In many schools, teachers are expected to teach classes with 50 or more students–and it can be hard to maintain order and keep everyone on task. However, learning to manage large classrooms gives teachers a greater chance for success. Certainly, most teachers have had to handle large classes from time to time. But some are better at it than others–and that’s where this article comes in. There is no definitive answer regarding class size and its impact on students and teachers. Some say that smaller class sizes are better because students can get more individualized attention from their teacher. Others argue that larger classes size are better because students learn to socialize and work together more. Ultimately, it depends on the teaching style of the class teacher and the courses being taught.
So recognize that you may not get your material across as well as in a small class. So take advantage of any breaks you might have to reinforce it another way (lecture, demonstration or paper/pencil activity). Also, be sure over time to remove students from the class who are chronically disruptive so that you’re left with no more than about 35 students.
There are a few things to keep in mind when handling large classes:
- Be sure to keep the class organized and manage your time well.
- Be sure to keep the students engaged by using various methods and activities.
- Be sure to be flexible and adjust your methods as needed.
5 Strategies for Successful Handling Large Classes
Because of the larger number of students, teachers often experience a decrease in planning time. Take advantage of being flexible and creative with your lesson plans. It’s a good idea to plan your lessons with students in mind, not just yourself. An effective plan considers all students’ needs and allows you to adjust to their abilities.
Use movement activities
Project a sense of structure and order by incorporating movement activities into your lessons. In a large classroom, it’s more important than ever for you to be able to visually keep track of your kids so they don’t get lost in the shuffle when moving from place to place. If your classroom is a traditional one-room school, try to keep the number of students small enough to maintain visual contact with all of them at all times.
Create an atmosphere of meeting discovery
A large class means a lot of students, but it also means that many students need more freedom to be creative and autonomous. Building on the sense of structure and order created by incorporating movement activities into your lessons, consider adding opportunities for individualized learning and group projects—and plan these activities around big events like holidays or spring breaks. Students will feel more motivated when they know there are new opportunities to experiment with different ways of learning and interacting with each other.
Use small groups
In a larger class, it’s important to create smaller groups of students that can work more independently. However, because students will often be students-in-a-group for the first few weeks of school, it’s worth the time it takes to organize the large class soon as some of your kids are used to working in small groups, you can start varying the size of these groups and see how they respond.
It’s crucial to ensure all your kids know they have been noticed and are succeeding. Research has found that this praise-focused feedback provides more motivation for children than rewards or punishments do. So give your kids a lesson in motivation, by telling them that you noticed their efforts and that you know they are trying hard.
Inspire students to be leaders
One of the big differences between small and large classes is that in a small class, students often spend a lot of time working with or for each other. When kids get to know each other in this way, they start feeling responsible for each other’s success. So before the year starts, encourage the whole class to adopt the “class leader” role – create an environment where all students are encouraged to work toward common goals and learn how to support and help each other through difficult times (such as when one child is struggling).
Don’t forget about continuity
Research shows that children need continuity over time to become proficient in new tasks. This is true for large classes as well as small ones. Students need to know that the teacher won’t change (and the curriculum won’t) so they can see patterns and learn how to accomplish tasks confidently.
To sum up, the article suggests that teachers should follow the five strategies outlined. Some of these include:
• Plan smart – Stay on target and schedule by providing your students with various activities. Develop an effective lesson plan that incorporates different learning styles and keeps your students interested.
• Use movement activities – Use physical movement in your lessons to promote a sense of structure and order. You can incorporate this activity into something as simple as sorting or lining up for recess.
• Create an atmosphere of meeting discovery – A large class means many students think they need more freedom to be creative and autonomous than other children in their grade level might already have.
Teachers who have to deal with large classrooms face unique challenges; they must find ways to keep on task a group of students that can sometimes seem like an unruly mob. One way they do this is by using “time-sensitive materials.” These are things like pop quizzes, worksheets, and tests, which must be completed in a short amount of time.