I am writing for some advice on low levels of effort and attention in class. (Year 8 but I don't teach in the UK) I have some students, in particular with one class who are not advancing much. I think partly it is due to ability but it is also partly due to lack of effort. It is difficult to pinpoint and sanction it and be consistent. And I want to get better at working with different levels of ability in one room so each child can do their personal best. Any advice on that? or on consequences since they act like they don't care much what they do. I say it's ability too since some students have different levels of being able to listen, assimilate and complete tasks but I feel that I am allowing it almost as an excuse not to try (thinking the student can't do it when they can if they try enough) I mean they do things like they don't pay enough attention to explanations. Like I say as it is partly ability (mixed ability class) some things may be hard to grasp but I wonder if they sometimes shut it out altogether. They don't listen to instructions well enough and do things more or less according to the procedure. They often don't complete the work or hand it in. If I ask them to repeat back or explain to me part of the instruction or the work, they giggle and give me back a mixed up bag of things. They don't ask specific questions on areas they find difficult. Also they don't read up on the material up unless I hold their hand to find the page to read. I sometimes think they wait to be told all they need but even if I stress thinking skills, they still don't work out what or how to do things. Meanwhile other students in the same class do these things, understand quickly and complete the work without problems. The other thing is I notice these same kids take a long time to start, usually don't complete the work or don't hand it in and often don't do homework. I'm trying to work with them on an individual basis like with some of the lowest class grades, I've met parents and we've set up extra help out of school but there are still a few (about a third or even half of the class) not advancing enough in my eyes and getting low grades. This is really stressing me out. I am trying to vary the activities and do the best I can. Obviously I want them to succeed and I am even losing sleep over it. We have generally a good relationship but they seem to see school more as play or they just want to joke around and they can't focus on work. What else (simple things - not too complicated) can I try or say to them to improve effort levels?