Good Monday morning to you! How are we holding up? Just a few more weeks friends! This time of year is a stressful time of year. We have end of the year testing, more end of the year testing, and meeting after meeting. That does not include the students that are oh so ready for summer break. I get it, we are all stressed and ever so ready for this school year to come to an end. This school year we were faced with an eclipse, Hurricane Harvey, and two ice day! Without a doubt, our students, are in need a structure. Each time it rains, we have a few students that inevitably say, “No school because it’s raining!”…yeah, wishful thinking! I wanted to take a moment to discuss a topic that is very important all year, but, even more important as we come to the end of the school year: Maximizing Instructional Time.
Monday Musing #3
Why is it important? Research shows that the average teacher devotes between 20%-50% of their instructional day to instruction. SO, if a teacher increased their instructional time by 15 minutes a day, that would amount to 45 HOURS of instructional time per year! When I learned that, I was floored! I am on your side guys, I get it…but we still have standards to teach and I often hear, I don’t have enough time to teach all of these standards! Well, lets talk about some tips that will help you gain 15 minutes each day!
- Hold your students accountable during transitions. Set your expectations. Set a time. It should not take 10 minutes to transition from Math to Science.
- How long does it take for whole group restroom time? Consider a time. When I taught 5th grade, I had 36 students in my class. I told them that the expectation was 7 minutes. I would reward the students with a ticket that they could then use in my class store to purchase tangible items such as pencils, erasers, straws…small toys from Oriental Trading…HOWEVER, when they took longer than 7 minutes, I would charge them a fine. Also, whichever group (boys or girls) took longer than 7 minutes, had to give the other group a ticket. Worked like a charm!
- Don’t leave the students idle. What are they doing while you take attendance? Ideas could include practice math facts, vocabulary, strategies, complete unfinished classwork…what else do you do?
- Don’t leave your students unattended. A quick trip to the restroom turns into checking your box, stopping to chat with a co-worker, running in to see if the librarian has the books you requested…idle time for the students because your teacher BFF can’t teach both classes.
- Do the Wong thing and circulate the room. Even while you are doing small group, check in on the other students.
What other tips can you add to the list? What are you doing to maximize your instructional time?