Author: Natalia Charman

Scholar to Scholar: Behaviour Management

Scholar to Scholar Event March 2021

This month, our Scholars got together for another Scholar to Scholar event with a focus on behaviour management, low level classroom disruption and where to find teaching resources.

Building on the success of the first Scholar to Scholar event in November, a new set of Scholars were invited to speak at the evening networking and peer discussion event. Tom Habing (NQT), Jess Robinson (NQT) and Aaran Karia (ITT) shared their in-classroom experience of behaviour management, dealing with low level classroom disruption and their go-to resources for lesson planning. Scholars in their third year of the programme were also invited to attend in preparation for summer immersion and start of their ITT year later in 2021.

The speakers shared experiences of behaviour management and how a teacher’s actions can cause disengagement in the classroom. Aaran recalled his first lesson with a new class, “The class was being disruptive and talking to each other, they weren’t following my instructions. And I realised a lot of that was down to me…. I didn’t tell them how long the activity will be. I need to tell them they need to stick their sheet in, I need to tell them if they can write in pen or pencil. All these basic questions I hadn’t thought of before and they were getting confused and asking me. It was because they didn’t know what to do so they started to misbehave.” Tom who also had similar experiences developed new phrases for the classroom, recommending “no voices” rather than “silence” or “be quiet” which can be open to interpretation.

Jess spoke about the difference it can make to the classroom to stay away from negativity, not giving warnings in the first five minutes and focusing on a calm start. Making questions accessible and using retrieval practice at the start of lessons also helped Jess to engage with classes and solidified their knowledge in the subject.

All three speakers expressed the challenges of online teaching in the past few months and the particular challenges in maths and science where demonstrations are important to pupil learning.

  • Jess recommends using a visualiser to show model answers and video resources in place of science experiments.
  • Tom has had improved engagement with pupils by utilising chat functions on videocalls with quick true or false questions rather than asking individual pupils to give long answers.
  • Aaran has taken advice from his SEND Coordinator to use colour coding in his presentations and consistent colours in related topics or concepts to help pupils make visual connections.

All speakers agreed that relationship building with pupils is a vital part of being a teacher and gaining trust and engagement, from sparing a few minutes at the beginning of class to ask about their interests such as Minecraft, Harry Potter, pets; to meet and greets at the door when they are back in school.

Here are some of the top resources our speakers recommend for ITTs and NQTs both for subject specific activities and planning during the event:

Scholars can access a full replay of the Scholar to Scholar event to hear the full stories from Tom, Jess and Aaran as well as the group discussion in the second part of the event.

We have once again enjoyed the knowledge sharing between our Scholars and impressed by their passion for teaching and adaptability in facing challenges. Our next event will be planned for the end of summer term.

The Young Mathematical Story Author 2021

YMSA 2021

Since its launch in 2019, the Young Mathematical Story Author (YMSA) competition has become an annual international writing competition for young mathematics learners from around the world. Last year, 329 students from 50 schools across 10 countries have submitted their mathematical story picture books.

YMSA is organised by MathsThroughStories.org, a non-profit and research-based initiative set up by Dr. Natthapoj Vincent Trakulphadetkrai, Associate Professor of Mathematics Education, University of Reading.

Dr. Trakulphadetkrai says:

“What truly unique about this competition is the focus on writing stories with an explicit mathematical focus. Specifically, the competition is set up to encourage young mathematics learners (8-15 years old) from around the world to embed their mathematics learning in a meaningful and engaging context through creating their own mathematical story picture book.”

Join in the competition by encouraging maths students in your school to create a story.

The winner in each of the two entry categories will receive an award of £100, and their school will also receive £100. The winner will also have their own profile, their school’s profile and their winning entry featured on the MathsThroughStories.org website.

The closing date for entries is Friday 26 March 2021.

Full details of the competition are available on the website >>

Best of luck to all those that apply!