Creative work on the topic
« Planning and class room organization in large classes»
(some useful tips for new teachers)
Творча робота на тему
« Планування та організація роботи в класах
з великою кількістю учнів»
In a large class, good classroom management techniques are particularly important. Good classroom management makes your job easiеr and helps students to learn better. We also want to train our students to co-operate in our classroom management.
Often it is teachers who do not like large classes. I think the main challenges for teachers of managing learning in large classes, are:
► dealing with a wide range of ages and abilities;
► keeping everyone's attention;
► doing oral work;
► students' motivation to learn English may be poor;
► helping weaker students;
► checking individual progress;
► attendance and continuity;
► marking large quantities of written work;
► taking the register.
Some students like being part of a large class because it is 'safe': there are lots of students to do the work and the teacher can not watch and listen to everyone. However, other students in a large class want more contact and help from the teacher.
There is no 'big answer' to solve the challenges, but there are lots of 'small answers'. Teachers all over the world have contributed many tried and tested tips to help you and your students get used to new teaching methodologies which can improve their learning.
Classroom management involves:
► planning lessons which include variety and which meet objectives;
► giving clear instructions to students on what you want them to do;
► setting up and monitoring student interactions in pair and group work;
► using teaching and learning resources;
► moving clearly from one phase of the lesson to the next phase;
► timing and balancing of learning activities;
► starting and finishing the lesson.
Good classroom management starts with planning. Planning is one of the most important and most helpful things that teachers can do. Effective planning means that teachers, students, parents and princi¬pals know what will be learnt, when it will be learnt, and how learning will take place.
Start by thinking of the work you have to do in each year, each term, each week and each lesson. Your Ministry of Education or your course book may have a syllabus: this is the amount of work you have to teach in a year. The division of all this work is called a 'scheme of work' - these are sometimes provided by the Ministry, or you may make your own. It is not difficult, but you need to sit down before the year (or term) starts, with a piece of paper that will clearly show all you will be teaching. It is helpful to use a pencil as you will need to keep rubbing out, moving and changing things in order to make them fit.
You need to think about:
► how much work you have to finish with each class by the end of the academic year;
► how you will divide this work into what you will have to finish each term;
► how you will divide each term's work into what you will have to finish each week;
► how you will divide each week's work into what you will have to finish each lesson
After you have planned your scheme of work for each class, you will then need to think about each individual lesson and make a lesson plan. With a little practice, this will not take long. Lesson plans make teaching and learning easier for both teacher and students. We need to learn to make and use lesson plans, because they:
► make teaching easier;
► help us get through our lesson, without forgetting important phases;
► are a permanent written record of what we have taught;
► remind us which class we taught and when we taught that lesson;
► include class size, and resources we used. Here are the areas you need to think about when planning a lesson:
► What is the objective of the lesson - what will the students learn?
► Will the objective of the lesson be: learning vocabulary, grammar, functional language, or improving listening, speaking, reading or
► What variety of activities will you use?
► How much time will each part of the lesson take?
► How will you manage the lesson - what you say, how you will group
► If your students find the lesson too easy or too difficult, what will
► How will you know if you have achieved the objective of your
We know that in each lesson, we need to plan time to:
► ask about and review previous learning;
► present new language;
► practise new language;
► produce new language;
► improve language skills.
We also need to plan each lesson to include a balance between
► teacher talking-time and student participation
► learning and practising both new language and previously learned language needs continual practice);
► listening, speaking, reading and writing activities;
► knowing about language and learning how to use language.
It is very important to have variety and balance for effective learning. If any of these areas of teaching and learning become unbalanced over a period of several lessons, students may become bored and they may stop learning.
Each lesson should include a good variety of learning activities. This will help keep students interested and improve their motivation. Variety is also important in a large class because it gives all students a chance to benefit. Each student has a different way of learning. So if we use only one type of activity, then only the students who enjoy or excel at this type of activity will benefit. If we use a wide variety of activities, then all students can find something they are good at or enjoy doing. This gives all students an opportunity to learn better. We can plan for variety by thinking about:
► a variety of Presentation, Practice and Production techniques and
► how much student participation we include;
► how much listening, speaking, reading or writing activities
► how much pair or in-group work there is;
► how much language is cued in words, gesture or pictures;
► how much feedback from activities there is, to the teacher or to
► how much correction there is, when the correction is done, and
who does the correction.
