Six things I do in the classroom I think work well


  1. Say this when you pack up: ‘Pack up in silence.  If you talk your row will be dismissed last’.  This ensures an orderly and quick packing up time.  Enforce it.  The students won’t mind (it is a tiny sanction).
  2. When marking: get students to leave their books open at the piece of work you want to mark (I no longer trawl through books.  When I mark a class a set of books I just mark one piece of work from each book).
  3. Lollipop sticks.  You’ve probably heard of this method: write the names of all of your students on separate lollipop sticks, and put them in a mug.  You can then quickly and easily randomly select students to answer questions, give out books, read off the board, etc.  You can get a pack of fifty off Amazon for £1.30, and writing out all the names will take maybe five minutes per class.  Or get a kid you trust to write out the names.  Beware: smarter/more annoying students will take their names out.
  4. Buy a red fountain pen for marking.  I used to find marking exhausting and time-consuming.  I don’t now I do 3. and 4.  You can buy ink cartridges off Amazon.
  5. This system of behaviour management.
  6. Have a ball in your classroom, like this one.  When doing class discussion, throw it around.  You can only speak if you’re holding the ball.  Once you’ve had your say, throw it to someone else.

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