Classroom Management #1

Often there is a pair of rose-tinted glasses on my blogs about awesome lessons and amazing students. While there are great things going on in my classroom there are also periods, classes, days, weeks etc where I am faced with behaviour issues that impact on learning.

I would like to regularly share stories about difficult situations I have faced in my classroom (or corridor) to paint the realistic view of my teaching life. Some of these stories will have happened as recently as last week or as long ago as I can remember. All the names have been changed. 

So here’s story number 1 – Bread.

A lesson taking place straight after lunch. My class arrive, many hyped up by junk food and fizzy juice from lunch. It’s a large class of 28 but eventually they settle. As I’m explaining an example to the class I notice Danny is eating. I give him a warning and ask him to empty his mouth. A short time later while the class are working I find a small piece of bread on the floor. Then I spot another and another. I don’t worry about it and carry on helping students with their work. Then I hear a loud yell. It is Danny, who jumps out of his chair and starts shouting at another student. He is shouting that someone had just thrown a pencil at him. I send Danny outside to cool down. I ask the class who threw the pencil and Adam admits it was him. Why? Danny had been throwing bread at him. I go over to Danny’s table and see a loaf of bread in his bag. Both boys were sent to the isolation class within the department and referrals are sent. This incident took up quite a bit of my time during the lesson and allowed many other students to stop working and not learning. All the time and effort I’d spent planning for that lesson had been wasted. 

Now I hadn’t seen any of this happen. I didn’t see the bread being thrown or the pencil being thrown. It makes me wonder what else I miss. 

First Day Plans

It’s a funny thing to think about first day plans after the summer holidays as in Scotland we start with our new classes for a few weeks in June before the holidays. So most of my first days with classes have passed. However, I will be meeting my S1 class (11-12 years old) for the first time next week. (Small lie: I did meet them briefly in June when they visited the school for a few days)

So what will be my first day plans for my new S1 class? How do I decide what to do on the very first lesson. I’ve had many first lessons over the years so I began to think back over what i had done previously and here’s what I found:

  • I will start the course officially – hit the ground running – set these expectations for the year ahead
  • I will set problem solving tasks to see how pupils work together and follow instructions
  • I will give a numeracy task to evaluate where pupils skills are

So my thoughts are: is there something I can do to cover all of the above?

Here’s what I have come up with: Continue reading

Goals for this year

I have published 76 posts since the start of 2016. Only 4 of these were published in 2017. What happened?

I’m not sure really. It could be that work became incredibly busy but more likely I didn’t feel I had a lot to share that was new. I had written so much in the first year of my blog and I had run out of things to say.

So I was so excited when I read this on Twitter:

This was exactly what I needed to get me back in my blogging ways. It might be that I don’t manage to blog every week but I am definitely going to try. Continue reading