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Anyone have any great tips for getting class started on task quickly on entry to lesson??

Discussion in 'Behaviour' started by Jenny257, Nov 20, 2019.

  1. Jenny257

    Jenny257 New commenter

    hi there,

    I am looking for ideas that will help me to get my classes started on their starter work quickly with all their equipment out - does anyone have any great tips or ideas??

    Thank you
     
  2. chris1729

    chris1729 New commenter

    Hello, Jenny.

    My old head of department, who had cast-iron class management skills, was adamant that you shouldn't really do this. His start to a lesson was: kids come in and move to their places, there's a bit of chat, including him talking to kids - he would probably circulate a bit and take note of the atmosphere of the class - then, after a few minutes, when he judged the moment was right, he'd say, in a relaxed fashion, "Right, time to get started..."

    This is probably at odds with what most of us are told to do, and with many school behaviour policies. It may not work for you and you may not wish to try this approach: fair enough. However, there have been times when kids have come into my class all agitated due to an incident, or the weather, and need a few moments to "decompress": I've found that, in such situations, taking a few minutes to circulate and chat - whilst actually very carefully scanning the class to ascertain the mood - can result in going from chaos to quiet in about five minutes, without any antagonism.
     
    MathMan1, VeronicAmb and pepper5 like this.
  3. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    Sounds brilliant.
     
    chris1729 and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  4. sunshineneeded

    sunshineneeded Star commenter

    I really like the sound of this too - but think it would only work with a skilled and experienced teacher.
     
    pepper5 and chris1729 like this.
  5. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    Yes, I agree sunshineneeded.

    The teacher that used this technique had a good relationship with the class and the class probably understood the boundaries and understood that when it was time to start, they had to follow the instructions of starting and understood it was not a "day's holiday".

    It does take experience to get the balance right - too strict and there will be bad feeling amongst the class; too lenient and the class won't like that either since they won't be learning if there is to much disruption.
     
  6. VeronicAmb

    VeronicAmb Occasional commenter

    Couldn't agree more.

    I did this most of the time with my classes. It just depends on the dynamics between class and teacher.

    I also learned a simple trick I learned from one of my NQTs:

    1). No time for messing around. The teacher would stand inside the classroom and look at the students lining up, waiting for them to be quiet. The students will eventually look at you and think "oh ****, she's not playing today". They'd usually get the message: by the time teacher opens the door, everyone needed to be quiet and ready to learn.

    2). Teacher is sitting at the desk. Teacher is in a relaxed mood which is either a signpost for an interactive lesson or a "fun" lesson. But the kids knew if teacher had to get out of their seat, the "fun" lesson would be over before it began.

    3. Your quote.

    I adopted this for almost all my classes and it worked, especially with the difficult classes. I think 9/10 students respond better to body language than shouting "RIGHT CLASS - GET YOUR BOOKS OUT AND START WRITING THE LESSON OBJECTIVE DOWN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
     
    MathMan1 likes this.
  7. SEBREGIS

    SEBREGIS Lead commenter

    I've never understood this thing about writing down the lesson objectives. It's always struck me as utterly pointless.

    One way of doing it Is to make it a contest. Give them a puzzle as they enter the room. First person to complete it wins a prize. Unless they talk or otherwise disrupt.

    Best I've ever seen, though, was a teacher who really picked out what they were doing well. Rather than picking out the people who were breaking the rules, he was saying things like 'ed, good to see you sitting down. Jane, excellent start. tom, see what Jane is doing? Can you do that? Great."
     
    pepper5 likes this.
  8. gravell

    gravell New commenter

    Timer on the board can help putting a bit of pressure on them.
     
    pepper5 likes this.

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