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Teaching 2 hour 30 min lessons

Discussion in 'Mathematics' started by rachie_j, Sep 14, 2011.

  1. For my sins I now have bottom set year 10 for 2 hours 30 mins on a Thursday morning! There is no break in the lesson but the Deputy Head has said I can give students a quick break in the middle but it must be in the room!
    Does anyone have any advice on how to keep concentration levels for the kids? There aren't really any behaviour problems but being bottom set they find concentration difficult and get tired after the first 50 mins!
     
  2. For my sins I now have bottom set year 10 for 2 hours 30 mins on a Thursday morning! There is no break in the lesson but the Deputy Head has said I can give students a quick break in the middle but it must be in the room!
    Does anyone have any advice on how to keep concentration levels for the kids? There aren't really any behaviour problems but being bottom set they find concentration difficult and get tired after the first 50 mins!
     
  3. strawbs

    strawbs Occasional commenter

    Blimey........!
     
  4. Karvol

    Karvol Occasional commenter

    Bite the bullet, have a chat with your HoD and then ignore the head.
    If they can only concentrate for 50 mins, then split the lesson into different intervals, starting with 50 mins, 10 min break, 50 mins, 10 min break and 30 mins.
    I really rather doubt that the head will care if you get things done, keep the class under control and get some worthwhile teaching done with the kids.
    If the head does care, invite him or her to take over the class and show you how things should be done.
     
  5. bombaysapphire

    bombaysapphire Star commenter

    Wow - that does sound like hard going. I have my bottom set Year 10 for 2 hours with break in the middle on one day a week.
    On that day I cover 2 topics. In the first lesson we do our ongoing number or algebra topic. In the second we cover the shape or data topic for that half term. I find the change of topic helps mix things up and the nature of the activities tends to be quite different.
    I did the same with my bottom set Year 11 last year and we made it through to May in one piece.
     
  6. Nazard

    Nazard New commenter

    Whoah. Is this their only maths lesson in the whole week? What an extraordinary idea!

    Two possible (and contradictory) ways to approach this:
    1] Break it into smaller lessons (eg 3 x 50 mins) and do something different in each.
    2] Have varied activities to do throughout the time, such as teaching them something new, and then carrying out functional work based on this, problem-solving, etc.

    Both approaches have their difficulties, but the chief issue for me is not being able to recap frequently with the class (as you would if you had three shorter lessons per week).

    Another thought: how do the teachers of similar groups in Yr 11 and Yr 9 approach things? Worth talking to them?

    Let us know how you get on!
     
  7. David Getling

    David Getling Senior commenter

    Whoever timetabled this (and allowed it to be timetabled). Is a complete idiot, who has no understanding of the learning process in general, let alone the needs of low ability maths students.

    Am I right in assuming that they are getting all their maths in one (maybe two) dollops a week? Your students would be far better off with either three 50 minute periods or two 75 minute periods. It certainly wouldn't endear you to SMT, but I would be tempted to speak to the parents of these students and get them to complain to the governors so this MISTAKE can be fixed.

    The current situation is definitely bad for the kids, and totally unprofessional for the school.
     
  8. Use accelerated learning techniques to reinforce the learning and motivate through a wide variety of learning resources. Get students to take ownership of parts of the lesson - make the learning an exchange of ideas. Bottom set Year 10 can more easily exceed their targets than top set, so you have everything to gain. Keep each task to 20 minutes max to begin with, and build up their resilience. This arrangement can and does work in many schools around the country, and some have exceptional results with bottom sets as well as top sets. Why do you think bottom set Year 10 are such a bad deal?
     

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