Category: Teaching Hacks (page 1 of 14)

Tip/list type articles

On-the-Spot TPT: Quick-Writes

Do you ever wonder if the students process and comprehend what they learn? Even the best lesson loses its vitality in the face of disconnected students. How are you going to gauge the depth of your students’ understanding of the concepts being delivered?

The On-the-Spot TPTs allow you to get immediate feedback on how well your students comprehend the lessons. These activities require little or no preparation. You can insert this activity in any part of the lesson where you notice your students’ cognitive disconnect. Or, you can also strategically plan them in specific spots in your lesson.

One On-the-Spot TPT that you can use is the Quick-Writes. Quick-Write is a brief response to a question or probe. This strategy will help develop writing literacy while giving teachers immediate feedback on where the students currently stand in understanding the material.

TPT quick write

How does this work?

You need to select an interesting prompt that you would like to ask your students. Next, you’ll give a specified amount of time so students can think about and jot down their response (2 to 3 minutes will do depending on your prompt). Once down, you can do a Pair-Share, a Networking Session, or other Total Participation Techniques, so students can quickly share their answer to their seatmates.

How are you going to ensure that higher-order thinking is happening in your class while doing quick-writes?

Just simple go beyond asking students to explain the meaning or a concept. Instead, let them make connections between the concepts and their effects to their community or the people around them. You can begin your question with “In what ways..” or “How might things be different…” You need to provide for students to understand the broader scope of what they are learning. Let them think about why the concept they are learning is important. Another way to ensure higher-order thinking is by making students reflect on the deeper connections and purposes of the concepts they are learning.

Here is a video showing how the quick-write works.

What are the benefits of Quick-Writes?

Quick-Writes promote spontaneity and freedom in writing. Through this activity, students can practice their writing skills while exercising critical thinking and focus. Quick-Writes also provide time for students to collect their thoughts before verbalizing these thoughts to the class, hence, giving them less pressure when they are asked to share their ideas. Additionally, this TPT allows collaboration to take place in class because students can share their work and discuss their ideas with their peers.

By this time, try to pause and think of your lessons for next week. What are the prompts that you can interject throughout your teaching to ensure the students are understanding and making connections between what is being learned? I encourage you to use Quick-Write as a staple in your teaching. This activity won’t take much of your time during preparation, yet it is guaranteed that you can keep your students fully focused and engaged during lessons.


TFT will also host its first ever Professional Development Workshop for teachers.  As we will be opening a tutorial center, it will be held there. The name of the tutorial center is Bruner Learning Hub located in Maly, San Mateo.

There will be two sessions for it:

1st part, August 5, Saturday:
We’ll introduce the need for TPTS and then learn about total participation techniques (TPT), in particular, On-the-spot TPTs and TPT holds up.
2nd part, August 19, Saturday:
We’ll learn TPTs that involve movement and how we can use TPTs for notetaking and concept analysis.

If you’re interested, please fill in your details in this google form. We will email you with more details and how to reserve your slot. Thank you for interest and support! 🙂

Bored Students: Not Anymore with Total Participation Techniques

We, teachers, can all relate to this common drill: you pose a question, and the same hands are always rocket in the air. The same students keep participating actively prompt after prompt. It isn’t always true that they are only ones who fully understand the lesson. It’s just that some students are not confident enough to share their thoughts with the class. On the other hand, some students worry that their answers are wrong.

The above situation is not beneficial to the flow of learning in class as teachers get a little feedback from others, and it doesn’t give an accurate assessment of what others have learned until it’s too late to help these students.

Education that is built on stand-and-deliver teaching is not effective to both the young and adult minds. Learners of any age need to pause and process what they learn, and as teachers we should allow the process of dissecting information, jotting down their thoughts, comparing and contrasting their understanding with their peers to happen while we deliver our lesson.

It’s not only about teaching content. It’s also about determining students’ depth of understanding of the content just taught.

Failure to engage the students in lesson hinders their understanding of the concepts. If students are not engaged in the lesson, they become bored in the process. Students can’t learn something new if they are not interacting in the classroom, and they are just a passive absorber of the content – listen and take down downs when necessary.

How to engage students

So what’s the solution? Simple. Quit asking your students to volunteer during discussions. Design activities that will foster ownership of learning in the classroom. In doing so, you are making your students accountable for what he does and doesn’t understand.

The total participation techniques provide you with strategies that will boost students’ awareness of what’s happening in the classroom. Hence, engaging them to the learning process. At the same time, total participation techniques will help the teacher get immediate feedback on the students’ understanding of the lesson. By getting immediate feedback, he can immediately give remediation or assist students who are in need of help.

Total Participation Techniques make every learner an active learner. These teaching techniques allow for all students to demonstrate active participation and cognitive involvement in the topic being discussed.

One technique that we can adapt is ‘Think-Pair-Share.’ It requires low preparation though it guarantees active involvement from all students once done right. In fact, you can even do it on the spot. I usually use this technique in the lessons and have dramatically observed the change in my student’s involvement during the lessons.

Every time I ask a question during the discussion, I don’t immediately call those students who have immediately raised their hands to participate. I always allow a thinking time, which will allow everyone to ponder the question just recently asked. After the good pause, I ask the students to share their responses to their seatmate. In doing so, no one gets left behind. Everybody can share their thoughts minus the fear of having a big audience.

Watch the video below so you can get a clearer understanding on how this ‘Think-Pair-Share” can be adapted to your own classroom.

Making everyone involved in discussion ensure the consistent engagement of the students to the material being discussed in class. As the facilitator of learning in the classroom, it lies in our willingness to make adjustments in how we deliver our lessons to make sure that all our students learn the materials we teach them.


TFT will also host its first ever Professional Development Workshop for teachers.  As we will be opening a tutorial center, it will be held there. The name of the tutorial center is Bruner Learning Hub located in Maly, San Mateo.

The topic will be on Total Participation Techniques.  There will 2 sessions, Part 1 and 2. Part 1 will exclusively focus on the techniques.

If you’re interested, please fill in your details in this google form. We will email you with more details and how to reserve your slot. Thank you for interest and support! 🙂

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