READY TO GO: TRIED AND TESTED - Ideas for supply teachers
These are a few ideas that I have tried and tested as a supply teacher.
NOISE. This is a great strategy for establishing expected behaviour for the whole class, encouraging the children to work quietly. I write NOISE on the whiteboard explaining to the children that if I feel that they are working too noisily then I will simply remove a letter.
I encourage the children to aim to keep NOISE by rewarding them with 3 house/team points, marbles or whatever their class teacher uses this decreases to 2 points if I remove S and to 1 point with the removal of I. If there is no existing award system in the classroom, then I find a way of rewarding them: may be with finishing early to play a quick game.
If three letters are removed so that NO is left then the class know that there will be no rewards.
At the start of the next lesson I return to the complete word so that we have a fresh start.
This is a whole class strategy so if there are just a few children or an individual that are not working quietly I would use another strategy with those specific children.
A great activity to use in an English session is the diamond poem. It can be used with any topic and any age.
Having decided on a topic ask the children to write a noun on the first line; two adjectives on the second line; three powerful verbs on the third line; a four word phrase or clause on the fourth line. Then work backwards, i.e three powerful verbs on the fifth line and two adjectives on the sixth line. Sometimes I reverse this asking for three adjectives and two verbs. Finally the children finish by writing a different noun but one that is linked to the first.
Prowling, hunting, roaring
Hunted to near extinction
Powerful, beautiful, fierce
It is not always possible as a supply teacher to have a diamond framework ready to use as a resource. I have given the children A4 paper and illustrated how to make a square from that so that they can write onto that, using line guides if necessary. As an extension to this activity, children can put these ideas into full sentences; creating a descriptive paragraph about the chosen topic. They can also illustrate their completed poems.
A great maths lesson is rip lotto which I wrote about in a previous blog.
Finally, this is an idea I have used a lot as a supply teacher. It is easy to set up and like the diamond poem can be used with any topic and age range. It just takes a piece of plain paper, ask the children to draw a simple outline of an object. They then fill in the area around the outside of the object, using small, delicate lines. I have found that some children need encouraging not to make the fill in pattern too big. I have the best results from using one colour and paper that is not too big, about A6 size.