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Can anyone help a struggling TA

(25 Posts)
Notonaschoolnight Tue 25-Nov-14 14:14:35

I only work mornings, have been given the responsibility of literacy for 2 year6 children in terms of ability 1 child struggled with a phase 2 letters and sounds assessment the other child struggled with phase 3 so both very low compared to the rest of the class but also very different to each other.

Class teacher has never had experience of working with such low ability children despite 20+years teaching and will admit to being out of their depth

I'm a general TA for another year group too so spend no other time in Y6 apart from taking these 2 children for literacy.

I'm struggling to plan a decent lesson for them with no time, no decent resources as we're a junior school and when I go online all I find is lesson plans meant for a whole reception class which is a completely different dynamic and can't really be used for 2 y6 children

If you had this responsibility, what books websites etc would you immediately turn to

Hope this makes sense but I'm writing in a rush and deliberately missing bits

Notonaschoolnight Tue 25-Nov-14 14:15:37

I'm mean English obvs��

roundtable Tue 25-Nov-14 14:27:39

You shouldn't be expected to be planning for this unless they are giving you designated time during the school day and the support to do it. Unless I'm missing something, you shouldn't be put in this position.

Do you work when the SENCO is in? They should also be supporting you in this.

Resource wise I would be playing lots of games increasing the recording as the children's confidence increases. There are lots of literacy games online, like ict games, crickweb, eduteach, but getting the children involved to create their own games like bingo with the phase sounds they're on would consolidate learning.

Twinkl might help with printable resources too.

I'm really quite cross on your behalf though op. Hope you get the support you need.

snowmummy Tue 25-Nov-14 14:53:54

Just to echo what the pp said, you should not be doing the planning! It sounds like the teacher doesn't know what to do and has fobbed these two children onto you. Appalling! They and you deserve proper support.

Notonaschoolnight Tue 25-Nov-14 17:59:29

I know it's not right I tried to plan myself at first but I don't have time but when I asked the teacher for a plan its a bag of shite I'm left with the two of them having to think on my feet when the plan hasn't worked
I'm too nice a person and in no way confrontational so when I'm done with them both and back with my general class I can't concentrate in my head I'm effing and blinding about the useless senco who isnt scrutinizing the learning of the sen kids if they did they'd know there was a problem
I then move on to the teacher who should be more proactive in assessing the children themselves making use of pivats etc to plan what to work towards instead of just planning for the rest of the class properly and pulling off any old shite lesson plan off the internet for the other 2 which, when looked at properly, is useless

I can only dream of actually saying those words out loud i know I wouldn't even though they need saying

I appreciate that a teachers work is hard planning and differentiating for a class but some years they have double that work again to make a whole other plan for certain children who are at a far lower level of the curriculum. In another council area those children may well be at a special school for mild to moderate learning difficulties if that's what the parents want, but in our council area there are only school for children with severe to profound difficulties and there's not enough space to cope with demand

I wish that there was something In between where we are, not necessarily for the kids to go there, but for them to exist and offer advice and support

simpson Tue 25-Nov-14 18:05:26

Am I right in thinking that these 2 kids are not doing literacy with the rest of the class & the teacher is expecting you to teach them in this time instead?

I thought that SEN children should be taught in class for core subjects.

Being asked to do intervention work with them is different (what I do) but not to teach a core subject.

My job is to help children access the curriculum not teach it.

Panzee Tue 25-Nov-14 18:18:13 has free plans for all the phases, and a bunch of games too.
No you should not be planning, but with this you don't have to.

Notonaschoolnight Tue 25-Nov-14 18:19:55

Yep I'm teaching them they are so much lower than "bottom group" they're in a league of their own if I was to stay in class and be responsible for them I can guarantee the teacher would never come over as they're too busy teaching the actual lesson. Lately I've been taking them out and finding our own space so we don't have to be quiet etc and as they was no benefit to staying in the classroom

I'll be honest in the 5 years I've been a TA this sure as hell isn't the first teacher I've had that can't (or doesn't for whatever reason) plan for an SEN child and I'll bet it won't be the last

Notonaschoolnight Tue 25-Nov-14 18:25:29

Thank you for your ideas by the way I knew a lot of the games websites already and they are pretty good but I'd probably only feel ok using them for 10 mins plus don't you find that works better anyway or they lose concentration and get bored

Last year I had to plan 6-8 activities for the Sen child I had for the whole morning

Notonaschoolnight Tue 25-Nov-14 18:29:58

If there's a TA or teacher reading this and feels they handle a similar situation in a much better way Id really like to hear about it as maybe one day I will explode but hopefully in a constructive way with your suggestions as to how you include pivats level children in junior age core subject lessons

simpson Tue 25-Nov-14 19:32:17

Can you speak to the class teacher of where you think these kids are (ie yr1 or yr2) and ask for a copy of their plans & adapt it?

I work with SEN kids & don't usually do interventions of longer than 45-50 minutes (would do 6 different activities in that time).

