Learning about the class

Remembering names is a huge problem for me

I have found the tips given here really interesting

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Notes from the study materials


Walking into a different classroom every day and maintaining class continuity is without doubt the biggest challenge facing supply teachers. Positive ways of breaking down the barriers usually associated with the supply teacher include interacting with the students, being a part of their learning, motivating and encouraging them and showing an interest in what they are doing and how they are progressing.
The following suggestions will help you become more involved in the classroom:
Find out about the work the class has been doing. You can often get a good indication of the sort of work primary school students are completing by looking at displays, book corners and the teacher's desk. In high schools you may need to consult with the head of department.
Take some time to get to know the names of your students. This is extremely useful in terms of behaviour management and helps to make everyone feel like an important part of the class. Ask the office personnel for a list of names for all classes associated with your day of supply.
Start with some structured activities and then spend some time talking to the class about their regular activities and programs. Be careful not to give the class too much scope to set the agenda. Follow the program left by the teacher if it is evident that it is not just a 'time-filler'.
Move around the room and be a part of the class dynamics while the children are working, instead of standing back and supervising. This puts you in the best position for behaviour management and ensures you know what work is and isn't being done. Forward thinking and prevention of problems is better than a cure.
Talk to the other year level teachers, teachers, curriculum coordinator or head of department about your particular class and find out about any activities or ideas they may be working on together.
Make use of computer rooms and library time to support your activities, if possible. But be aware of school policies and procedures for bookings and room usage.
Borrow sporting equipment for an afternoon game. Talk to the physical education teacher about this.
Reflect on your day with the children. Discuss the activities you have worked on and any observations (both positive and negative) you have made.
Tidy the classroom. Always devote some time to tidying the room. Encourage the children to have pride in their classroom environment and take responsibility for its order.
If you can get to know your group you will be able to establish relationships and feel part of that particular learning community. This in turn will give the children a sense of importance and a solid foundation on which you can build a trusting relationship during the day.

From Lucinda


The Indian Name Game
Whole class sits in a circle.
1. First person asked to introduce self (first name), then to say an Indian name (name using nature/animals/environment/weather/climate)E.g. Lucinda "Calm Water", or Matthew "Blazing Fire". Each time a new person says their name, then their Indian Name, the class has to repeat it back in unison. So, whole class repeats back "Lucinda Calm Water". Continue until whole class has had a turn.
2.The next step is to add a hand or arm movement which relates to the Indian Name. Each person then has a turn- they say their name and Indian Name using the movement. The whole circle/class repeats it back also using the movement. Continue until everyone in circle has had a turn.
3. The next step is Call and Response. One student starts by saying his/her name and accompanying movement, then says another person's name and movement. This begins the sequence. The second person then says their own name and movement, then says someone else's name and does the accompanying movement. This call and response then just continues with one person in the circle "calling" by saying someone else's name and doing the movement, and then that person "responding" by repeating their name and then continuing the flow by saying somebody else's name, etc.
4.The next step is to then drop the first name, and continue with the activity just using the Indian names and movements.
5.The next step is to then drop the first name and Indian Name - and just use the movement.
This is a really great activity - kids show great imagination, and when the group reaches the last step - just using the movements, there is a really wonderful atmosphere that is often created in the silence.

From Lyn

Discussions: Topics/situations that get students to open up.
Tell me something you can do/something about you/ something you did to help someone else


From Antje

For older grades you can add an interest or favourite something…
Eg “Hi I am Kate and I like netball, this is Ben”
Then “Hi I am Ben and my favourie colour is Black, this is Peter”