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Complacent top group...

Discussion in 'Primary' started by lillipad, Jan 1, 2012.

  1. lillipad

    lillipad New commenter

    My high ability children are very complacent. They take their time over EVERYTHING and sit and chat and natter instead. Usually if they do complete work, they've all either worked together or copied one person. They took about 3 days longer to write a story than the rest of the class, and it wasn't because of volume or quality of writing! I've tried telling them they can go far, I give them something challenging and they just sit there, I give them something easier and they just sit there. Basically I need to put a rocket underneath each ones chair! What can I do to encourage them to take ownership and focus?! Thanks
  2. tafkam

    tafkam Occasional commenter

    Silent, independent work?
    A damn good bo11ocking?
  3. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    Have a very strict time limit for each task. If the work isn't done, they stay in at break time to do it or you send it home with a note explaining why.

    If they are chatting instead of working then give them one reminder only. If they carry on not working send to another table or to another classroom. Let them know that not working isn't an option.

    Don't give them opportunities to take 3 days longer to do things. They do it in the time everyone else does or they do it in their own time.
    Wait 5 years for them to mature! Until then be clear and strict about working. Get tough and let them know that they are not getting away with this laziness any longer.
  4. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    Mix up your groups keep them on their toes raise the status of children who work hard.
  5. Yes, don't sit them next to each other. Don't get them to sit in ability groups.
  6. reddevil

    reddevil Occasional commenter

    Tell them that there are at least 3 children in the group below them who could easily take their places and they have two weeks to prove that they should be in the top group. Worked a treat with mine, only one moved in the end and they shouldn't have been top group to start with.
  7. I do all of these, with my frighteningly able, but pretty cocky, top set maths group.
    I give them five mins/ten mins to do a task and make it clear I expect it to be done and that the most able will be able to do it easily in the timeframe given and will be moving onto higher level work...
    Use their natural competitiveness! Mine are desperate to outshine each other and impress me and each other. They've gone from a chatty, can't be ***** group, to some of the most motivated kids I've ever taught!
  8. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    I used to do exactly that last year with top of the top set, with level 6 work ready and waiting for them. I'm a bit wary of being that way with year 2 though...same as the person who said about telling them there were others waiting to take their place. I definitely did that with top set year 6, but a class in year 2 might be a little more fragile. Perhaps I'm being too nice though?

    I think lillipad has year 2.
  9. Yes, I have y5. Not sure I'd do this with Y2 either! The expectation that it is done in either my time or theirs, would still def. stand though. This is amazingly motivating! On the whole, I think I'm wary of being too tough with littlies as well, but maybe that's because I've never really taught any!
  10. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    you are being too nice
    Not with writing a story but with other work I give a time limit and challenge the more able to complete it quicker (and correctly) so I might say 5 mins for 50 correct times tables but challenge the more able to do it in 2 mins.
    but my class are seated in mixed ability tables
  11. wordclass

    wordclass New commenter

    Tell them that there are at least 3 children in the group below them who could easily take their places and they have two weeks to prove that they should be in the top group.
    I've never liked explicit talk about groups and ability - bound to create a hierarchy and subsequently sense of complacency (or inadequacy). [However, I am not so naive to think children don't analyse such things and compare each other.]
    As said earlier, clear message about outcome expected and consequences for not delivering!
  12. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    Totally agree.
    LOL I'll tell my class that on Wednesday!!!
  13. lillipad

    lillipad New commenter

    Hmmm thanks for all your thoughts. Telling them there are kids who could take their places wouldn't work, some of the kids in that group are the sort who would go whining to over controlling mothers who would be in bending my ears! Think they're too young for that approach (Year 2.)

    I've thought about splitting them up, but in a sense they support eachother which is good, I just want them to be more enthusiastic and more willing to having a go at things, particularly higher level stuff. I think time limits may be a good way to impose this... I shall try that! Maybe my expectations aren't clear enough.
  14. In that case, use the fact they have over-controlling mums and beat them at their own game. Call the mum in and explain how concerned you are at the lack of effort their child is putting in during lessons, how they are at risk of slipping into the lower set if this continues. This can be the best rocket you'll ever give them.
    Incidentally, in my school we wouldn't hesitate to move a child down a set if they weren't pulling their weight. We did this last year - he was straight back into the top set within a half-term after rapidly pulling his finger out and working very industriously This approach works for us because we are a high achieving school and the children are naturally (on the whole) keen to do well academically. Only you can judge if this will work in your school though..
  15. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    That could work well. Or to simply say to the child that you are worried the work is too hard for them and perhaps they need something easier, but that you will definitely talk to their mum before moving them to a table with easier work to ask mum's advice.

    Also sending home incomplete work with a note that says you are sure the work isn't too hard, but ought to have been completed in the lesson. Ask them to work with their child away from class and let you know if the work was too difficult because you don't want to put undue pressure on their child.

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