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Seating plan with notorious year 10 set

Discussion in 'Secondary' started by scienceteacher11, Aug 23, 2011.

  1. scienceteacher11

    scienceteacher11 New commenter

    I was planning on lining them up at the back and directing them their seats. However i've been told they are very challenging and last year the teacher said they wouldn't sit down for 20minutes when she tried this. I'm not sure if this is a reflection of them or her and had someone different given them the instructions maybe they would have followed?
    But don't want to risk it, I'm not sure how else to put them into a seating plan, I can't line them up outside as my school doesn't allow that, there isn't enough room.
  2. Draw a plan of classroom and photocopy- I always have a set of blanks.
    Fill in names of pupils on a blank plan before group arrive and ensure the naughties are distributed evenly.
    Pin plans on back of door outside room/teachers desk inside room/ anywhere else you can think of.
    Stick seating plan in your mark book planner
    If necessary copy plan to HOY/HOD/tutor.
    YOU make changes. They never do.

  3. Agree with the above...also if they are that notorious can you get someone (HOD, HOY) to be there while you enforce the seating plan so that they can know it is serious and you have back up from the beginning. Has worked well in the past in my department...
  4. scienceteacher11

    scienceteacher11 New commenter

    so you guys think i should line them up and direct them to their seats? I think guiding them as they walk in is too messy
  5. I agree with the advice on this thread. I used to get the class in, take the register and then move them around, but by doing that it unsettles them. They have to get their equipment out twice, then they'd react to being put in a seating plan, then they'd react to odd/funny/embarrassing combinations. If you give it to them at the door then they don't have time to argue, they have to go straight in, then once the class have settled you can relay your expectations for the seating plan. Let the class know that good behaviour may be rewarded by them working with who they want later in the term so they know they can take some responsibility.

    The only problem I had with that tactic was that the class would surge forward and they all would try and get a look in. I would sometimes block the walkway for the neighbouring Geography classes, but I just had to insist that if the pupils weren't lined up properly they weren't coming in (useful if they line up outside!)
  6. scienceteacher11

    scienceteacher11 New commenter

    Unfortunately it's school policy that you can't line up classes outside, I'm scared to line them up at the back of the class because of what happened with my colleague but I'm going to try think it's the only way?! the thought of trying to talk to them individually as they come through the door seems a unorganised
  7. I would meet them at the door with the seating plan. Ask them for their name and direct them to their seat (don't make it easy for them to see the plan themselves - they'll just start complaining or winding up other students). Try to have something with their name at their place - helps them find their seat. This is obviously easier if you have some non-contact time in the classroom before the lesson, but can be worked around. For this class I'd have their books/folders already named for this purpose. If the class are as bad as you claim you should get a second adult in the room, also with your seating plan. Remember as an NQT you shouldn't be given unreasonably challenging students, so I'd ask my HOD, a pastoral person or NQT mentor until someone is assigned, even if just to get the class settled. Once they're in, have something for them to be doing, a solo task that can be done in silence. Give them the instructions for this as they walk in and also written on the board and/or on the table in front of them. So it'd go something like, "Tom? You're sat on the second row, third chair along... that one. You need to sit down, get your equipment out and follow the instructions on the board. Thank you Tom". As soon as someone is making a fuss, stop what you're doing at the door and remind them very firmly what they should be doing. So, "Tom. We are doing this in silence [point to board] and we are doing it now". Finally, once they're all in remember to check they're in the right place as early as possible as one or two are very likely to be in the wrong place. I think the most important thing in this situation is to have something meaningful but straight forward to do. You can't expect them to sit quietly waiting for the whole class to come in and whilst your attention is divided.
  8. lizgaskell

    lizgaskell Occasional commenter

    Advice from Brookes is pretty much what i would say too.

