Efficient Use of Time

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by paperheart, Jul 28, 2011.

  1. paperheart

    paperheart Groupie

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    Jul 28, 2011

    Math teachers in my school/district (including me) will only have 42 minutes/day to teach math. It has always been 90. Big change! I'm in favor of the idea (not that it matters since its happening anyway ;)) because I think kids will respond well to a quick dose of math BUT....

    how will I get it all done?

    I'd love to hear how you run your math class if you teach in a short period. What do you do that is very time efficient?

    I'd also love to know how you begin your class. I am going to eliminate the traditional warm up/bell ringer this year and replace it with a one minute or two minute something or other. Not sure what. I'd love some ideas there.

    I'm moving from 7th to 8th grade math this year, but I am thinking many of these tips will be non-grade and non-subject specific. Please share!

    Thanks. :)
     
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  3. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Jul 28, 2011

    I've never taught a regular math class that was longer than 38 minutes, so it's really all I know. Our version of a "short period" is a 29 minute class on the days of our monthly masses!

    I start my class with a few "do now" problems. For my high school classes they're typically taken from old SATs. When I taught 7th grade I drilled times tables and perfect squares/cubes for most of the year. Having taught a lot of those same kids in 9th, 10th and even 11th grade I can tell you it was time well spent.

    I think the keys to this type of scheduling are working bell to bell for every one of those 180 days and real solid planning.
     
  4. GAteacher87

    GAteacher87 Companion

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    Jul 28, 2011

    Bingo! :thumb: I'm not a math teacher but I have short periods too (not sure how long just yet, but I'll be teaching 6 per day with 1 planning period, so a LOT shorter than the block scheduling I was used to when student teaching in HS). I'm having to figure out how to fit everything in, too. Good luck!
     
  5. HWilson

    HWilson Comrade

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    Jul 28, 2011

    WOW!! I can't imagine! :eek: Im sorry for you... The main thing I think of, is what everyone else has suggested, work bell to bell.
     
  6. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Jul 28, 2011

    We used to have 40 minute classes. I still begin with a quick warm up (usually a review problem or two and then a problem from what we will be learning).

    Really cut out the fluff in your lessons. Get down to the meat and bones of the lesson right away. The best thing about including a problem in the warm up from today's lesson is that you know right away which kids already got it.

    I used a lot of having the whole group respond and dry erase boards to check for understanding.
     
  7. Charger

    Charger Companion

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    Jul 28, 2011

    It says on the schedule that math is 45 minutes, but typically I end up with 30-35 minutes. We spend no more than 10 minutes going over homework, I cover the lesson, and usually give them 10 minutes to work on the homework. I need to do more in class guided practice and less time at the end to do homework. My lessons have to be quick and to the point.

    I used to try to incorporate do now problems at the beginning, but timewise it never worked out for me. I tried Mountain Math last year to get them reviewing outside of class, but the kids hated it. I'm not sure what I want to do this year in place of it.
     
  8. Charger

    Charger Companion

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    Jul 28, 2011

    mopar- do you go over homework in your class?
     
  9. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Jul 28, 2011

    I didn't go over the homework when I only had 40 minutes. I would usually incorporate a homework quiz a few times a week as part of their warm up when they walked in. During work time, students could ask any questions that they had on homework from the night before.

    However, you could have them check their homework answers with a partner when they walk in using red pen. Then go over any questions that they have.
     
  10. paperheart

    paperheart Groupie

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    Aug 1, 2011

    Thanks for your suggestions. I guess my biggest concern is that I have always worked extrememely urgently in my classroom from bell to bell. My students were always the class that really succeeded. I have ideas on what to cut and lessen (In particular, even less verbose-ness this year;)). I just don't want to see my students do less than stellar because of budget cuts, I suppose.

    I wanted to incorporate math interactive notebooks this year because I found them SOOOOOOOO effective when teaching science in elementary a few years back. I want to figure out how that will happen though. I would rather keep it simple and sacrifice some good ideas that would only be implemented so-so because of time constraints, but I regretted not using the notebooks last school year.

    I am using exit tickets this year for sure, but want to decrease time spent on warm-up to 5 min or less. I was planning on doing a basic skill drill/practice sometime during the class--most likely for the warm up. I was going to have it differentiated so some students would be working on multiplication facts, others on square roots, and so on.

    Alice, I'd love to hear the details on how you drilled the students. What did they do? How long? How many facts? Thanks. :)
     
  11. kdw1913

    kdw1913 Companion

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    Aug 2, 2011

    I have taught on a 45-min class schedule for the past four years. I teach bell to bell starting with a quick warm-up or problem solver. This year I hope to be able to review homework more efficiently. I've considered assigning problems with the answers and then only going over questions where students were not able to arrive at what they already know is the correct answer. My students know that I grade their work and will not give credit without seeing the work.

    paperheart - I used interactive notebooks with my 7th graders for the first time last year. We only did it 2nd semester, but I loved it and many of the kids saw and reaped the benefits. I plan to start day 1 with setting up notebooks, so they'll be ready to go with curriculum the next day.
     

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