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* Seating plans

We all know that children often "try it on" with supply teachers. One of their favourite tricks is to come into the classroom and sit wherever they choose, rather than in the places their usual teacher has allocated so they work to the best of their ability. A seating plan, made available to supply teachers, is a quick and simple remedy for this problem. It could be kept in the register or fixed to the teacher's desk. The class's usual teacher could put additional information on the seating plan which might be useful to supply teachers, such as the names of groups and the names of the children who belong in each group.

Penny Maddock

* Get netted

The small drawstring net bags that come with some brands of detergent tablets make useful apparatus for teaching base 10 to infant classes. Each bag holds 10 cubes and several bags can be hung on a cup hook in a position which is easily accessible to children. Pupils beginning to use base 10 can put 10 bricks in a bag, rather than swpping 10 bricks for a 10 stick. Wash the bags first to remove detergent residue.

Sharon Cope

* Target practice

To make children responsible for their own progress with literacy, tape a piece of card inside the back cover of their English book. At the top, write "Target 1". Targets can range from including a full stop at the end of each sentence to using paragraphs in story or letter writing. After each piece of work, allow children to add a number 1 by the date if they believe they have achieved the target. When marking their work, if you agree, tick the number 1. After five ticks, award a sticker and move on to a new target.

Mary Williams

We will pay pound;30 for each tip printed. Send brief ideas for teaching, admin or how to cope in school to TES Primary, 66-68 East Smithfield, London E1W 1BX, or e-mail Please include your full name and school or home address.

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