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Introduction lesson for naughty class?

Discussion in 'Secondary' started by carmenroberts14, Aug 6, 2015.

  1. I have been given a year 10 class who have had a very bad reputation throughout the school. Obviously I don't want to judge them before I meet them but I would love to get them on side in the first few lessons.

    I teach science and they're a bottom set so they will be doing a single GCSE over 2 years with me.

    I was wondering of anyone had any ideas on a good introduction lesson? I was thinking an icebreaker where I can get to know them? Then some sort of fun team building activity? And then a science based fun task?

    All ideas are welcome!!
  2. minnie me

    minnie me Star commenter

    I would not entertain ice breakers or 'getting to know them ' stuff. The fact that they are lower attaining is immaterial. You need to direct your energies into planning lessons ( focusing on both challenge AND support ) and ensuring that you deploy the school's Code of Conduct consistently. If your setting has collaborative learning structures as part and parcel of its T and L repetoire then the students will be familiar with team building activities. If not , then attempting in isolation may be problematic but that does not mean you should not try of course. Sorry if this sounds negative and I 'get ' that you think that by making the subject fun the students will engage, enjoy and learn more effectively.If the students are disaffected then you are right to consider how best you may reignite their enthusiasm for the subject but I suspect this is best done by talking to colleagues who have some success with this group and looking at a wide range of sustainable T and L approaches.
  3. jarndyce

    jarndyce Occasional commenter

    I always start with a brief clarification of expectations etc (getting increasingly brief for me these days, though maybe more relevant for you as there are specific safety procedures in the lab). Then it's a lesson 'as normal' - which, in the first week, always involves rather a lot of silent writing...
  4. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    A fun lesson? Getting to know you? Team-building activity? What a load of tosh! The students are a low ability set, so of course they need to be encouraged. They also need to be challenged, so that you are teaching them something that is (a) relevant and (b) a bit difficult, as you need to let them know that you have high expectations for them. Hard work and commitment are needed, not time-wasting fun things that the students will see through.
  5. I understand the reservations of some of our colleagues below however I think that getting to know a class is as (if not) more important to build a good relationship but without appearing 'soft'. After teaching in inner city Glasgow I learnt some great idea from Chris Ward (a canadian educational speak) on the role of co-operative learning in its best form. Really building class and group identity through team building eg, small groups of four creating a team name, flag, etc based on shared or common ground (tv shows, holidays, etc) combind with clear set expectations and accountability can really help classes gel better together and allow them to know you and each other better. This can also be used later on for formative assessment and small group work (think pair share etc).
  6. Perhaps this will be helpful. I'm a recent school student, now founder of Beyond the Box Education. At school my class was the dreaded "worst class" and teachers did not want to teach us. It's kind of hurtful to be judged as a group in such a way and avoided. Teachers who came in with pre-conceived ideas of who we were, they were in trouble. We took it as an invitation to play up to their image of us. What teachers who feared us didn't know was that we got on so well, and worked hard, with some teachers. The difference? The teachers who had us working constantly showed us why they love their subject. Right at the start they expressed why they give a dam about their topic enough to take our time with it. As soon as we knew that the teacher actually cared about what they taught (rather than grasping for new ways to get in our heads and make us learn) we eased up and had a great, productive time.
  7. wanet

    wanet Star commenter

  8. I think best advice is (a) to see the response from the pupil who was a member of the 'naughty' class (b) I have usually used the same strategy at first lesson for all 'junior phase' classes, which is to ask the pupils to identify at least 3 things that will help them to learn best in Science, pair and share to extend/clarify common strands, then write up on an A3 poster for that class and post up on the wall. I have sometimes used it as a star chart too!
  9. Flere-Imsaho

    Flere-Imsaho Star commenter

    The content of the first lesson doesn't matter. Show them you are interested in them but set your standard for behaviour firmly and consistently. Kids like that don't get "on side" because you are fun but because you keep turning up, keep treating them fairly and keep showing that with your help they can succeed.
    iGCSE101 and wanet like this.
  10. ProfessorGeek

    ProfessorGeek New commenter

    I agree with Flere. I personally would not be too worried if learning doesn't take place in the first lesson. The fact that they have a reputation says It all.

    You need to be firm from the off. Set the expectations. Remain consistent.
  11. Scintillant

    Scintillant Star commenter

    Spot on. Best post of the day.

    As an SEBD teacher I agree with you 100%

    And when they get it wrong and make wrong choices with behaviour, you start again with a clean slate the next day.
  12. iGCSE101

    iGCSE101 New commenter

    '.......but because you keep turning up, keep treating them fairly and keep showing that with your help they can succeed.'

    @Flere-Imsaho 100% agree.

    Last year I had a similar experience with a Year 10 group. I was told the class was difficult and as a new teacher it would test me. I was pretty nervous and over planned. In the end of the year this was a great class. I learned a lot from them and I hope they did from me too, but must importantly I learned that being reliable and consistent and trying to teach the best I could was the only way forward.

    @carmenroberts14 how did it go?

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