K8 the strategies and resources used at your school for developing pupils’: a reading skills b writing skills c speaking/talking and listening skills d mathematical knowledge, understanding and skills The classes in my school are of mixed ability and key stage 1 year 1 and 2 contain pupils from two adjacent year groups. Throughout the school, we use a variety of teaching styles including whole class, group and individual teaching, depending upon the task and needs of the pupils. In line with government requirements, the school lays particular emphasis upon the teaching of basic skills of reading, writing and numeracy.
All children in the main school have an hour of numeracy and an hour of literacy each day but these periods are frequently supplemented by further activities leading to the development of these vital, basic skills. Strategies and resources for developing reading skills Teachers, parents and teaching assistants should all be working together to encourage pupils to enjoy and benefit from reading. The main focus of development will be through the Literacy lesson, although reading will be promoted through all areas and curriculum subjects.
Shared reading – This takes place in the classroom and everyone looks at a text together. The texts include various types, such as plays, fiction, non-fiction and are on a range of different subjects and themes. Guided/group reading – This takes place in small groups within the class while other pupils are working independently. Individual reading – This usually involves pupils quietly reading books from the classroom or library, or those used during guided reading, which pupils can read without adult support. I hear individual pupils read as much as possible as it is an important way of developing their reading skills.
For those pupils who need extra help, they are taken out of the class by an assistant and have one to one time to encourage and help them with their reading. When supporting pupils’ reading, I use a range of strategies and check with the teacher whether any pupils have specific targets. However, it is important to involve all pupils if I am working with a group and to be aware if I have pupils who are reluctant to talk about what they are reading. I ensure I give them plenty of praise and encouragement to build up their confidence and reassure them when putting their ideas forward.
Careful questioning also helps me find out about pupils’ understanding of texts so they can tell me what they are reading about. Strategies and resources for developing writing skills As pupils develop writing skills, they need support both in English/Literacy lessons and in other subject areas as they form basic words. I therefore need to help them with the technical aspects of writing, including spelling, grammar and handwriting. Strategies for developing writing skills can be done by carrying out shared writing activities. Using pictures and key words or phrases. Using workbooks to encourage writing skills.
Strategies and resources for developing speaking/talking and listening skills Pupils who are not confident when speaking need to be aware that I value what they have to say. I can show them that I am interested by- Giving them eye-contact when they are talking to me Smiling or encouraging them to continue while they are talking Repeating back what they have told me Asking them open-ended questions to encourage them to answer in more detail I can also support pupils by allowing them time to think about and formulate ideas before they give their answers. Some pupils find it very difficult to sit quietly and listen to what others are saying.
Young pupils find activities such as “carpet time” where they need to spend a long time listening to others, quite difficult or easier in a smaller group. Pupils who lack confidence in speaking and listening situations in class, for whatever reason, are given opportunities to develop these skills in smaller groups, which they find less threatening. We can develop speaking and listening skills in many different situations, not necessarily as planned events. Literacy resources I am able to identify the location of literacy resources within individual classes.
These support basic writing with younger pupils for example lists of words or sound cards or may be books such as dictionaries. The school also has a range of technical resources such as computer programs and software to support literacy activities. Strategies and resources for developing mathematical knowledge, understanding and skills When working with pupils on Maths tasks, I will use different strategies to support the development of their skills. It is likely that I will adapt how I do this depending on the needs of the pupil, so I need to know about individual pupils’ targets for Maths. I might use some of the following strategies.
Helping pupils to interpret and follow instructions – Some pupils find it hard to recall instructions or follow a series of points given by the teacher. I may need to help them follow what is required. Reminding pupils of teaching points made by the teacher – Some pupils may find a task challenging because of their individual learning needs or ability to focus on it. I may need to remind them about specific teaching points to enable them to continue. Questioning and prompting pupils – It is likely that I will use this strategy regularly with all pupils, as they often need to be refocused or have specific questioning to redirect their thinking.
Helping pupils to select and use appropriate mathematical resources – I may need to prompt or encourage pupils to think about resources available to them when working on Maths activities. Explaining and reinforcing the correct use of mathematical vocabulary – to reinforce vocabulary used by the teacher, extend pupil vocabulary and check pupils’ understanding of the terms used. Introducing follow-on tasks to reinforce and extend learning – The teacher may have given additional tasks for pupils to work on if they have finished the initial activity.
More able pupils may be asked to develop concepts and find their own objectives, but it is likely that I will still need to check these with them. Numeracy resources I know how to use any resources that I need and where they are kept. All pupils are given the opportunity to look at and explore resources before starting to use them, and some pupils may need help if they are unfamiliar with particular resources. Resources for Maths may range from measuring apparatus for length and weight to number equipment, such as number lines, cards or cubes and games to develop different Maths skills. There is also numeracy software on our computers.
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