Year 9 possibly need a little more structure, and less flexibility to create patterns, expectations and normalities within the classes. The students I observed at Tamaki had home groups they worked in at the beginning of every day, and they moved quickly and quietly to complete their tasks in these home groups. The home groups was essentially a seating plan, but a place where the students know they are completing work independently, rather than collectively. I have been thinking how some of our students may rely on others to complete their work for them, or they have not developed skills and knowledge of how to work on their own, so I want to try and include more independent tasks.
When students were provided with an umbrella task/goal with some flexibility to choose what they wanted to research and what they wanted to create; there was a buy in and high engagement (reiterating to me again the importance of student choice).