“Is there anything that really stands out that a student going on prac can brush up on?”
Looking in the mirror and practising their behaviour management skills. Have lots of strategies all ready to go, they may be your facial expressions, a touch on someone’s head, or stopping talking until the class are ready to go. Have several different ‘attention getters’ ready, like a bell, a rattle, clapping, singing – anything that gets their attention. My students at my last practicum LOVED having a points system, whereby the winning group received a prize at the end of the week – this system worked wonderfully well in a year 2 class. I used to surprise my students sometimes by breaking into a song, and they responded by singing with me and stopping any behaviour management issue we were having.
Use your FIRM, FAIR, ASSERTIVE voice and class rules. Children do not respond to a soft voice, believe me, I found out very quickly! My class created their own set of rules and consequences (with careful supervision and guidance by the teacher). Maybe once rules have been established, voice volume may reduce? Test out different volumes and vary voice to keep students interested.
Part 4′s coming tomorrow!