Describe how a learning support practitioner can support learning activities. Identify your own strengths and weakness in this process and reflect on how you may make an impact on learners.
The role of a classroom assistant:
I have been on a course placement at Deptford Park Primary school and work in a year 2 classroom on Mondays only. My role in the classroom as a TA is to make sure all pupils are safe, confident and have enough support to complete their activity. Another important role I have as a TA is to be able to manage different groups, especially groups with bilingual children in. I have been doing this placement since November 2013 and have been enjoying health and safety/supervision.
Supporting learning in my placement:
In my placement, I am involved in the planning delivery and review of activities in class. For example, at the beginning of the year I wasn’t involved in any activities, whereas now I am able to support the children by using the knowledge I have gathered. Not only this but I am also very organised because I have created some planning sheets. I have a sort meeting with the teacher before the lesson and record what the lesson objectives will be and the language that will be used. I am now working on reporting back to the teacher on whether children have me their objectives at the end of the lesson.
I will now deal with the three main ideas – Literacy, Numeracy and ICT.
I am working at Level 2 literacy and have passed all my OCR level 2 exams in literacy. My placement is with a year 2 group in a primary school.
Speaking and listening activities:
In my placement children are able to listen to activities on the computer that involve sound. For example, there is a website called ‘mathletics’ and children are able to explore the website with sound. Also, children are always speaking to each other and interacting with adults. Therefore they gather a lot of knowledge from one another. I personally find it hard to support children in speaking activities. The reason for this is that, I feel my English still needs work. I can generally understand what is being said but I feel I need to work on improving my pronunciation, however I learn from my mistakes.
Children in my placement have different abilities in reading. Some children are able to read a chapter book, whereas some children find it difficult to read one. Those children are still reading shorter books, which I sometimes listen to the reading aloud. I also work with two bilingual children, I read aloud to them and explain difficult words to them in English. Sometimes I listen to them read if they find a long word difficult. I sometimes use phonics to help them pronounce individual sounds and show them how to break long words down into short parts. I also use the pictures in the book to help them understand the story and retell it. I am going to work on strategies here, for example: using a dictionary or thesaurus on giving an example. My reading level is level 2 and in my opinion, I believe that I am quite weak at explaining language that is used in different terms. However, I do enjoy a challenge.
Many children in my placement are able to complete a wide range of writing activities. For instance, most pupils can: plan a story, write a story, describe a characters personality and appearance etc. This involves writing ‘wow’ words to increase vocabulary and often extra adjective and adverbs helps too. To improve my own vocabulary, I keep copy of these words and translate them for myself if necessary. I feel very confident in encouraging pupils to explore words and new writing features. The reason for this is that, I personally do the same and then I am able to use these words/features in different sorts of texts. In addition to storytelling, the children use different texts, such as: letters, diary entries, cards etc. I feel confident supporting children in