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NQT Busines Studies struggling to come up with enough ideas to keep yr 11 focused

Discussion in 'Business studies' started by felicityrose, Jan 18, 2011.

  1. felicityrose

    felicityrose New commenter

    I am currently in my NQT year and recently began working at a new school. In October half term it was decided that I should switch groups and begin teaching a GCSE class to help me meet standards.
    I am struggling to come up with ideas to keep the class entertained and occupied. I have tried seating plans, creative starters, group work, deadlines, interactive homeworks etc etc. Nothing works. They just do not do any of the work set really, and as they were previously all predicted to get A's at the end whereas I am now saying the WAG for most is D and below the moral has also fallen.
    Does anyone have any tried and tested ideas which I could use in my lessons, not just year 11 but 6th form too. Anything would be very gratefully appreciated as I could do with any and all resources, and have almost used everything on here.

    Thank you in advance for any help
  2. Hi
    Do you have a mentor? If yes I think you should get them into watch one of your lessons and give you some feedback.
    In terms of resources its sounds like you are using a lot - this may be confusing for the students. Yes you are right to try things but students like routine - they have already had a new teacher and they would now benefit from routine from you. I don't mean routine mundane I just mean that they should know what to expect from you.
    Make some time to think about what type of teacher you want to be, then select the tools that would best support this teaching style and set these into your lessons. Use the same techniques for at least 3 weeks before deciding it is not working and moving on to the next. eg White boards - for whole class responses - when questioning make it your expectation in your lesson that all students write an answer on the whiteboards. They will realise this is your style, expectation and may start to respond.
    Probably not the answer you were hoping for but I hope it is helpful - the tutor2u blogs are good for ideas.

    Good luck
  3. Hi

    Have a look on Tutor2u.net great ideas for lessons content, ideas
    LORD SUTCH has great ideas for doing something good in lessons.

    unfortunately there is no tried and tested way for the perfect lesson.
    Tell ''em what you are going to do
    Do it
    Tell 'em what they have done
    All the best
  4. revisionstation

    revisionstation New commenter

    Sorry to hear you have been landed with this group. I had one similar a few years ago, so I thought I would post a couple of things that worked for me.
    Really sharp start to the lesson, get them in take the register, kids on seats, books out, log on, insist on that much. Drill the sharp start, then they are less likely to play up. Its the start where you are busy getting the link to work and you are slightly distracted where they mooch in that they will sense your slight distraction and drive a big lorry of trouble throught that gap.
    With seating plan let them choose where they sit to start. If they sit in friendship groups they will participate in group work, they will be calmer (no shouting accross the room at their mate), they will be more settled AND you have something you can take away if they misbehave. You will also get 5 points for being a fair and decent teacher Mr / Mrs Bloggs lets us sit where we want etc. Useful when you want them to do something, if they are half way to being on your side things will get easier for you. Allow light chatter, they maybe discussing the task and they are not studying for NASA. A calm lesson where they enjoy it, you will enjoy. Any problems use the school system and push bigger problems upwarsd that what SMT get paid the big money for.
    Next stage is ask them what they want. Conduct a survey or a discussion however you want to play it. My group would just not do anything I asked so I questioned them as to what they wanted. Bring in HOD or SMT to make it more serious. They will feel like their voice is being heard. Offer them; role play, discussions, practical activities (such as creating a mini business in the hall at break, profits to a pizza lunch), videos, doing presentations in front of class (them not you), activities on the computer etc etc Essentially them doing rather them listening / watching you perform. ((Shift the balance. They should do all the work. You can guide and praise and manage.))
    This should show you that you have a bunch of kinesthetic learners that you are throwing auditory work at "listen to this class" or visual learners that crave some 2 min clips from the bbc. Find out what they want, then give it to them. Make it 70% practical. e.g. Right today we are going to taste cheese because we are learning about the cheese making dairy business. Next week I will show you what goes into coke, we have a video and will do the coke pepsi test to see how brand loyal you are. Or this week we are going to rebrand soda water, or work out the market segmentation for toyota. Who wants to be a Yaris? Or next week we will be selling smoothies in the hall lets do some marketing resaerch to find out what flavours people like.
    Takes LOTS of prep but next year you can wheel the same lesson out and hey presto happy kids. Fair Trade lesson? Videos, discussion, role play and go dressed as a banana.
    Don't give up - get creative and enjoy your job, they will learn more I promise :0)
    www.revisionstation.co.uk for more ideas

  5. felicityrose

    felicityrose New commenter

    Thank you so much for the help. I need inspiration for sure. To be fair I had the class today for a whole day for their controlled assessment and another teacher put me down in front of my class for something I had said was allowed and this teacher didnt agree with. I think that has turned it around for me as none of the class appreciated it too much and they all became very defensive of me which I have to say made me smile.

    That website is brilliant, thank you. And you have given me some good ideas on how to look at more creative ways of teaching. That is the teacher I want to be. The one where the students turn up thinking "I wonder what we are going to do, last lesson was fun".

    Thank you so much for helping

  6. lord sutch

    lord sutch New commenter

    I think that as an NQT, you need to take things steady and build up some strategies that can engage the students. I started out by trying one or two and using them on a regular basis, for example, a good starter activity and an engaging plenary. Once I had some that I could rely on then I moved into more advanced stuff. I have the kids where I want them so I can get away with pretty much anything. I spend more time doing thinking skills activities like 'CAP', Connectives, 'What if 'and 'P M D'.
    A really easy one which works brilliantly if you have an interactive whiteboard is a one I use all the time called Rub 'N' Reveal.
    Basically, I have a flipchart page of text on my IWB. I then cover some of the words with the red pen (I use active studio). Its on the board as they come in. On mini-whiteboards they simply need to write down what they think the words are underneath the red pen. Then, I get them to come up and rub it out using the eraser tool to check if they are right. That way they are up and out of their seats.
    I have a bank of these and I just wheel them out. Its excellent for bellwork.
    A really easy one to get the kids talking is Think Pair Share (see my blog link below)
    Its about building gradually.
    I bring a lot of products into the classroom and hand them out so the kids can feel them.
    I am in the process of writing a blog for Tutor2u on an amazing niche market business called Dr Burnoriums. They specialise in selling hot pepper sauce. I use this business when teaching Niche marketing and I bring in the sauce bottles so the kids can look at them and we can discuss them. Little things like that make all the difference.
    Take a Kaizen approach to teaching and in time you will reap the words.
    PS You also must ask yourself, 'what are the kids learning from this'. Its easy to fall into the trap of designing an amazing activity which will engage the students, but has learning taken place?
    Good Luck


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