Supporting Learning Activities
The greatest contribution made by teaching assistants is to children’s learning when they are working with groups of children under the management of the teacher. Teaching assistants may alternate between being a support for the whole class to being specifically involved with individual or small groups of children.
To ensure a teaching assistant is able to support in the most effective way it is vital that they are well briefed. Teaching assistants should have access to Literacy and Numeracy planning for the week first thing on a Monday morning (or before) to ensure they are clear about the following; * the learning objectives for the lesson, * the role of the teaching assistant in reaching those objectives, * the group or individual that the teaching assistant will be supporting. * The key vocabulary that is to be developed or used during the lesson * Appropriate methods or approaches e.g. written calculations. * Effective use of questioning. * Clear expectations of outcomes for the lesson.
It is vital that there is regular dialogue between the class teacher and the teaching assistant before the lesson to prepare and after the lesson to share assessments and feedback. The teaching assistant who is briefed as to what their role is in a lesson is far more likely to make a positive impact upon teaching and learning. It is important that teaching assistants give feedback to the teacher regarding progress made or difficulties encountered by children during the lesson so that planning for the next day can be modified.
The presence of a teaching assistant in a class will make it possible for the teacher to plan more exciting and challenging activities.
Assessments of individual children’s ability and skills can give teaching staff valuable information on which to base future planning.
Teaching assistants can also play an important role in improving attention of children who