Assignment 1 – the Learning Environment

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Assignment 1 – The Learning environment

1. Describe how you might contribute to a lesson given to a group of seven year old children learning to play percussion instruments. Be proactive in assisting the teacher to –
-Organise equipment and resources for the lesson
-Create a safe and tidy environment for learning
-Minimise any behavioural problems
-Give praise and encouragement to children to maximise learning

Firstly I would help to set up equipment quickly for the lesson, by doing this you allow yourself and the teacher time to observe the area and minimise any hazards that could lead to an accident during the lesson. This could be anything from spilt liquid to sharp objects being left around. Also this can allow the lesson to take place almost immediately, giving the class little opportunity to mess around or cause a disturbance to one and other.

Communicating with the teacher beforehand can allow you to establish what he/she in particular would like to you to carry out during the lesson. The teacher may ask for you to generally be on hand for the children who have questions or are having difficulties with given tasks, however he/she may like you work with a specific pupil or group which he/she believes need extra guidance in this particular class. It may be that you are responsible for a child who needs 1to1 help so the teacher can provide a solid lesson for the rest of the class.

To help make the lesson run smoothly you must give praise where necessary, this will promote positive attitudes amongst the children and encourage them to keep up their good work. Even if a child has not completely mastered what is being asked of them, praise and encouragement can allow them to respond well to learning. They will tend to keep trying if they are told they are doing well. Whilst this is a great way to promote learning it also minimises the risk of behavioural problems as the child feels satisfied with what they are doing, boredom is less likely to occur when praise is given.

The teacher in charge will have stated rules in regards to the safe use of musical instruments, the teaching assistants job will be to enforce these rules throughout the lesson and make sure that the class are aware of what is and isn’t acceptable.  Regarding the instruments I would make sure I had good knowledge of the all prior to the lesson, if I didn’t I would ask the teacher to clarify the names and also how they were to be used. By gaining knowledge I will be able to answer any questions children may have and also feel confident in demonstrating any practical difficulties they may be having.

At the end of the lesson, helping to tidy away equipment quickly and efficiently can be a great help to the teacher. It allows the class to move onto their next lesson quickly which is the main priority. Losing time spent on tidying up and making sure everything is returned to its home can also give children the opportunity to mess around as both teacher and teaching assistant are preoccupied.

2. What might your role be in organising, using and maintaining the learning resources, material and equipment for the percussion lesson? As the teaching assistant my first role would be to find out from the teacher if there are any specific requirements she would like for the lesson. Then my first job would be to prepare the classroom ensuring it was tidy and the furniture was spaced out suitably, attaining extra Matts and chairs will create more space for children to work in and allow them to use the instruments safely and free from obstruction.

I would then proceed to checking all the instruments were in working order and none of them damaged as to harm anyone. By checking all equipment I will also be able to determine whether the instruments are intended for the age group I am working with, as resources aimed at a higher age group will cause frustration in the lesson and this may lead to disruptive children. Before the...
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