Granted Education

Practical, hands-on strategies to engage and excite learners

Troubleshoot Classrooms

Teaching Strategy #36 - What to do when your classroom is out of control

Posted by anonymous on May 14, 2014 at 4:05 AM

A change is as good as a holiday!

Sometimes, you are faced with a whole classroom of students who have a mental block & as a result, struggle to focus & complete the work.  I ran into this problem this week during the last session of the day. We were supposed to be doing a math quiz of 20 questions & their results were to be recorded to monitor progress.  Heaps of students were asking me to repeat questions & explain what was being asked, despite being really simple (often me giving them the answer in the question!) & having done those styles of question all term. This was infiinitely frustrating & it seemed like the general vibe of it being too difficult was quickly racing around the class. 

This situation reminded me that you need to be quite flexible in the delivery of lessons if you want a positive outcome. Instead of showing my frustration, I calmly asked the students to close their books & stand behind their chairs.  They were a little confused, but I then asked them to go to the undercovered area that was near our classroom & get ready to play bump.  There was no point in continuing with the lesson in its current form because the students needed to kickstart their brains before any productive work could be achieved.

If you are ever in this situation, one solution is to change classrooms, but often this is not enough by itself. Like electric shock therapy (no, I'm not suggesting that here, but hear me out!), the shocks are to snap the brain out of its current funk & reset it to normal electrical activity.  You often need to couple a room change with a situation change - play a game (something physical would work best - like" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">bump) that challenges their brain to work in a different way.  When you have done that for at least 5mins, go to another room & see if you can go from where you left off.  Bring it to the student's attention to shake off how they initally started the lesson (actually, get them to jump up & down & shake if they are younger thaan Yr 10) and continue with a new attitude.

Sometimes you get curve balls thrown at you during lessons & just having tips like this in your arsenal can help keep your sanity!


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Categories: Effective Teacher Practices, Innovation, Games

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