Making the Most of Registration/Form Time

#UKEdChat Session 400 – Thursday 19th April 2018

Starting the day off right can set the tone for what follows, but are you making the most of your registration/form time? While is this usually only a short time, over the course of a year it really mounts up and can be utilised in many different ways to support and/or move forward learning. In this session of UKEdChat, we explored what colleagues are doing during registration/form time and how to use the time effectively.

Read the discussion archive here

Questions

  1. Describe your usual registration/form time.
  2. What do you feel are your main challenges during registration/form time?
  3. What do you think is the opinion of your pupils about registration/form time?
  4. What is the best way to begin a registration/form time session?
  5. Should registration/form time be used for homework?
  6. How can we change registration/form sessions to give us more time to do productive things?
  7. What are your favourite activities for registration/form time session?
  8. What would you change about registration/form time session across your school?

Summary:

Registration (or form) time is an essential aspect of daily school life, but making the most of that precious time with a group of students can seem like a chore, due to late arrivals, the collection of letters etc., or considerations of the next lesson playing in the mind of the teacher.

The routine may sound familiar, but that 15 minute period may appear chaotic depending on how the session is approached. Some shared experiences included:

  • Meet at door, register, as they enter on device (quicker), give notices out am due then enter a topical discussion of the day based on themes for the week. In yr 10/11 subject based recaps.
  • In the 15 mins my 5 arrive (SEMH Secondary), usually halfway through a heated debate that started at the pupil entrance about the latest Marvel movie trailer, do the register, give out any important announcements, a quick look at the national/local news and away. Phew!
  • Morning registration involves a thinking task on the IWB, maths puzzles or outdoor activities for about 15 minutes. Thinking tasks can be about art, maths, English, science, music… anything that will encourage diverse thinking.
  • Good activities were a weekly quiz from the head of year. Was always fun. We sort of did what the flow of the class was. One half term we went through song lyrics once a week (I kicked off with Rudy, by the Specials) Was a real connect activity. Was kinda ‘our’ time

Some of the challenges of such short sessions can include trying to convince students that they should make the most of the hour or so a week instead of just sitting and gossiping, or pupils wanting to tell stories straight away when they arrive. The transition from outside to inside can also prove a challenge to stimulate their brains when they’ve just spent 20 mins buzzing around the playground. Repeat after lunch when they’ve had an hour of fun, falls and fallouts which have to be supported/resolved.

The importance of these consistent meeting opportunities with students really should be about a Pastoral engagement rather than a teacher going through the motions before they start teaching. It’s often good when the head of year takes a bit of a lead and sets expectations of what the teacher should be doing and possibly organises activities- such as a quiz day, discuss this article day, etc.

Some shared routines, from the archive:

  • In the morning, an activity that requires no input, like a follow-up activity from yesterday’s learning. After lunch, a discussion about something topical. I sometimes stick Newsround on. Some of them have no concept of the wider world or what’s happening in it. Pupils love a good debate such as Brexit/Trump/Politics/Syria and you can have some fantastic debates about the world. However, a level of maturity/common sense applies to certain things!
  • Set entry routines. Minutes lost add up, especially when you only have 15 minutes! We have silent line-up and entry to seats. Makes it so much calmer and purposeful!
  • We do arithmetic or SPAG 10 a days related to an objective we have already covered so they are always practising key skills throughout the year

Ultimately, if pupils see registration time as a positive aspect of their day, offering pastoral opportunities, along with engaging and interesting activities, then this will inspire them to arrive on time, so they don’t miss out on something which everyone values. Consider taking this time in a different location, away from desks. Use it as an opportunity to energise and start the day positively rather than slumping in a chair. A group walk, dance, stretch or meditation could be such a lovely way to prepare for learning.

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About @ICTmagic 652 Articles
Martin Burrett is the editor of our popular UKEdMagazine, along with curating resources in the ICTMagic section, and free resources for teachers on UKEd.Directory

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