    Had a class just like this and the only thing I would add would be to almost pretend that you don't know their reputations. I think this helped me as some of them expected me to be frightened of them as they were notorious. So Bob Smith, one of the worst in the class with alist of previous, got the same treatment as everyone else despite the fact that I knew excactly who he was. 'Hello, good morning. Your name is ? OK Bob, well lovely to meet you.' You sit there ....and I need you to....'
    By the way, I was also an NQT and had them for two years and it was NEVER easy but occasionally I would find them actually doing what I had asked, or listening to me or something and would feel really chuffed. Small victories. My HOD once came in for something and didn't recognise them!
    Good luck
  9. Yes I agree and I would be very specific about who had done well in the easy/basic/achievable task you set them in the first lesson. In a class like this there are always the bad kids who are difficult with everyone, but there is a middle group who can be swayed and a good group which might only be a group of one or two. You need to praise the middle group and get them on your side with positive praise and you must always be positive about the good kids who probably have a miserable time at school if they are always in with kids like this.
    At the end of the lesson I quite often stand at the door as they leave and say things like "Some good work from you today/ Not quite your best/ Very pleased with you in the group work etc. Pick something specific to praise so they know you have noticed.
    I also have a good list. When they are working on a task find someone who is working well and is generally good and write their name in the corner of the board. DO NOT have a bad list. Do not explain, let them guess what you are doing. They soon catch on and the middle ones will try to be on the good list.
    They are still children after all- even adults like to be recognised for what they have done well.
    At half term send home postcards/ certificates or whatever your school gives to the good ones.
    You need to accept that the naughties will be a struggle and it will take time but they are not ALL bad.
  10. I would have them lined up outside and as they arrive direct them as already indicated previously. I know your school isn't up for this but it's a one off - not like it's a regular thing you are going to be doing every week.

    All great suggestions above - I would also add - whatever you want them to do - don't ask - tell them and tell them in a way you don't actually expect it to go undone.
    E.g. Instead of sit there please Tom - say OK Tom here is your seat, make sure your stuff is ready thanks.

    I also use thing slike expecting to have date and title done by the end of the register - means the register is silent and everybody is focused and ready to go - I make a point of going around and saying Bob's ready, great, so is Becky, hmm this row isn't great etc

    Also agree with the rewards letters home - makes a massive difference. Kids like htis are usually just attention seeking - they don't care whether it's positive or negative as long as they get it - so the best thing to do is catch them being good no matter how insignificant the event and I often quielty whisper to them that positive attention is far nicer all around from both their and my perspectives.

    I've also been known to pick out one or two perpetrators in the dinner queue to sit and do missed homework with me - only need to do it once or twice and people know not to mess. Equally though I make a point of spending a bit of time at netball/football matches now and again or asking them how they got on - builds up relationships.
  11. Henriettawasp

    Henriettawasp New commenter

    I number the tables (sticky labels) then give them their seat number at the door. That way they can't see who they're next to until they're all in, heh, heh.
  12. Random175

    Random175 New commenter

    Forget what the other teacher said about last year. They are a year older after all and then they were the dreaded year 9. Line them up at the back of the class and direct them to their seats.
    You may want to outline expectations for behaviour whilst they are lined up (at the back). Your school obviously wants the children in the classroom as soon as possible so don't have them hanging around outside.
  13. I have colour coded seating plans - traffic light system. An 'amber' pupil next to a 'red' and so on; tends to make them curious as to how the 'red' pupil can become 'amber' pupil - based on grades. etc.

    I have a template on a PPT slide if you'd like a copy. I keep them on the notice board so any time I'm not there, the cover teacher has a seating plan.
  14. Also, forgot to mention that I have the PPT slide on the whiteboard as they come in and they can see at a glance where they have to sit. - let them in a few at a time.
  15. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    Once they're sat down, something to do - with some of it that's so easy all of them will be able to do it (so you can say "why haven't you?"), but some that's more challenging.
    Best wishes,
  16. I place their new folders on the desks where I want them to sit. With difficult classes I try to place everyone with at least one friend. I spread out the friendship groups and tell them that I would like their parents phone number by the end of the lesson in case I need to call their parents to say how well they are doing in my class. I have little slips on the desk they can give me at the end of the lesson. I let them now how much I value them and that we are going to have a great year together. I inherited a very difficult class last year from a colleague that really didn't like teaching them. They were my best class and I even made them cookies at the end of the year to show my appreciation. for all of their work.

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