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Beginning Teaching... What will help for a great start?

Notes from Tom Sherrington's 'Five Strategies for a great start' and more from Tash

Tom Sherrington: Five strategies for a great start - YouTube

1. Establish your expectations.

What will you expectations be?

How will you communicate this to your students and families?



Some links below to help you come up with some ideas:

Establishing classroom expectations - YouTube

Bayley on Behaviour: Establishing the ground rules (Teachers TV) - YouTube

2. Signal, pause and insist

What will your signal be to your students?

How will you rehearse the signal with your group of students?

Give the signal



Some links below to help you come up with some ideas:

Teacher Toolkit: Nonverbal Signals - YouTube

ULBGC Attention Getter Video - YouTube

Cheers! with Dr. Jean Feldman - YouTube

3. Cold Calling> Questioning and Feedback


  1. Ask the class the question

  2. Give thinking time

  3. Select someone to respond (popsticks for accountability)

  4. Respond to the answers

  5. Select another student and respond again

Whiteboard instruction:

Hover it

Delete it

3,2,1 Showdown

Park it

Some links that will support you with ideas:

Schoolwide Structures for Checking for Understanding - YouTube

4. Think, Pair, Share


i. Establish talk partners for every student

ii. Set the question with a goal and a timeframe

iii. Build in thinking time

iv. Circulate to listen as pairs are talking

v. Use cold call to sample pairs' responses

Some links that will support you with ideas:

Think Pair Share - YouTube

Using Think, Pair, Share—Primary - YouTube

Classroom Protocols in Action: Think-Pair-Share - YouTube

5. Check for Understanding

Cold call, asking what, not if

Probe with short dialogue

Follow-up with more checking dialogues

Explore differences and details

Re-teach, defer or move on

Some links that will support you with ideas:

Check for understanding - YouTube

*Remember to surround yourself with positive like minded teachers and seek out your mentors and go and watch expert teachers!

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