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Running a form group - HELP!!

Discussion in 'Trainee and student teachers' started by tobyr2385, Apr 16, 2012.

  1. Dear all,
    I have a form group and the teacher I'm running it with said to be this morning "They're all yours!". I'm trying to stay positive, my tutor group are a nice group of hardworking kids so in theory there aren't too many issues to deal with.
    However, as I have had limited experience in this role, I have no idea about how to go about being a form tutor, as ironic as that sounds as I'm just about managing to be a teacher at the moment, without the added pressure of playing form tutor.
    We have assembly once a week, check planners for parents' signatures, check their uniform daily and count merit totals as well, but apart from that I am well and truly stuck for ideas. Is there anything that works for you, in your role?
  2. sleepyhead

    sleepyhead New commenter

    Sadly, that is part of the role and one that I push the trainees into early doors, for that reason.
    I am a VI form tutor, so my role is very different, but the trainees I work with (I am their PM) all have their routines which include any/all of:
    - silent reading
    - news quizzes
    - word games
    - team challenges
    - revision tips and sessions
    - topical discussion (organised rather than them all yelling over one another!)
    - equipment check
    - homework time
  3. PinkHelen

    PinkHelen New commenter

    I still find being a form tutor a struggle sometimes, and I've been teaching 4 years! I do similar things - assembly, silent reading, planner check, uniform, maths games, prayer (faith school) and I also do a quiz once a week. "mikedean" has some great ones in the resources section - he uploads a new one based on the news every week.
    Are there any school initiatives that are supposed to be included in form time? My school has a literacy a numeracy policy for form time, and I know lots of schools deliver PSHE in this time. It's worth finiding out about, there's nothing worse than starting the day with a muddled 15 minutes with your form, and it'll look great on applications if you can talk about all that you've done.
  4. katnoodle

    katnoodle New commenter

    I'd highly recommend a getting to know you activity. At our school we have 'all about me' sheets for students to complete, and it yields some really useful information about home circumstances, friendship groups, interests, etc. The students love writing about themselves too! You could fill one in yourself and share it with them, and/or play a truth/lie game where you write statements about yourself on the board and get students to guess which are real and which are fake.

    The suggestions above are great, and it's definitely worth them getting into a routine for each day so they know what to expect. I also have a 'tutee of the week' prizegiving every Friday for celebrating achievements or general good behaviour (very useful for showing the quiet ones they're appreciated!). The Newsround website is very useful for current affairs - watch the day's clip and draw out interesting topics for discussion, then play the quiz.

    Hope that helps!
  5. Hi Katnoodle,
    I love your idea of the "all about me" sheets for the students. My placement is only a short matter of weeks left, and for me it seems like a great idea as I'm only just beginning to learn their names.
    I found a Thought for the Day webpage, and I'm going to keep a collection of the ones I find so that I don't end up repeating myself, and I found one today and that seemed to go down well. Checking their uniform and issuing a daily stamp in their planner took up the majority of the time after that, and then the bell rang.
    The whole experience actually wasn't as stressful as I thought it would be, and my colleague seemed happy with what I did, so onwards and upwards!
    Here's my sketched out routine for the next two months:
    Monday - Check planners (signed by parents)
    Tuesday - assembly
    Wednesday - Thought for the Day
    Thursday - Reading / homework catch up.
    Friday - This Friday I'll get them to do an "All about me" sheet, and on Fridays I will let them talk amongst themselves, after a busy week and check merit totals.
  6. There's a couple of websites my colleagues use regularly - BBC Oddbox, which culls weird stories from Newsround and compiles them into a weekly video which we watch most weeks. There's a Radio 1 quiz based on the charts which gets you to play sound clips and guess whether that song is higher or lower this week.

    My big idea this PGCE placement has been to use Postcrossing.com with students. It allows you to send postcards to random strangers around the world and receive some back from others. But it's set up as a website for one offs, so there's no relationship built up. For every card you send, you receive one back from a complete stranger, somewhere in the world. You can get some sort of literacy work in when the students are sending postcards and some sort of global citizenship stuff out when the return postcards come back from the four corners of the world. You can spend a session filling in the profile page for your class - ours is here: http://www.postcrossing.com/user/AFoster You can spend a session on "how to write a postcard" depending on whether you think your students know how to address an envelope yet, etc. The first few we sent, I wrote the addresses for them, but lately I have been getting them to do all the work.

    I have been slightly disappointed they aren't more excited to receive the postcards back (guys, this card has travelled FIVE THOUSAND MILES to be here with us today! OMG!!!! *nothing*) And so far, I have been paying for everything - I bought the postcards, and have been buying the stamps. It works out about £1 for every card you send - 30p for the card, £0.76 for a stamp to "Rest of World".

    I keep meaning to write up some more detailed instructions for a TES Resources, will maybe get onto that this weekend.

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