Who dares wins, but how exactly?

Posted by miss_21

OK, PGDE is finished and now we get our own class, but where do we start?

I'm feeling nervous and not sure what to do with my class in the first few daysweeks. I was surprised to find I had been given a Primary 7 class, especially as I'd been hoping for one of the lower primaries.

On the first day, do I get the kids to do a normal day's work, maths, language, reading, etc? Should I be planning their reading groups and environmental studies topics now for the first week?

Any advice or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Worried probationer!

Posted by jacqui.rod

Hi, I have just finished my probation year. In my first few days I got the kids to design postcards of their summer holiday and we addressed them to the headteacher. This gave language and art skills and we also turned it into a display.

We also completed writing plans for "All about me" and then used this as a basis for a short piece of writing.

Maths consisted of problem solving and mental maths, as the kids were a bit rusty after the holidays and it takes you a few days to come to terms with handover information on groupings and setting.

Our timetable took about a week and a half to sort properly and as long as you keep the kids active and informed, all should be well.

Other ideas I have seen in P7 are to get them to write a mind map around a picture of themselves, favourite colour, hobby, friend, sport, etc. Rule books can also be useful after initial discussions on what rules your class feel should be in place, as they are more likely to stick to them.

I hope this is of some help, good luck.

Posted by Archimedes

It's an exciting but scary thought, isn't it? You are likely to have a mentor in school who will help you with the practicalities and give you ideas too.

Talking with pupils right at the start about rules and expectations is important. You don't know them and they don't know you, and more than likely you don't know the routines of their previous teachers, so yours will need to be explained explicitly. (This has the benefit of making sure you've worked these things out beforehand, so you will appear more confident!) Maybe ask them to make posters of the rules.

You could get them to do Big Brother style introductions to themselves.

They'll need time first to prepare what they want to say. If you're confident with technology, they could video each other. Or get them to "sell" a friend in the class to you, describing their best qualities and how they will contribute positively to the class.

You could consider setting up some more open-ended activity, so no one is at a loose end, such as preparing a two-minute talk for the end of the week about their favourite hobby or interest or something they did in the holidays. They can then collect information and write notes during spare moments.

Before they do their talks, you might have discussed what constitutes good listening in P7 and then have a panel of observers during each talk, noting examples of good listening.

Hopefully your mentor will give you a hand in organising your groups and getting them going. Don't worry, this is unlikely to be on the first day!

Posted by missyac

Class rules, getting to know you games, mental maths, etc. I can't actually remember too much about my first day but that was about the gist of it. You could have them type the rules up on the computer, incorporating ICT.

After that, get to a normal working day, that's what I would do.

Good luck

Posted by miss_21

Thank you for all these inspirational ideas, I will definitely be taking these on board in the first week of term. It's great that we have such a network of helpful experienced teachers to make suggestions.

I love the mind map ideas and the technology one about the video BB-style of themselves. You were all great and hopefully some other probationers can read the suggestions and use them too. Thanks ever so much.

Here's hoping it is a successful year for anyone who is just starting out.

Good luck and more suggestions are only too welcome!

For further ideas and suggestions, go to www.tes.co.ukscotland

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