Time.. I agree with Andrew Stadel from Estimation180.com. It’s definitely a dirty/hot topic at school. Teachers, are constantly running out of time, and we are consistently trying to maximize our instruction minutes. The 80/20 design principle makes sense and I also would like to and need to redesign my classroom clock.. but how?
Yes, we are always looking to maximize learning and improve the art of teaching. Most of the time, however, it is a very difficult task to fit it all in a limited period of time. Below are the ideal and the current clocks for my math block and you will notice that my issue with time starts at 7:45 am!
Math that early in the morning is a new system in our kindergarten schedule. It is a positive thing, because I feel students are most motivated early in the morning. My class has been enjoying math and working productively. But, to have all the 70 minutes required for math, it has to start right at 7:45!
Moving on to the actual math block, Kinder is no place for long talks (so the issue other classes have with long lectures is non existent, already). The challenge here is to keep students engaged long enough for a good practice. In kinder we have “Mini Lessons”, we have to add movement, music, brainbreaks, and many times, we even have to add a whole different lesson to keep students motivated in learning their numbers.
Even though starting with math at 7:45 squeezes my morning routine, I believe, it is always possible to improve and maximize our instruction time. It is all about organization and it is a challenging endeavor.. Time is, after all, a four letter word filled with timeless challenges!