There is much pedagogical research on the importance of starting lessons. Not only do the starts set the tone for the what learning is to occur, but they play a large role in settling a class so that they are ready to learn. Starters can:
- ‘Hook’ a class by providing a stimulating link between the initial activity and resulting lesson (Phillips, 2001)
- ‘Connect’ the learning between lessons (Smith, 1998)
- ‘Manage’ students during times of transition by minimising disruption and providing continuity through routine (Muijs and Reynolds, 2001)
It is the purpose of this enquiry to explore the efficacy of starters in the classroom with regards to the readiness of students to learn. As a newly qualified teacher, classroom management and developing my repertoire of engaging learning materials are key parts of the job that I need to build upon. Coming into class and setting-up the learning to be undertaken are important times that set the tone and expectations during a lesson. It is with that in mind that I wish to investigate ways in which to effectively utilise the time that I have with students to stimulate engagement and learning as well as promote positive behaviour choices.
The aims of this enquiry are twofold:
- To explore how useful starters in facilitating student readiness to learn
- To provide information for future practice and continuing professional development