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Monday, January 28, 2019

How to Teach When You Have Limited Time

Are you having a difficult time covering all the material you need or want to each day?  Do you have shortened class periods that present a challenge for your teaching style?  This post gives some of my best solutions to these problems!

How to Teach When You Have Limited Time

Think About What You Absolutely Need to Teach First

Choose Quality Over Quantity

Pick a few things to cover, go deep with those few things, and make connections to as much as you can. Quality over quantity will give you the most bang for your buck. Plus, if you have fun "independent" study projects for them to design and complete, they'll be begging to get to the subject you teach.

Carefully Consider the Learning Activity

Sometimes things like waiting for students to write down notes can take an enormous amount of time.   I'm not saying that note-taking is not important, but think about what they’re writing and why. Can some of it be replaced with videos or printouts?

Teach Students Vocabulary During Activities Instead of in Isolation 

Instead of teaching vocabulary words in seclusion, include/ teach them while you’re doing a hands on activity. This can save a lot of time and you can always take the final moments of class to review vocabulary words each day to reinforce their meaning.

Try Stations

Just keep in mind that you don’t have to complete the rotations in a day. It can carry on for tomorrow or the next day.

Alternate Activities Throughout the Week

This is especially helpful if you teach multiple subjects and some subjects are allotted less time than others.  For example, if you have 90 minutes for math and only 30 for science. 

Try a Weekly Schedule

Once you have chosen the activities that are the most important, come up with a weekly schedule for when you will use them.

A sample weekly schedule might look like this:
Notes/Instructional videos on Monday/Tuesday to prepare students for in-depth things like labs or projects
Labs/Projects/Stations on Wednesdays/Thursdays
Quizzes on Fridays

How to Teach When You Have Limited Time: How to Start Teaching as Soon as Students Enter the Room

I did another blog post about this recently.  Click here to learn more.

What else do you do to maximize your limited time in class?  This is a subject I always need extra advice in!

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