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Standard first ever lesson?

Discussion in 'Secondary' started by Oursisthenqt, Aug 24, 2020.

  1. Oursisthenqt

    Oursisthenqt New commenter

    Hi all,

    I was wondering what does a standard first lesson with your group look like? I have Y7,8,9 and 10. For Y10 I've planned going through GCSE specs etc but the other's I am a little lost... I'm an NQT and have not had to do this before.

    I do not have my class list yet but what I had so far for Y7 and Y8 was:

    Lesson expectations
    Writing names on cards for me to learn (haha)
    A getting to know you activity
    Plan for the year layout

    Then I get them sticking into work but what about seating plans, launching Accelerated reader, and any other programmes the school uses? I have no idea about any of these yet but assume these take the whole lesson really?

    Any ideas or wisdom for what to plan?

  2. JJ83

    JJ83 Occasional commenter

    Ask someone who works at your school about all these things?
    DO you have the SOW?
    strawbs likes this.
  3. Oursisthenqt

    Oursisthenqt New commenter

    I have some INSET days coming up, I am going to ask at but just wanted to have general consensus.

    The SoW doesn't cover the two days we have next week. The two days we have next week are free reign and set up.
  4. strawbs

    strawbs Established commenter

    I would imagine first lesson this year will be all about covid rules!!
  5. jarndyce

    jarndyce Occasional commenter

    1. Yes, be brief.
    2. No. It's much easier than you think. Put them in a seating plan and have that in front of you.
    3. Please, no!! The flashes of your personality that you (and they) choose to reveal to the class over the coming weeks and months are far more genuine (and conducive to a good relationship) than a 'getting to know you' activity.
    4. If you really want to, but I don't think they need to know before GCSE. They'll forget anyway.

    I've now done ten years, and my lecture on expectations has gone down from half a lesson to a few seconds. As I teach English, there are no behaviour expectations that differ from the school code of conduct (and no special requirements as obviously I'm not in a lab or workshop!).

    Better to demonstrate your expectations in the context of an activity, rather than in a lecture. Eg:

    "You're sitting silently and listening, which is what I expect. Good. Now, we'll start with a writing activity which I'm going to take in to see what good writers you are. Open your exercise books, please. Look at the slide here: that's how I expect you to lay out all your work. Please copy down that title, underlined, and write Classwork and the date." (blah blah explain task) "So this is silent, individual work, and you have five minutes. If you have any questions, put your hand up."
  6. blueskydreaming

    blueskydreaming Lead commenter

    Set the tone for the year by teaching a proper lesson. As said above, follow the scheme of work.

    Lesson expectations = Apart from y7, they will know the expectations better than you. The rules and behaviour system should be displayed in the classroom and in their homework planners -- draw the students' attention to them. Familiarise yourself with them, too.

    Writing names on cards for me to learn = Make a seating plan. Print it. Use it. Most name cards won't make it to the second lesson - waste of time. Display the seating plan on the board as they come in, so they can sit in the correct places. You may wish to seat them boy-girl, or according to ability. Be mindful of SEN needs, e.g. hearing or vision impaired students need to be at the front.

    A getting to know you activity = Waste of time. Y7 will do this in form time; above y7 they already know each other.

    Plan for the year layout = Waste of time. Y10 might be vaguely interested, but other groups won't be. It could change anyway, if there's another lockdown. I wouldn't go through the GCSE specs either - it's too much to take it, so better to do it incrementally, i.e. the section of the mark scheme relevant to the text or skill you're teaching.

    Accelerated reader, and any other programmes the school uses? = There should be dedicated library time for that.
    phlogiston, minnie me and jarndyce like this.
  7. jarndyce

    jarndyce Occasional commenter

    Actually, @Oursisthenqt , I'm a bit concerned I've been too dismissive.

    If you feel that spending longer on expectations will help to establish your presence in the classroom, then do what works for you.

    However, I still wouldn't write names on cards, and certainly wouldn't do the getting to know you activity. :)
  8. install

    install Star commenter

    Get on with the schemes while they are all in.
  9. frustum

    frustum Star commenter

    You might be given a seating plan, this year. Given that sitting next to someone asymptomatic with covid seems like a pretty good way to catch it, hopefully schools will all be minimising the number of desk partners each pupil has. Our secondary is getting KS3 form tutors to do seating plans for all classroom subjects; KS4 is more difficult, obviously.
  10. minnie me

    minnie me Star commenter

    Children can spot fillers / time wasting / reluctance to hit the ground running /appeasement ... if EVERY member of staff is doing something similar just imagine ? ...... be business like. You are paid to teach ... the students have been in short supply for the last 6 months ... just do your job and use your time purposefully on the INSET days. There are staff there who ( for their own peace of mind ) will want YOU to be best prepared but you are the one who has to get the results ...
    jarndyce, phlogiston and ACOYEAR8 like this.
  11. ACOYEAR8

    ACOYEAR8 Star commenter

    Good morning Year 9
    It's good to be in a real room looking at real people. I'm Miss/Mr and we're going to be studying Shakespeare's "Twelfth Night " this term. Open your books.
    jarndyce, strawbs, phlogiston and 2 others like this.
  12. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    Give the class a starter, relating to subject related material.
    Take the register slightly more slowly than usual and make eye contact with every kid. Make a note if anyone's behaviour says "I'm a plonker".
    Look at how they do the starter. This is part 1 of "getting to know you"
    Once the starter is done, do some work, making sure you establish expectations.
    I wouldn't spend much time going through year plans or GCSE specs. It's boring and gives those not blessed with attention spans time to think of ways of annoying you.
    Do ensure that there is plenty for the class to be successful with, with some challenge.

    There is no such thing as a standard first lesson
    jarndyce likes this.
  13. maggie m

    maggie m Lead commenter

    Lots of good advice. I would add check if any of your students have SEND, if so find out a bit about them. Speak to SENCO. I had a student with an autistic spectrum disorder for the last 2 years who absolutely had to know plans in advance. I made a brief written plan for him but generally I wouldn't do this for classes as it bores them and they won't remember what you said anyway.
  14. ACOYEAR8

    ACOYEAR8 Star commenter

    I think that the vast majority of students will just want to get on with embracing normal routines. Asap.
    Did a first lesson today and mentioned lockdown and covid not once. Intend to follow that format.

    SEBREGIS Lead commenter

    Start as you mean to go on. Outline what you think is your ideal lesson structure and enforce that. How do they get into the class? Where will they sit? Title, date and underline - keep it very, very basic.

    The most important thing is just to make sure they und rstand what a good lesson looks like. And how strongly you are prepared to enforce that.

    Seating plan
    A good, solid bit of silent work.
    Anything that helps you learn their names - not everyone finds it easy.
    Perhaps something that helps you learn about them? What they know about the subject?

    Depending on the subject - you might want to explain what they will be doing over the year and why. As a history teacher I like to explain what the value of my subject Isis (and why it's much more important than geography)

    Don't be too nice to them. Very business-like. Forget that **** about 'don't smile until Christmas' but a mistake NQTs often make is trying to be popular rather than good, if you know what I mean.
    ACOYEAR8 likes this.

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