Special Needs in Maths

Whether I go with working with my colleague for my next assignment or not, the fact remains that I have a special needs child in my new year 5 class who is really struggling to make any progress.

They are currently assessed as working within level 1 for maths but this has not changed since the end of year 3. I need to put something in place that will enable them to make some progress.

The child was taught by our Senco last year for both English and Maths within small (ish) groups. Progress in English wasn’t too bad but maths is apparently a real problem. The child can count up to 10 and back but has no real concept of what the numbers actually mean. Number stars was used in Year 3 so I don’t really want to use that again (although the child may well not remember the activities).

The Foundation Stage document Numbers and Patterns may be a useful place to start. I know we’ve got it in school but haven’t actually seen it myself.

Obviously the child needs lots of practical activities but I suspect that this has already been done. There is also the problem of how much support the child can have within any given lesson as no other children are working at the same level. We did consider getting the child to work with year 3 for maths but it was decided that this would not be in the child’s best interest as their social skills are quite good and they would be upset at not working with the rest of their class.

The child is a lovely child who always works hard and tries their best. I really want to help them move on if I possibly can.

Assignment Returned

Well I finally got my assignment back, only 7 weeks after handing it in. It seems ages since Half Term when I posted it off.

I managed to scrape a pass mark which was all that I hoped to do so I am quite content with the result. I was fairly sure that it was on the boundary between pass and fail so I’m glad that it fell the right side.

It took me a while to decipher all of the comments but I managed it in the end The main area that I have to develop seems to be that I need to go into things in greater depth. I needed to do more analysis on how the children were actually learning, what helped them to learn and how does this differ between children? The tutor also commented on the need to read more widely and include more analysis and reflection of this in my assignment. I thought that I had read as widely as I could!

This is a really hard element of the course I find. The readings that you refer to have to be relevant and it can take ages to track down something that is useful. We were also warned that readings have to be up to date. Not easy when most of the books in the university library appear to be at least 10 years old.

I went into the library after collecting my assignment and was pleased to find that most of the shelves were full. It’s useful having a course that continues over the summer when everyone else has finished. Also the computer checked everything out for the entire summer so I don’t have to return the books until Oct which means that I can take my time reading them. I found a really good book on Literacy teaching which wasn’t quite what I was after but will come as light relief.

I now need to begin to focus on the second assignment which is about working with a colleague. The assignment seems very vague and it doesn’t look as though we are going to be given any additional guidance this time. I have one or two ideas but I think that the main problem will be in finding time to actually work with a colleague. It was meant to happen while I had my student but apart from one planning session, it never really did.

I helped my colleague to plan lessons that were more interactive and made greater use of resources such as ICT. I think that I need to develop the planning more and then go into her class to see how the lessons actually impact on the children.

Another possiblity is to work with my year group colleague who has a statemented child in her class. Working on differentiated lessons for this child would be an easier task in terms of time allocation as we can discuss things informally.