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Please advise. Very low ability year 8 class.

Discussion in 'English' started by iheartpoetry, Sep 9, 2012.

  1. Hello,

    I am an NQT and will start teaching a small low ability year 8 class tomorrow. 95% of them have a statement and some have behavioural difficulties. I have planned an intro lesson clearly outlining expectations, lesson routines and what we will cover this year in as much detail as possible. I just wondered if anyone could provide some advice about the best ways to support this sort of class. I spent 3 years working with autistic kids and as an LSA so I do have experience of this but obviously I now need to ensure that these children make sufficient progress to cope with the demands of year 9. We will start the year reading a novel and doing a creative writing assessment and I want to make sure they can access the novel. Any advice at all would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
     
  2. Hello,

    I am an NQT and will start teaching a small low ability year 8 class tomorrow. 95% of them have a statement and some have behavioural difficulties. I have planned an intro lesson clearly outlining expectations, lesson routines and what we will cover this year in as much detail as possible. I just wondered if anyone could provide some advice about the best ways to support this sort of class. I spent 3 years working with autistic kids and as an LSA so I do have experience of this but obviously I now need to ensure that these children make sufficient progress to cope with the demands of year 9. We will start the year reading a novel and doing a creative writing assessment and I want to make sure they can access the novel. Any advice at all would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
     
  3. gruoch

    gruoch Established commenter

    Will you have LSA?
    Do you know their reading ages? If so you can SMOG the novel. Google SMOG test - you can do it on line.

     
  4. shamsh

    shamsh Occasional commenter

    A small group is a good thing as you will get to know them faster and their strengths and weaknesses relatively quickly. Break down activities into smaller sections than you would for other classes, and it might be helpful for them to have a checklist of things they need to do. Keep it short and simple and that way they (and you) can keep track of their progress and it can give a positive sense of achievement for them to be able to show what they have completed.
    Be consistent with your praise and with consequences when needed. Have something exciting to capture their interest when they come in as they will settle for the rest of the lesson much better if there is a prompt and clear start.
    Good luck!
     
  5. Hi Gruoch,

    Yes, I will have a TA in every lesson.

    Thanks for the SMOG test suggestion - I will look it up straight away.
     
  6. y9840125

    y9840125 Occasional commenter

    I have made a couple of suggestions on the other low ability thread.
     
  7. I taught a similar group last year, and really enjoyed it. I team-taught with our SENCO, and we completed Holes. The pupils loved this, and we were able to build in plenty of small tasks around the novel, and incorporating AfL very gently!
    We took 2 terms to read the novel, and completed a Guide to the camp, a poster of rules, and various short descriptive writing tasks imagining they had run away into the desert, for example. We also used AfL to target spelling in particular, and incorporated lots of Speaking & Listening work to build confidence with the text. OFSTED were impressed with the progress made by the students, and so were we. PM me if you'd like more info. I am sure there are plenty of excellent options for you with this class - you need lots of patience and variety. Don't try to pack too much into your lessons would be my best advice, and be really consistent in your behaviour management with very clearly defined boundaries. Good luck!
     
  8. I would endorse everything PennyAM has suggested. I worked with a Year 9 group recently where we made up lots of small, 'concrete', visual, interactive activities to help develop speaking and listening. You can find free to download examples on Collaborative Learning <www.collaborativelearning.org>. All the best for a successful year!
     
  9. Just a couple of things to add to others' excellent advice:

    Try to allow to use whiteboards as much as possible to plan/draft work. Will seem far less daunting than writing immediately on paper.

    Don't underestimate importance of team building activities to enable you to get the best from them academically.
     
  10. I teach In a pru and many of my students have very low reading ages and various SEN.

    Graphic novels are always useful and motivating.

    Reading posters, timetables, cereal boxes etc are great for approaching non fiction. Chocolate bar wrappers are useful for summarising advertising and persuasive techniques as well as introducing descriptive writing. the key is to use unusual resources which surprise the students and keep them wondering what you will do next.

    For behavioural difficulties always break the lesson Into small chunks of activity and don't talk for too long. have small refocusing activities ready for when you need to change the pace of direction. I have a few useful power points which I use just to have some fun and break up the lesson. Allow enough time for students to process instructions and as someone else has already said...lots of group planning and discussion.

    just message me if you would lie me to send you anything or you would like any further ideas
     
  11. You are all fabulous. Thanks for your great suggestions. Behaviour isn't so much an issue although there are EBD students. It's much more about ensuring they can all access the text as I won't always have in-class support. One student has ASD and needs a lot of 1:1 support and the others are very low in confidence. Annapool, if you have anything that you wouldn't mind sharing relevant to novel study, I'd be really grateful for the help. They are a wonderful group of kids and I'd love to be able to do the best job I can! At the end of this term they need to do a piece of creative writing independently and there's a way to go yet...
     
  12. katiedennis25

    katiedennis25 New commenter

    Hello!

    I've just been reading this forum and have similar difficulties with a very weak year 9 class (currently studying Stone Cold) and a weak year 10 group doing descriptive writing.

    Would you be able to send me some more advice and resources to aid me? I'm finding these groups challenging in keeping them focused and not turning around. Also, my year 10 group making it too easy so the C grade pupils are being challenged and the weak ones are not getting lost!
    Any help would be much appreciated. My email is:

    kdennis@swaveseyvc.co.uk

    Thank you.
     

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