How can other adults be used most effectively?
Many primary classes are fortunate to have an extra adult in the class to support learning, for all, or part of the day. Their role is critical to the learning for some children, not least in mathematics.
Consider the expertise of the Teaching Assistants (TAs) in your school, and how they work in relation to mathematics.
If your colleagues are happy to participate, you will find it helpful to do a quick survey of opinion of the TAs who work with children on mathematics in your school.
Ask them these questions or some of your own:
- What is maths?
- Did you enjoy maths at school?
- Are you good at maths? Why/why not?
- How do you think the children will become good mathematicians?
- What kind of activities help them?
- Which children do you work with in your class?
- What types of mathematics learning do you support the children with?
- How do you support them?
There is a range of scenarios that Teaching Assistants will be part of in the classrooms.
These may include:
- input by the teacher
- group work
- independent work
- paired work
- summary-led by the teacher
Did your questionnaire reveal that TAs work in any other ways in your school?
Add these to the list.
What else did the questionnaires reveal about the group?
This table shows some issues that may arise. Add your own observations, questions and solutions. Complete the table by:
- including other observations you made from the questionnaires
- identifying key questions that emerge from those issues
- writing any actions that you might be able to make or add to your development plan to address these issues.
You may find it useful to record these observations, questions and solutions in your Maths Subject Leader folder when you have finished.
The Teachers TV programme Fun with Maths gives an example of TA support in mathematics.
Make a note in your Personal Learning Space about what you feel makes effective TA support in mathematics. What do you need to do to make this a reality in your school?