With older students I revel in and wrestle with infinity. With younger students I am currently sucked into the reality of day-to-day behaviour management. I want to distill for myself a few thoughts.
- Some are fairly obvious, but weren’t originally obvious to me.
- These might be useful for me but useless to you.
Some things I have learnt to avoid
- Patiently waiting for silence
- Behaviour reflections on their own have little impact due to poor memory
- I too often have the tendency of ignoring small things – a student has their head on the table but I just want to talk to this engaged student about what a variable is. Long-term I am shooting my aim of thinking about the learning in the foot by allowing small things to grow into big things.
Some things I have learnt to repeat:
- I need to be enthused with the content of the lesson – this enthusiasm is infectious
- Constant visual reminder of behaviour targets is empowering for SACs, and useful for students
- Students should move around lots. Even if this is switching between working at tables and then sitting around the board for class discussions, it breaks up the feeling of a monotonous lesson.
- Assign students as experts – great boost
- Counting down works best when in conjunction with little interjections of praise (thanks Jess for this one), “3…. Great proof of listening Abde, 2…. Lovely from Nick… 1…. 0”.
- Start with learning aims and build activities around this
- Students realise you care when you mark their work with care.
- Start the lesson with rough informal ideas and gradually weave in the formal mathematical approach. If there is enough in-built support then everyone in the group can go on the same journey to abstraction.
- Focus on successes rather than failures, to keep yourself chipper