Use Group Roles to ensure everyone in your lesson has something to do at all times.
When it comes to controlling practical lessons, the more eyes the better.
There are plenty of ways you can get the students to act as your eyes and ears – group roles are my personal favourite. The kids manage their own behaviour, and you ensure that everyone in a prac has something to do* (There are three roles because a group of three is, realistically, the largest you can have without someone freeloading.)
- Safety Inspector – ensures glassware is in the centre of the table, goggles stay on, pupils stay standing etc.
- Equipment Manager – responsible for collection (and safe and timely return) of all equippment.
- Script Supervisor – ensures all tables, results and observations are recorded in correct format
Obviously you tailor the roles to the groups you have. This also works well as differentiation. Best of all, it makes sure your equipment is returned (quickly and neatly of course) without you screaming. It is amazing how quickly your thermometers appear when you guarantee all four equipment managers will lose their lunch…