Classroom Helpers Program

Strategies to use when volunteering in the classroom 

What is the Classroom Helper Program? 

The Classroom helpers’ program is a program designed for teachers and parents to work together to assist children in the development of:  

  • Reading 
  • Writing 
  • Numeracy skills


How do I become a classroom helper?

Please see your child’s teacher if you are available to assist in the classroom. Once you have communicated a time with your child’s teacher, each time you visit the school to assist in the classroom you will need to sign in and out at the front office through Compass. Please note, we cannot accommodate younger siblings when volunteering in the classroom. 



The teacher will direct you to the activities you will be supporting, they may include:

  • Reading- Home reading, small group activities (purposeful reading tasks), rhymes and chants, alphabet tasks, M100W testing
  • Writing- supporting writing with individuals or small groups of children
  • Spelling- M100W activities or testing

 Strategies to help early readers:

  • Look at the picture
  • Initial sounds
  • Stretch it out
  • Chunking
  • Look for smaller words in bigger words
  • Check for meaning

 If a student is struggling:

  • Give them time to try
  • Provide two prompts
  • Give them the answer.

 Comprehension Strategies:

  • Prediction
  • Connections
  • Retell
  • Inferring (prior knowledge + evidence from text = inference)

 Other discussion points:

  • Talk about the story
  • Ask questions
  • Encourage students to show you evidence from the book
  • Discuss the characters
  • Link to prior knowledge

 Supporting Early Writers:

  • Draw and talk about your ideas first
  • Record initial sounds
  • Record dominant sounds
  • Record known words
  • Use M100W lists or the word wall
  • Practise on a whiteboard
  • Reread your writing to check if it makes sense.

 Punctuation prompts:“Have you got finger spaces between your words?”“It’s not a sentence unless it has a capital letter and a full stop”. Supporting students in 3 -6:

  • Engage your child’s interests in literacy
  • Read and discuss a wide range of fiction and non-fiction texts, including newspapers (‘kidsnews’), digital texts (Reading Eggs/ Reading Eggspress), chapter books, picture storybooks, information texts etc. 
  • Develop instant recognition of a large number of high-frequency words
  • Notice and use the punctuation to develop fluency when reading aloud
  • Identify the main idea and use evidence from the text to justify
  • Identify interesting words when reading, discuss their meaning and try to incorporate them into writing or everyday language
  • Encourage children to write shorter pieces of writing, with a focus on rereading and editing to improve language, interest and meaning



Using classroom materials provide plenty of opportunities for students to model, read and record numbers. Below are some of the materials students will use in the classroom:

  • Dominoes
  • Dice
  • Icy pole sticks
  • Ten frames
  • Unifix blocks
  • MAB (Year 2 onwards)

Making, Counting, Drawing and Talking Numbers: Using classroom materials and games, provide plenty of opportunity for students to:

  • Count collections/objects
  • Make and draw collections 
  • Identify and record numbers in numerals and words. 

Language to use when talking numbers: Languages such as plus, minus, equals and their corresponding symbols (+, - , =) are not introduced until the later stages of Prep or Year 1.  Language to use in Prep when counting:

  • 4 and 2 is 6
  • 3 and 2 more make 5
  • 6 is 3 and 3 more
  • 2 and 2 is 4, and 1 more is 5
  • 5 take away 3 is 2
  • 4 teddies take away 2 teddies, how many are left?
  • How many teddies are there altogether? 


  • 3 teddies and 3 teddies more make how many altogether?

 Y1 onwards

  • 2 + 2 What is the sum?
  • 5 - 3  What is the difference?

Years 3 -6

  • 2 x 2  What is the product?
  • 8 ÷ 2  What is the quotient?

 Supporting students in 3 -6:

  • Play dice and card games to develop fluency with basic facts. Repetitive practise is key to developing fluency.
  • Support strategies for mental computation using the partitioning of numbers. Avoid jumping to rote vertical algorithms too early. 
  • Involve children in shopping decisions including the calculations of costs and change. 
  • Look to discuss maths in the everyday environment - shapes, angles, symmetry, etc. 
  • Discuss, calculate and compare sporting results. Explore statistics and graphs. 
  • Let your children navigate travel journeys, read maps and estimate distance and duration.
  • Encourage your children to read and interpret timetables when using public transport. 
  • Ask you, children, the time on analogue clocks using “minutes to” and “minutes past” language. Ask questions relating to 24-hour time and elapsed time. 
  • Discuss the weather and temperature including differences in min and max temperature, averages and negative numbers. 
  • Read recipes together with the discuss increasing and decreasing the scale of ingredients (halving and doubling). 
  • Complete tasks on Mangahigh (Years 4 & 5 only).


General Information 

Other classroom activities you may be involved with:

  • Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden 
  • ICT – supporting children in general digital skills (e.g. iPad use)
  • Inquiry sessions 
  • Swimming program
  • Other (Excursions, Incursions, etc.)
  • Expert Mentor/Presenter

 You can support children in the classroom by:

  • Asking open-ended questions
  • Pausing and waiting for answers
  • Giving prompts
  • Rephrasing while supporting their attempts
  • Being an active listener
  • Offering praise 
  • Prompting use of classroom resources
  • Allowing all children to have a say