Planning a variety of activities helps to keep students interested and motivated to learn better. Some tips you can use to increase the motiva tion of your students include:
► Using students' own opinions, ideas and experiences.
► Encouraging student contribution and letting them speak or write withour fear.
► giving positive praise;
► planning learning in easily achievable steps;
► recognising and openly acknowledging individual and class progress;
► making best use of learning opportunities, both in and out of the classroom;
► emphasising the importance of English in your country, and for global communication;
► giving attention to all the students, not favouring the best, or the loudest;
► encouraging all students and giving lots of praise, especially to students who are working hard and trying to improve, and students lacking confidence. Do not use negative words or a discouraging tone of voice;
► carefully managing learning activities so that all students are involved, not just the quick and confident ones;
► making sure that any pair or group work benefits most of your class.
In all language lessons, the teacher is in control in different ways throughout the lesson. However, there are specific classroom manage¬ment skills which help the lesson go well, particularly if your class is large.
Being clearly seen and heard
You may think you have all students' attention if you stand at the front of the class, but this is not always true. Students at the sides and back of the class may think that you cannot see what they are doing. If you always stand or sit in the same place, students may either feel neglected by the teacher, or think that they cannot be seen and may misbehave. Make sure that all students can see you, and that you can be seen. This way, the class knows that you want to see everyone and that you are available when any student needs help, not just those sitting in the front row. Move around in your classroom as much as you can, slowly and quietly, so students are not disturbed and do not feel threatened. It is very important to make sure that all students can hear you. If students at the back of the class cannot hear you very well, they may feel you do not care about them and so may stop learning. Project your voice so that students at the back of your class can hear you. Projecting your voice means speaking clearly and loudly, but not shouting. Practise with a colleague who sits at the back of your classroom. Your voice will be clearer and louder if you look up as you speak. Eye contact helps to make people understand that you are talking to them, but move your eyes around the class from time to time, and do not develop favourite students. Do not talk to the blackboard as you are writing on it. Learn to write while standing sideways-on to the blackboard.
Learning and using students' names
One of the best ways to gain and keep control and maintain discipline is to learn and use the students' names. Although it can be a challenge quickly learn all the names of your students, especially if you have a large class, here is a technique to help you. Ask students to help you make a class plan on a piece of paper with all the names written on it, that you can hold and constantly refer to. To make this idea work, everyone sits in the same place until you tell them to change places.
Setting up your own classroom rules
Classroom rules help to establish and maintain good discipline. These classroom rules are in addition to school rules. You can discuss and
agree class rules for behaviour that is acceptable in your classroom.
These rules can then be put on the wall as a reminder for everyone.Take time to make sure that everyone understands and knows they have to keep them. Students who do not keep them will be punished. It is a good idea to have different levels of discipline starting with a warming and then using appropriate punishment.
There are times when you want the class to be silent, but students do not have to be silent all the time. School principals, other teachers and parents often think that a silent class is a good class where students are learning. However, a silent class does not necessarily mean that students are learning.
It is, however, very important for discipline and for learning that you can achieve and maintain silence quickly and easily when you want it. For example, it can be disturbing for some students to try to work with a background of other students talking, because it means that they cannot concentrate or hear the teacher.
You need to develop and practise simple and effective ways to achieve silence. For example, stand quietly with your arm held up, or gently tap the blackboard with a pencil for about ten seconds. Often, the most effective way to achieve silence is to be silent yourself. Shouting for silence does not usually work - it only encourages students to shout back. A teacher who does not shout encourages a quiter classroom.
With practice, your class will soon come to recognise these signs and will quiten down.
However well you establish and maintain discipline in your class, sometimes things will go wrong. As we have seen, classroom discipline can be helped by agreeing classroom rules that everyone understands and keeps.
If problems start, you must take effective action before the situation gets worse. Do not let noise go on for long as it will become more of a
challenge to stop it later. Use your technique for achieving silence. Find out if the students have finished their work, or if they do not understand what to do. In these situations, you can ask those who have finished early to work on the self-access materials and give extra help to those who have difficulties.
Sometimes, one or more students become bored or determined to make trouble. Then you have to prevent more discipline problems from happening. However, always be fair and apply the rules equally to all students. Be consistent in your use of rules, and take the same action for similar discipline challenges. Always be firm with your rules to stop bad behaviour, so that students understand exactly what will happen if they misbehave. Try to criticise the act rather than the student.
I wish you success in your teaching !!!!