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Too much time is ok!

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I also find that class sizes are affecting the timing of my day. I agree with #2 that I need to accept the fact that things take longer. Especially when your teaching the little ones (who take a long time naturally) but it's even harder with over sized classes. I always feel so pressed to keep up with the curriculum, so allowing like you said, shoulder partners, may help move along the slower ones. Or at least finding a stronger student to pair them with, until I can get to them to answer their questions. This does go hand in hand with the volume level of the classroom. I will also have to deal with a louder classroom, because more students will be talking to one another, trying to help problem solve. Thanks for the insight!

8th Gr. Social Studies, Seattle, WA

Big ol' messy classes

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Thanks for the clear thoughts about large, often unwieldy classes (32 this year in a couple of my 8th grade social studies sections). I particularly like the thoughts regarding, #2: Accept that things take longer.

It's just a fact of life, sometimes. With the bigger classes, I find that it one or two or three or four kids (for whatever reason) just plain missed the instructions (perhaps because of #3: Too loud too often).

After spending too much time fighting that battle, I have incorporated what amounts to your tip #1 Collaborative Grouping (actually elbow partners) into my procedures... "Now turn to your elbow partners and make sure that you're perfectly clear on exactly what to do." It takes up some time, but I consider it an investment that pays off.

7th grade Social Studies teacher from Atlanta, Ga

I have been teaching for the

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I have been teaching for the past eleven years and the class size has been increased to 34. This has been a very challenging year with so many students with so many different learning styles. In the mix of the 34, are 10-11 exceptional education students who are Ebd, Sld, or Add, or etc. These tips will be very helpful especially #2. I will use the ideas of thumbs up or thumbs down or even holding up fingers for understanding.

Large class size

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I am a Barbadian teacher of a large class of 29 students. I usually have a roll of about 32 students but the number has dwindled this year. I do have challenges with the large number since the class is made up of different levels of learners, including four who are working behind their grade level. I find this post interesting as it shows me that I am not alone despite the different cultures. I do delegate tasks to students such as peer tutoring, sharing out books etc. and correcting homework. I also use collaborative groups of two as suggested and I meet with individuals who are behind in work at recess or after school and this practice have helped me to make progress in meeting the students' needs. Group work calls for some noise and so I cant totally let go. I do welcome any tip to improve my practice!

9th grade English teacher

Effective strategies!

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I am currently dealing with a couple large and rather rowdy classes of students. This is nothing new to me personally, but I have two very large classes in particular that have difficulty focusing in both structured and unstructured learning environments. I actually incorporated the “thumbs ups/thumbs down approach in a recent activity and it went well. I am definitely going to use the “1 of 3 finger approach” next. What an effective strategy to measure student comprehension and engagement. I also plan on “letting go” more and delegating things to my students. Thanks for the tips!

6th-Grade Math Teacher from Oregon

Large Class Sizes

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Large class sizes have been a continuous event for our District at the 6th-grade level over the past four years. With the latest budget cuts our class sizes haven't increased much (still at 30-33), but we have more students pushing-in who used to be pulled out for support.

I enjoy having these kids in the class and am a firm believer in the use of small groups for language usage and content discussion, but this year's biggest challenge is managing the "newcomers." This is my first year having to serve a Level I English Language Learner who is only capable of counting by one's and is struggling to understand the basics of the language I'm using for directions much less for instruction.

However, to use language, you must hear language. The plan is to have all the kids practice verbalizing mathematical concepts more intentionally and thereby help all of my struggling learners to engage in language acquisition in real time. Large class sizes are certainly challenging, but they also bring with them more opportunities for student success and growth through peer interactions and small group activities.

large class sizes

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I am currently dealing with large class sizes including Honors classes of 32 students. I have found it difficult to manage the class with that many students. I am still using collaborative groups however I haven't focused on the other 3 tips yet. After reading this blog, I am going to implement tips 2 through 4 in my classes.

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