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Whole class chaos!

Discussion in 'Behaviour' started by beccamck, Sep 11, 2013.

  1. Hi I was wondering if anyone has any advice/suggestions...

    I'm an NQT and I have a couple of Y8 bottom, set 'classes from hell' in science. I have approximately 30 in each group and the majority of the pupils feature on the AEN register. My problems are that the pupils are constantly talking/fidgiting/making noise but I can never pinpoint one particular pupil. Its making my classes unteachable and its not fair on the handful of pupils that are trying.

    Regardless of where I sit the pupils they seem to antagonise each other and whole class detentions (excluding the handful of well-behaved pupils) don't seem to have any affect on them. Also they seem to be 'too cool' for the school's reward stickers and I don't really want to be rewarding with sweets.

    I realise that its only the first couple of weeks of term, but I can't be having this all year!

    Any suggestions would be hugely appreciated :)
  2. -myrtille-

    -myrtille- Occasional commenter

    No useful advice right now, but just posting to say I'm in exactly the same boat but in languages. I have a Y8 bottom set and a Y9 bottom set and they're both pretty much like that.

    I've tried different seating plans but they still manage to shout across the room. And a lot of the time they're not even talking to each other, they're just calling out random rubbish to disrupt the class.

    It's not so bad once I get them started off on a task and can go and help the ones who are working and remind the ones who have decided to have a chat to do the work. The problem is getting them silent so I can explain tasks/present some information and getting them to stay silent rather than starting talking again the moment I open my mouth.

    Today a couple of the trickiest characters in my Y9 class were absent, so I was hoping the class would be better, but instead some others (who are normally a bit chatty but not too bad) seemed to decide to play up to fill the void!
  3. Mathsteach2

    Mathsteach2 Established commenter

    Hello beccamck. Regulars will know what I am going to say about science teaching, (I also have one resource available here in TES), but just for you I write this.

    You do not say whether or not you are in a laboratory where all secondary science classes should be, since science is regarded as a fully practical subject, like art and craft etc. If you are only in a classroom you have insurmountable difficulties to make science fully practical. In my NQT year I ended up by refusing to wheel trolleys of apparatus down corridors to the different rooms where the classes were stationed.

    I will assume you are in a classroom with each class. I highly recommend you still regard the room as a working area (Nuffield ideology: "I hear and I forget, I see and I remember, I do and I understand"). Overload your lessons with hands-on activities for the children - in my PGCE training my tutor said to me after one lesson which he observed: "Yes, not too bad, but what were the children supposed to be doing!? If you want them to listen, then you must make them listen, otherwise you are wasting your time, and no matter what you say some of them are unlikely to pay attention for very long".

    Once the children are working on their own or in small groups, I recommend elementary drama techniques to keep things under control. "Freeze!" rather than "Would you please make less noise". I have even used the school fire drill and evacuated the classroom to regain control - much to the embarrassment of SMTs when the children did not know what to do.

    This is the Behaviour Forum, establishing firm control is vital in a practical subject, even if you are not doing "real" science practical work.
  4. ScienceGuy

    ScienceGuy Established commenter

    First piece of advice - do not give whole class detentions. It will wind up the well behaved students and make them less likely to behave for you. You need to follow your schools procedures and make examples of any student who misbehaves. Talk to you HoD / Mentor and arrange to send misbehaving students to them and do so. Hand out individual detentions to any student you catch disrupting the lesson and do not allow them to work it off. It will take a few lessons but you will get the benefit after a couple of weeks
  5. Thankyou Mathsteach2 and ScienceGuy. I am in both classrooms and labs - plus I'm not allowed a single piece of (science) equipment when I'm in the classrooms - even something that plugs in for a demo, which isn't ideal. I love your idea of just having tonnes of stuff for them to do so I'll try this, and the drama words.

    I've spoken to my HoD too and I'm glad to have their support with the classes.

    Fingers crossed!
  6. Tom_Bennett

    Tom_Bennett Occasional commenter

    First: no whole class detentions! Secondly this isn't crown court and you don't need incontrovertible evidence; just start taking names of as many people as you see talking when you've asked the class not to. You have to make the boundaries clear, then call them out when they cross them. I start calling names: 'Joel, you're talking so you've got a detention....and Cindy....and Deborah...' and you'll see a lot of them start to quieten down. Of course if any of them overreact to this public naming, then send them out or have them removed. It;s a process of attrition, and you wear them down. There are no quick fixes, just lots of pressure, applied constantly, until they amend themsleves.

    Good luck


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