Notonaschoolnight Tue 25-Nov-14 19:45:57

Thanks Simpson but we're a juniors so there's no one in the school knowledgable in rec y1 work and neither is there easily accessible suitable resources which are equally important when, as you say as well, you do numerous different activities I one lesson while the rest of the class do one

MrsPepperMintonCandyCane Tue 25-Nov-14 19:56:38

Look up THRASS. It teaches phonics to all ages. There are raps and an app if you have iPad access at school?

Notonaschoolnight Tue 25-Nov-14 20:04:01

iPad access oh lord could my school be any shitter no tablets not a single one but I'll still Google it now

Isthatwhatdemonsdo Tue 25-Nov-14 20:05:10

You need to speak to your head teacher. As an experienced TA I find this totally unacceptable. No way should you be planning this. Please assert yourself and tell them it's not on.

MrsPepperMintonCandyCane Tue 25-Nov-14 20:29:21

Jolly phonics is good too. Go back to learning a Phoneme and it's grapheme choices. Use sound/word bingo, rhyming word frames and sound clouds maybe?

BigcatLittlecat Tue 25-Nov-14 20:41:32

Hi. sounds a nightmare but I'll try and help.
Do you have to do all their literacy? or is it just phonic work? Do they have exercise books or is it paper based? Does the teacher expect and give you watered down planning? Do they have an iep? Do you have a copy of it? How much time do you have? What's the behaviour like? Do they work well together? Sorry for questions but these will help me understand how we can help! grin
I am a year 3 teacher and have a year 3 nurture class so I'm sure I can help you and the children. Please pm me if you want? I could send you a daily/weekly plan which may help! You can tell me to bog off if you want!

toomuchicecream Tue 25-Nov-14 20:43:25

So is your brief to get them reading? Writing? Spelling? Able to write sentences? In a particular genre? The answer to that question makes a big difference to what you do with them. Also, do they have specific needs or a diagnosis of anything? And are you expected to mirror what the main class are doing in any way? Can they speak in whole sentences? Are they having any SALT input, or any other outside agency support? For year 6 pupils to be on P scales too their needs must be quite significant.

I taught year 6 for several years and then moved to year 1/2. The main difference is keeping it very, very practical and related to their own experience. So if I was going to apply what I've learnt in KS1 back in year 6 with pupils like yours, I would get them doing something and then writing about it. Pupils such as yours really need a purpose for writing too.

What are they interested in? If it's Minecraft, could they write a description of a scene they've created? Could they write a set of instructions on how to build something? Could they produce something for year 3? Maybe a guide to how something in the school works? If they support a particular football team, could they write fact files for different players?

I'm more than happy to send you my year 1/2 plans but to be honest, I've only got 1 pupil working at the same level as your two so what we do would be far too hard. I'm also very happy to bounce ideas around on-line too. You've got an incredibly difficult job there - I think the key to you staying sane is starting some kind of project which carries over for at least a week. You can then relate phonics/spelling input to what they need to do to complete their project.

nilbyname Tue 25-Nov-14 20:44:24

Can you make links with your infant school and turn this into a positive-

Go to the HT and the literacy coordinator and suggest you go and have z morning in a reception class. Then a mtg with the lit co at the infancy school and pick their brains?

Read write Inc is good.

Can I ask-
Are the children you working with nKing progress and retaining knowledge? Is this the only area for concern? Do they listen and comprehend well to orally told stories, is their comprehension good?

Totem or rapid readers do simple phonic books but for older children.

I would-
A guided reading session
Find the word
Make copies of the text and have them-- underline all the words with a vowel/spilt diagraph/au sound etc....consider the sound your focusing on and work to thT.
Play bingo/lotto
Speed write on whoteboards
Silly sentenceS
Get banagrams and make real/silly words
Do some handwriting practise
Get a shallow tray of sand or salt and trace letters. Whisper a word to one, tell them to copy the last sound/first sound/vowel they can hear
Play hairy letters on a tablet or lap top

nilbyname Tue 25-Nov-14 20:45:56

Are they working a word, sentence or text level?

Is it their spellings? Is the content good?

simpson Tue 25-Nov-14 20:52:38

Will second read, write inc as is use it with my SEN group.

Writing wise I do lots on using a story mountain & talking about the problem/resolution (I read to them as well & talk about the problem/resolutions to build up their ideas), letter formation (I use RWI - round the apple & down the leaf for an a etc), emphasis on time connectives (first, next, then, finally) we have a sound a day (currently ee) & use story picture cards (putting them in the correct sequence - I usually scribe for this).

simpson Tue 25-Nov-14 20:53:36

Oops I blush

Notonaschoolnight Tue 25-Nov-14 20:56:51

Wow thank you for replies in the last hour loads of brilliant q's that I want to answer but answer carefully so I don't out myself

simpson Tue 25-Nov-14 21:04:51

If their spelling isn't great, get them to sound out the hard words using a whiteboard before they write it into their books.

temporarilyjerry Wed 26-Nov-14 19:55:37

How about Read Write Inc Freshstart. This is age appropriate in a way that Jolly phonics really isn't. There would be little planning to do as it is all there.

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