It's all about atmosphere
If a lesson gets off to a good start, it is easier to maintain that atmosphere.
Putting a smile on a pupil's face as they enter the room also has an impact - when my geography pupils enter the classroom and sit down, most are immediately captivated (or amused) by the starter images placed on my whiteboard.
These are normally unusual images linked to the topic we will study.
As a result, they are in a better frame of mind to begin the lesson. This activity works particularly well with lower- ability groups and those with behavioural issues.
Visit www.google.com and select "images". In the random searches box type "unusual weather images". I have collected many useful pictures to use as starter images during lessons
Inga Irvine is head of geography at The Westwood School in Coventry