Teaching Senior Classes

Hi everyone,

A lot of the messages I have received recently have been from teachers looking for tips & ideas for teaching in the senior classes. To be fair, I'm delighted to get messages like that because it's about time I balanced out the content a bit, it has been infant-teaching-over-load on site recently! Rather than writing an essay length mammoth post, I'm going to write a senior class post a week for the next month and get as many of your queries covered as I can.

I love teaching the senior classes. I taught fourth for two years and sixth for three years in a row before I ever moved down to Juniors, and loved them. The content of work you can do with the senior classes is so diverse, the projects, the creative writing, the art - just wonderful scope!

Teaching Responsibility:

As the pupils get older, it's good to get them into good routines from the offset. Be consistent with your rules & classroom procedures. September may seem tedious with this but it will mean for a smoother year. Making them a little bit more responsible for their work and learning is important. It's also important in terms of preparing them for the transition to secondary school. Being responsible for their belongings, taking pride in their work, considering  the presentation of their work etc. Before beginning any work with my senior classes, we followed the RTD code. Rule, title, date - it's just a nice habit to get into and helps with encouraging the pupils to take pride in the presentation of their written work,
Presentation poster for encouraging and reminding about neat written work!! :-)

Useful, long-term displays are more beneficial than constantly hanging up different displays that are of no use to your pupils' learning. This (excuse the woeful photography) was a display I used three years in a row in 6th, simply because the pupils got so much use out of it. They were able to come and go to it as they pleased to find replacement verbs and adjectives for their sentences.

Adjectives / improving our use of descriptive language :-)

Establish routines for when pupils are finished their work - have a specific place where they leave their work and routines for them to follow if you are busy or working with another pupil or group.

Image result for early finishers ideas
Picture credit - Pinterest

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Picture credit - Pinterest

Numbers

Give every pupil a number. Display this list somewhere in the room. Number all text books & novels - each pupil uses the book with their specific number. This saves books going missing and it makes it easier to track them when they do. If you have enough to go around, this works well with glue sticks too, as we all know, they just vanish!

Incentives

No matter what age group, everyone loves an incentive. I'm not one for spending a fortune on prizes or goodies, I don't see the need. I'm more into more process based rewards -  like a chance to work at a different table, use some nice gel pens or markers, a chance to take some quiet time to go and read a book or magazine of their choice.

Image result for learning incentives for older pupils
Picture credit - Pinterest

Creative Copies

I like to encourage pupils to put value on their ideas, drafts & plans. Be it for Creative Writing, Art or a Science experiment, creative copies are a handy space for making plans, recording them and best of all returning to them at a later date if they need to.

Missed Work

It's always handy to keep a hold of work that pupils miss. I literally have a basket, write the pupil's name on the activity or sheet and pop it in. With the older pupils it's easier to get them into the habit of collecting their work on their return to class or school. 

Image result for missed work basket
Picture credit - Pinterest


Hope you've all had a lovely weekend, if you're a Dublin fan congrats! And commiserations to all the Mayo supporters out there, heartbreak again, maybe next year will be your year!








4 comments

  1. This is a really interesting post. In fact I know someone who teaches senior students who would totally love this blog. Will share soon.

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