In my time in the classroom, I’ve seen teachers often spend so much time teaching routines and structures that they end up neglecting the content. In this blog entry, I’ll talk about how to leave routines the same, to free up time for teaching the content.
1. Teach the same game with different content.
There are many games floating around that are all the same basic principle. Teach it, and then change up the content it teaches. For example, in this October Freebie, there is a Spin n’ Jump game. You can have this be an activity at a station all year long, just with different content. The Spin n’ Jump game could be about 3-D Shapes, sight words, vocabulary terms with non-linguistic representations…you name it! The game is the same, but you’d be reinforcing different content based on what you’re learning that week.
Likewise, with this Roll n’ Graph game found in the same freebie, you can use the same format, and change up the content in the game. I’ve used roll n’ graph games for anything from sight words to number words to vocabulary terms…the possibilities are endless!
2. Anchor charts galore: You should not just post anchor charts, but you should also refer to them often.
Place them in a spot where students can refer to them. When they ask you a question, point them to the anchor chart. Publicly praise the student who refers to the anchor chart before asking you the question. Soon, all students will develop the independence that comes from looking for the information themselves. This frees up time for you to be a facilitator during a lesson, instead of the person they go to for help when they encounter a problem.
3. Have a predictable day.
Every day your students should know that when they come in from recess, they get their notebook, and after that they start their math lesson. Building these predictable patterns in your day minimizes confusion and transition times because you don’t have to tell your students what’s next. They already know that when you call their table, they will put their notebook in their cubby and go to the carpet for whole group instruction.
Teacherof20 is a stay-at-home mom and a past K-1st teacher and reading specialist. She enjoys making clipart for her TpT store and helping others teach with ready-to-go products that challenge students! You can also follow her on Facebook for seasonal freebies!