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The First 6 Weeks


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Some ideas for the first half term of Year 7 in Secondary schools for Geography teachers (but could be adapted for other subjects of course)

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The First 6 Weeks

  1. 1. The first 6 weeks... Image: Raspberry Blur by Alan Parkinson
  2. 2. “ ...because you never get a second chance to make a first impression...”
  3. 3. What is the focus of your first half term of the new school year ? Why did you choose to focus on this topic ? How can you connect this with student experiences ?
  4. 4. First time or n th time.... <ul><li>Whether you’re an NQT or nearing retirement the first few weeks of term are a time to reassess, make a fresh start, and perhaps try new things before you get in the groove... (or is it a rut ?) </li></ul><ul><li>Something old, something new, something borrowed ? </li></ul>
  5. 5. What do Year 6s enjoy doing ? How many of these will they be doing in Geography ? Working in groups Playing Finding things out for themselves Drama Making things Using their hands Going on the computer Working outside of the classroom
  6. 6. Where and how did students /colleagues spend their summer ?
  7. 7. Name: Subject: Most interesting place visited this summer and why: Get enough of these duplicated for whole staff for first staff meeting then use them for mapping activity ...
  8. 8. The first lesson <ul><li>Do you really have to give out exercise books straight-away ? </li></ul><ul><li>Do you want to put any textbooks on the desk ? </li></ul><ul><li>Are you aware of all the SEN issues in the class and how they might manifest themselves at a stressful time ? </li></ul><ul><li>Do you want to look backwards or forwards ? What did you do or what are we going to do ? </li></ul>
  9. 9. The first few lessons <ul><li>Plan some activities which involve students talking to each other , and not just in friendship groups – if activities like peer assessment are going to work, there has to be the development of mutual trust. </li></ul><ul><li>Tell the students a little bit about yourself, and why you do the job that you do. What was your “geographical journey” to arrive in their classroom ! </li></ul>
  10. 10. The first half term <ul><li>Avoid formal assessments if possible </li></ul><ul><li>Produce exciting and colourful display material and get it on the walls as soon as possible </li></ul><ul><li>Send postcards home or make positive comments in student planners where possible </li></ul><ul><li>Plan an out of classroom activity / visit </li></ul><ul><li>Make the most of the free maps if / when they arrive (see later) </li></ul><ul><li>Do you still have a rigid half-termly unit structure ? </li></ul>
  11. 11. Welcoming the new groups... <ul><li>Plan something particularly exciting for the first few lessons ! </li></ul><ul><li>Emphasise geography’s “wow factor” – use the images / ideas from “a different view” </li></ul><ul><li>Involve the students in the lesson planning – adopt a YPG approach </li></ul>
  12. 12. How about you ? <ul><li>Sign up to an appropriate NING to get new ideas: </li></ul><ul><li>Check that your GA membership is up to date (keep an eye out for the latest GA Magazine) </li></ul><ul><li>Visit the newly updated GA website from the first week of September </li></ul>
  13. 13. Further advice
  14. 14. Language of Landscapes <ul><li>Will accompany the free OS maps for Year 7s – make sure that you sign up to receive yours! </li></ul>
  15. 15. Where to next ? <ul><li>Please tell us some of your stories from the first 6 weeks... </li></ul><ul><li>E-mail them to [email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>Things that made you “Mr. Grumpy”, “Little Miss Sunshine” or “Mr. Nervous” ? </li></ul><ul><li>Thanks to GA SPC colleagues for suggestions </li></ul>