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What?s a ?normal? lesson like?

Discussion in 'English' started by veritygrace, Jul 14, 2012.

  1. Hi everyone, this is a bit of a strange question but I’ll
    explain what I mean! I have just finished my PGCE and have secured a job in my ‘dream’
    school.
    <font face="Times New Roman" size="3">

    </font>
    <font face="Times New Roman" size="3">

    </font>My worry is that I don&rsquo;t know how to teach an ordinary
    lesson. I made all of my lessons on my placement &lsquo;all singing all dancing&rsquo; with
    four parts and loads of flashy resources. No I know that it will not be
    possible to do twenty lessons a week like this.
    <font face="Times New Roman" size="3">

    </font>
    <font face="Times New Roman" size="3">

    </font>So my question is: what do you do in average everyday
    lesson? What kind of activities etc?
    <font face="Times New Roman" size="3">

    </font>
    <font face="Times New Roman" size="3">

    </font>I hope this makes sense to everyone, thanks.
    <font face="Times New Roman" size="3">

    </font>
     
  2. Hi everyone, this is a bit of a strange question but I&rsquo;ll
    explain what I mean! I have just finished my PGCE and have secured a job in my &lsquo;dream&rsquo;
    school.
    <font face="Times New Roman" size="3">

    </font>
    <font face="Times New Roman" size="3">

    </font>My worry is that I don&rsquo;t know how to teach an ordinary
    lesson. I made all of my lessons on my placement &lsquo;all singing all dancing&rsquo; with
    four parts and loads of flashy resources. No I know that it will not be
    possible to do twenty lessons a week like this.
    <font face="Times New Roman" size="3">

    </font>
    <font face="Times New Roman" size="3">

    </font>So my question is: what do you do in average everyday
    lesson? What kind of activities etc?
    <font face="Times New Roman" size="3">

    </font>
    <font face="Times New Roman" size="3">

    </font>I hope this makes sense to everyone, thanks.
    <font face="Times New Roman" size="3">

    </font>
     
  3. anon8315

    anon8315 Established commenter

    It makes sense to me!
    Firstly, well done on getting a job in your dream school. You sound really enthusiastic which is a great start.
    For me, having an activity the students can do as soon as they come in is important - behaviour is really good in my school but children do still get fussy when they come in. So for example, if I am teaching a novel I might get them to find three quotations that create tension in the chapter we will be studying that lesson for the first ten minutes or so - it doesn't matter if they don't finish the chapter but it starts them off working and learning as they come in.
    Then I will usually actively 'teach' for a while, e.g. going through the poem or discussing the chapter and so on. That's when questioning comes in.
    I usually like to set a group or paired task then - for example, if I had started by saying 'find three quotations that show tension in chapter 3' then whole class discussion on chapter 3, then pair up to swap quotations and perhaps analyse how their partner's quotation shows tension, and feedback. Then I might set an essay question and finish it for homework, I don't normally bother with plenaries [​IMG] unless there is something very specific I want them to do!
    That's a "typical" lesson but other lessons will be a lot more involved, some will occasionally just involve a task being set and the children getting on with it (not often, honest - it does happen though!)
    So in terms of activities, my staples are:
    Group presentations: e.g. divide the class into groups and group 1 will look at Romeo's behaviour in Act 3 Scene 3, group 2 at Tybalt and so on, then feedback to the class.
    Comprehension questions (I find these REALLY good with fussy classes!)
    Card sorts
    Filling in the gaps (reallygood for EAL or less confident learners)
    Mix and match activities
    They are off the top of my head, but it obviously depends on the year group, ability and the topic. Good luck [​IMG]
     
  4. Lidnod

    Lidnod Star commenter

    Use the TES for resources. Hopefully you'll find some ready made flashy resources! Makes sure that you sprinkle some 'special' lessons evenly over your classes so that everyone gets a fair share. An 'all singing all dancing' lesson is a great way to start a topic, with the following lessons requiring less 'sparkle' because the kids are doing more of the work not you! They might, for example, be prepped to do some sustained writing of their own. Think back to the lessons you observed and take advice from the more experienced teachers at your dream school. Keep up with the marking but remember that peer marking has its place too and cuts your work load, so that you have more time for lesson preparation. Good luck!
     
  5. CarolineEm

    CarolineEm New commenter

    Build in time during each lesson where you are watching. When being observed teaching we all tend to be active around the classroom the whole time. Now you can become more of an observer of your classes; aim to build in around 2 x 5 min slots when you set work and then "just" watch what is going on in your room. Two huge benefits: 1) you get a sense of where everyone is, who is working well, which groups might need help but see if they can become more independent rather than just relying on you to leap in at a moment's notice; 2) you build in some time when you can have a quick physical battery recharge, sitting still rather than zooming around the room! This might help you to get to the end of each day still standing rather than on your knees!
     
  6. gloucesterroad

    gloucesterroad New commenter

    Remember that having them work quietly on something is *fine*. Obviously it should be occasional, relevant and productive, but it is nonetheless OK. They do not always have to talk, you do not always have to entertain them, and when you are all shattered it can really help to calm everyone down.
     

  7. <font face="Times New Roman" size="3">

    </font>Thank you everyone, this has been a big help [​IMG]
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    </font>
     
  8. Lessons vary but the advice above about giving yourself space and time is good. Remember that you don't have to make resources and plan all your lessons yourself - use textbooks, steal ideas from other people and trust in your own subject knowledge. Sometimes the best lessons are me standing in front of a whiteboard talking. Also, I quite often mark other work when the class in front of me are doing an extended task and I train my pupils to try to be independent and find their own solutions to problems rather than asking me as a first port of call. Managing your time is a crucial skill.
     

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