As a teacher, you are perpetually pressed for time. You have a syllabus to cover under a tight schedule. Many school events and activities can affect instruction time. There are even weather disturbances that threaten the instruction time you have planned really well for.
With a few tweaks in your routine and teaching strategy, you can maximize instruction time and learning in your classes.
1. Master Classroom Management
One of the purposes of classroom management is to maximize instruction time and learning. The more you can get your students to focus on the material at hand, the more learning will happen in the classroom.
A lot of instruction time can be stolen when the class is not under a proper system. Students going off to toilet at any time, getting kids to settle down before lesson, or silly talking and playing can take precious minutes every lesson time and these adds up to hours throughout the school year.
Get a solid plan in place so that there are minimal distractions during your class.
2. Promote a Positive Learning Environment
Brain Based Science tells us that students learn better in a happy and positive environment. Know your students well. Develop a positive relationship with them. Praise them. Catch them doing good. Give positive and public recognition for deserving behavior and achievements. By doing so, they will be motivated to learn and behave well under your leadership.
3. Set a time limit for each task.
As time is your most critical resource for instruction time, always give them a time limit for a task to keep their focus on it.
In relation to this, when planning your lesson, consider the time limits of your tasks so you do not cram in your lesson plan too many tasks and expect them to finish them all.
4. Get your students to participate.
Avoid Teacher-Centered Instruction. Remember that the student brain is a muscle rather than an empty vessel waiting for knowledge to pour in.
Incorporate paired activities and group activities. Get them talking and discussing with their classmates. Have them teach each other each tiny part of your lesson. We learn much more when we try to teach the material to others.
5. Plan in advance!
What should you plan in advance? For one, you should plan in advance the key points you want your students to take away from your class. Have that list during your class time and use it to track your progress within the allocated class period.
Many times, we feel confident about our material that we overlook some major points we want to cover.
The other thing you should plan in advance is the homework. Make sure the homework will reinforce the major points you want your students to learn and master. The homework should serve as extension learning and not because you gave homework out of punishment or you ran out of time covering your material.
What are your other strategies in maximizing instruction time? Share them in the comments below 🙂
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