I hit the ground running with these changes yesterday for the first day back to school.
The students should be able to follow the daily visual schedule without any problems. I’ve been told that schedules such as these can really help a certain type of student and we will soon find out if that is the case.
The other major change I made, besides adding pictures to my agenda, was to chop my math block into three different segments. I used to have an hour of math in one block each and every day but I found that my students had a hard time staying focused for that time.
So I decided to break up that hour’s worth of math into smaller chunks.
This is how it will work. The first twenty minute block will be for my main lesson, a little bit of guided practice with the skill I have taught, and a question or two for the students to do independently.
The second block of math time will involve a quick review of the skill. By this time, I will know what the students had difficulty with the during the first block. The rest of the time will be for the students to complete their seat work.
The third and final block of math will contain the daily timed drill. The students will then get to do a hands-on activity to further develop their skills for the concept of the day. We will work in partners or small groups with manipulatives or games.
You’ll see that most of the periods in this new schedule are about twenty minutes long. I will make sure that the students know exactly what is expected of them in each block of time. I’m hoping by keeping things moving like this that we will actually be able to be more productive in the classroom.
I hope this works. It took a lot of time to split up my day like this and to create the daily schedules using MS Word. If you would like a copy of these files, please email me and I would be happy to share them with you.
Teachers, don’t forget to check the Table of Contents for more great Teaching Tips. And if you have one that you’d like to add, please send me an email and consider writing a guest-post.