First Grade Instructional Assistant

I was an Instructional Assistant for two first grade classrooms at Park View School in Lombard, Illinois.  Although my title was an Instructional Assistant, I acted and was viewed as a third teacher in the classroom.  I worked with students one-on-one, in small groups, and walk around the room during centers or work time; I also take students on sensory breaks when needed.   I led and taught specific reading centers and also co-teach during all content areas.  I collected data by copying student work and charting behaviors to use to revise student behavioral plans and IEP goals.  I am an integral part of the first grade team as well as an additional resource in the classroom.  I participated in collaboration time with the first grade teachers where we planned activities for the week.

Additionally, I communicated often with the Student Support Team (social worker, special education teacher, literacy specialist, ELL specialist, speech pathologist, and psychologist) about my observations and strategies used with the specific students I was most responsible for.  Through these informal conversations as well as formal meetings discussing progress or modifying IEPs, we worked together to document student success or additional struggles, adapted our strategies, and implemented new ideas to help these students grow.  I also took on the responsibility of technology specialist.  I assisted with the computers and iPads during reading centers, and I led instruction for both classrooms during computer lab time.  I met with the Technology Coach to design or review lessons and activities for the students.  I continually adapted to the students’ and classrooms’ needs and built relationships with all the students.  Below is a summary of my responsibilities and additional initiatives.


  • Incorporate Common Core State Standards into instruction
  • Use Scott Foresman Reading Street for reading and spelling
  • Use Daily 5 format during guided reading; I lead a small group, walk around to assist students or with technology, or listen to students read during Read to self
  • Use Everyday Math series to guide math instruction; often, I provide one-on-one assistance during independent work to various students
  • Use FOSS science curriculum to teach and guide instruction
  • Supplement learning by using Essential Skills, Everyday Math online, Spelling City, TumbleBooks, and during centers and computer lab to differentiate curriculum


  • Collect data to share with Support Team documenting student behaviors
  • Jump in to teach lessons when needed
  • Regularly meet with First Grade team to plan lessons and activities
  • Regularly communicate with Support Staff to best provide for student needs
  • Work with students one-on-one or reteach concepts as needed
  • Give student with sensory needs quiet reminders during transitions, talk through issues to problem solve, and take breaks when needed
  • Set up daily visual schedule to help student who needed to know what was happening each day (it is his responsibility to share the schedule with the class)
  • Point to words or sit with student who is ELL and behind grade-level
  • Write in highlighter for students with writing difficulties so they can trace and practice their handwriting
  • Help students during spelling or dictation tests by repeating words slowly so they can go at their own speed

Additional Incentives

  • Co-teach and parallel teach in the classroom
  • Lead activities during the computer lab; meet with the Technology Coach to review activities

            -Check out the Design a Gingerbread Activity I created

  • Supervise K-2 recess

            -I supervise students playing outside and help them problem-solve when conflicts between friends occur

  • Taught during After School Program

            -I plan and provide additional reading instruction to 5 second grade students using the Making Connections


            -Each day we read a short story and focus on a specific comprehension strategy

  • Assist around the school when needed: substitute, supervise Goal-Setting Club, supervise in-school suspension
  • Planned, designed, and taught guided reading lesson about Winter Holidays; also found Holiday Reader’s Theater where I assigned parts that the classes performed

             -Learn more about the Holidays lessons I taught





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