher- but don't be accusatory. Start by asking generally about how she's doing, and mention that she seems to be finding it quite easy.

Amnname Sun 18-Nov-12 21:04:11

Thanks Juniper.
To use your post organisation:
1. I know they don't need to read individually and that it is not a good use of time with 30 children but they haven't done guided reading either (ok they did it once).
2. I will look at the link. Thank you for that.

3. fair points regarding differentiation, especially the measuring. Maybe what I should concern myself more with is not how many levels there are but whether my dc is moving on. Which I don't think they are.

Amnname Sun 18-Nov-12 23:07:27

Thanks Pozzled too. Fair points.

The fact remains that dd has read to the teacher once in any form all term so far, in her single guided reading session. No other specific (and I say that as I know they read all the time in other subjects etc.) reading teaching has gone on. Pretty poor for year 3 when comprehension skills should be worked on.

I will mention the concern about missing numeracy and literacy for the other activities on a regular basis.

Pozzled Mon 19-Nov-12 07:43:21

Yes, I agree that the lack of reading is a concern. I'd expect to see guided reading every week for all children, more for those who are struggling.

Definitely have a chat with the teacher, I'd be interested to see what they have to say.

redskyatnight Mon 19-Nov-12 09:05:00

In Y3 DS never read to the teacher individually but he did do guided reading every week. IMO if it's being missed more than the very odd time, the teacher should be looking to switch the timetable about. However in Y4 the school does no guided reading except with those who require particular extra help with reading.

DS's school operates a strict timetable which is followed except for one off exceptions. If they had something like a regular dance workshop it would be organised to coincide with their PE lesson. Sounds like the teacher could perhaps do with swapping the timetable about a bit, although you may find that in total they still do a fair bit of literacy and numeracy.

DS's school sets for maths and there are 5 sets (120 children) and even within a set there is differentiation.

However, they did spend an awful lot of the 1st term of Y3 doing what felt like revision/consolidation. In retrospect I think there was some progress made and gaps filled in but at the time it felt like a wasted term.

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