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Ensure fairness when selecting children by giving them each a centimetre cube on which to write their initials or register number. Place each child's cube in an empty pop bottle with a screw-top lid. Keep the bottle in a handy place. Whenever you need to make an instant decision, perhaps for teams, sharing work or classroom jobs, simply give the bottle a shake and draw out a cube.
On the board
Put a few revision questions on the board so that children entering the room can get on with some work straight away. This gives you time to sort out any problems, such as the lack of pencils or a playtime dispute. I have found this particularly useful for getting lower sets to revise the basics that they so easily forget, such as multiplying by 10.
Saved by the bell
Instead of raising your voice to get the attention of your class or ask them to be quieter, use an old-fashioned school bell. One ring and the children will instantly be quiet and focus on you. This saves your voice for the literacy hour.