With the implementation of Common Core standards and performance-based pay, teachers are under more pressure to perform than ever. Every minute must be devoted to instruction, causing teachers to cut any activity not directly aligned to standards.
Establish Procedures and Routines Before Introducing Academics
This intense pressure starts at the beginning of the year, a vital time to set expectations and establish procedures and routines, or tight transitions. The costliest mistake teachers make is to introduce academics too early without laying the foundation for tight transitions. Many think theyre saving time or getting a jump-start on the year, but in reality this is costing them their most valuable resource: time.
Sounds contradictory, doesnt it? Time wasted in poor transitions equates to a great loss of instructional time. Its the difference between finishing a lesson effectively and running out of time without recapping or closing the lesson, a critical component of effective lessons. Furthermore, messy transitions often invite misbehavior and other disruptions that require teacher redirection, a loss of time. Tightening transitions saves up to 10 minutes daily, which equates to hours of instructional time throughout the year.
Teach Transitions from Day One
It took me years to perfect the art of teaching tight transitions. At first, I couldnt understand how students didnt know how to line up its such a simple concept. Why couldnt they quietly put their materials away or quickly meet at the carpet? After a great deal of professional reading and help from fellow teachers, I realized that I need to explicitly model and teach these transitions starting from day one.
Furthermore, creating strong systems and routines when students are working on computers with OpenClass modules, games, and word processing software is essential to maximizing valuable learning time. Teachers need to think about planning the following routines for success: How do students log-in? What is the process for shutting down computers? How and where should students save their work? What should students do when they finish early?
Ive created the Back to School Teacher Toolbox: Routines, Procedures and Transitions to help all teachers with the critical process. This toolbox contains engaging, colorful resources, and activities that explain how to teach, model, practice, and reinforce important systems and routines throughout the year.
Try out this resource along with other Astute Hoot digital resources available for immediate download on the OpenClass Exchange. Astute Hoot provides teachers with innovative digital tools and solutions to rise above classroom challenges and ensure academic achievement for all learners.
As seasoned teachers, we understand the importance of having effective, efficient, and engaging resources. Helping other teachers is our passion, and were excited about contributing to your classroom success. Check us out on Facebook and our website at www.astutehoot.com for more great teaching tips and tools.
Read more posts from Jennifer Zoglman.Tags: classroom management, OER, open educational resources