Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:4-7

26 February 2013

Top Teaching Tips - AVOID

(Some things to avoid and some things that will help you to avoid the need to discipline)

1.       Don’t offer choices unless you can deliver both options.  For example, “What would you like to do now - play a game or draw a picture?”  If you don’t intend to deliver both options, don’t give the choice as those who aren’t doing what they chose will be disappointed and classroom momentum will be lost.  Just tell them, with wild enthusiasm, what you are doing next.  Keep charge of the situation.

2.       If you have a particularly distracted or distractible group OR if you have a particularly long story to teach, get the children to multitask while you tell the story/do your direct teaching. 

Multitasking ideas

Complete the colouring in puzzle  in the student book (the mindless puzzles that don't take any brain power so that they can still listen to you, not anything that requires thinking and concentration) while they listen to the story.

Give them one or more things to listen out for you teach.  (eg. I want you to make a note of every person’s name/food/colour/mode of transport etc mentioned as I tell you the story.)  Have the children keep a running list.
Get the children to raise their hands (or stand up and then sit down) every time they hear a person’s name (or whatever you specify, as above.)

Give the children a completely unrelated colouring activity that will keep them busy but not distracted from listening while you teach.  Go to GOOGLE IMAGES and enter INTRICATE COLOURING IN or DETAILED COLOURING IN for endless possibilities.)  For older children add challenge to the colouring in by limiting them to four colours or that no two adjoining panels can be the same colour.  These colouring pages will last for two to three lessons but I recommend pulling one of these out only once a term at most – saving it for when it is really needed.

3.       Make judicious use of competition.  It can be very motivating if used carefully.  There are a few points to consider:-
*  It is not helpful to have children always competing for extrinsic rewards.  Be selective.
*  If you have a competition, only give a few prizes – if everyone wins one then this tool loses its power. 
*  Only use lollies as prizes with permission from the school and the classroom teacher. Be aware that some children are not allowed to have lollies and always be aware of the nut allergy problem.  Other prizes include items of stationery, stickers, bookmarks... 
*  Prizes don’t have to be tangible – a prize can be to be chosen to participate in the next part of the lesson. 
*  Competition can be introduced by other means - eg.“I think you should be able to complete this in two minutes.  I will time you.  See if you can do it in less!” – no prizes but highly motivating to get something done.  Great if you need them to get something done in a hurry. 
*  Consider a long range competition with a running score over several sessions.  Or a whole class competition where they collect points together to reach a goal such as play a game.

4.       Use games to – illustrate a point, break up a long teaching time, transition between parts of your lesson or as a reward or prize.  This is where timed challenges come into their own.

5.       Finish any activity, especially a game, at the peak of excitement.   If the children beg you to keep playing say, “Yes, next week.”  Then make sure you play it next week.  The children will be yours and instantly motivated for the next lesson.

6.       Do a craft activity.  Either a small one that can be done as part of your lesson or give a whole lesson or two over to it and do a really wonderful craft activity.  Think about what boys will like as well as girls.  Just remember in a school situation to return the class and the classroom to its teacher in good order.   Something other than the teacher talking and the children listening or bookwork every now and then works a treat.


Deb said...

Meredith, this stuff is GOLD! If you lived anywhere closer to us, I would sign you up to do a Sunday School & RE teachers training day for our area. I wish!

Meredith said...

Well thank you so much Deb. But here is the great that I have put this up into the open market you can swipe it, adapt it and do your own. That is why I have put it up. So please go ahead and use it. :-)