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Producer LD Podcast, Digital Media Consultant, Author

Hi Jessica! When I present

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Hi Jessica!

When I present about differentiated instruction, this analogy seems to help:
Think of teaching like you are driving a car down the highway. As a teacher, you often drive a midrange car, like a Prius- fuel efficient, long lasting. The kids are driving just about every type of car out here: some are driving a car just like yours, some are driving Indy cars and are way ahead of everyone else, and some are driving cars on the verge of breaking down all the time. Each student has a different acquisition rate for the knowledge you want them to learn, and only a portion of them will be keeping pace with the pace you are comfortable with delivering lessons. That's why making sure there are challenge activities for the "zoomers" and time to help coach or offer more support to those who are struggling (maybe through Khan academy lectures, recording mini-lectures they can review at home at night as a podcast or short explanatory video, etc.) could help those not keeping pace, and eventually also create a library of resources for you to have for future classes as well... But Dan is right- you need to teach children, not content, and if you keep that front and center, things have a tendency to work out- something farther a long may not take as much time to teach as you thought, etc.
Teaching is more like improv, where you have to adjust to the audience you have, not the perfect audience, or the audience you might anticipate, so flexibility and doing what's best for the students is always the right thing to do.

K-5 Instructional Technology Specialist, Edcamper, Graduate Professor

Hi Jessica, I think the key

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Hi Jessica,
I think the key thing to remember here is that your job is to teach kids, not content. It's better to do a great job of teaching the kids about the content in engaging ways that make it accessible to them than to try and rush your way through the content. The end result of the former is that while you may not have covered every single thing in your content area over the course of the year, the students will have a firm understanding of what you did. The end result of the latter is that you've covered everything, and the kids will forget it all. Which would you rather have?

high school history teacher from Fort Worth, TX

Also, I frequently use a

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Also, I frequently use a timer, but more for mini goals ("in the next 5 minutes I want you to have this many questions completed correctly") rather than for the whole class. What do I do for the students who either finish way ahead of time, or don't have enough time?

high school history teacher from Fort Worth, TX

Thank you for all the ideas

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Thank you for all the ideas for pacing. This is something I can't get right yet, always having to redirect students to refocus and get on task. There are a few things I am going to look into further, such as Prezi, and class A-Z line up. I haven't heard of either of those. I do have one question though. For the times that we slow our pace to allow further "mini-lectures" or other activities for the students who just aren't getting it, what do we do then, after falling behind? I know the answer is not to rush through just for the sake of following the schedule, but this is where I scratch my head and wonder...

Elementary School Teacher pursuing an Ed.D. in Higher Education

I like the suggestions that

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I like the suggestions that you made for teaching how to pace a lesson: sense of urgency, clear goals, smooth transitions, materials ready, visual instructions, check for understanding, and choose effective teaching methods. These strategies can be used at any level and taught through effective mentoring to new teachers. Do you have suggestions of how to implement these strategies into a mentoring program?

Resource Specialist, Grades K - 5

The Dixie Diarist shares insights

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Been there, as well! Thanks for the chuckle!

Teacher, Writer, and Artist

DON'T DO THIS ...

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Call me cruel. Call me old school. But here it is the 36th day of school and I’ve finally gotten around to showing a dang movie.

You can imagine how they hooted and hollered when they walked into The Cozy Room of Learning and saw a big TV on top of the beat-up red metal cart I borrowed from Old Burrell since he shows a movie about every day.

When they came in the TV was already turned on and the screen is that bright blue and on top of the TV is the box for the video I propped up there and on the front of a box is a picture of an etching of a serious dude in a white wig and above that it says “The Founding of Georgia. 35.5 minutes.” I believe the dude with the wig is James Oglethorpe. I still can’t fathom why they wanted to look like female impersonators back then, but looking back on our ancestors and making fun of them is real easy. I don’t make fun of our ancestors in front of the kids, though. They do that on their own just fine.

Anyhow, they hooted and hollered until I told them that on the chapter 7 quiz this week there’ll be questions about the movie … about ten or fifteen of them.

What!

Dang right. So pay close attention … and enjoy! Take notes if you like. I pressed the start button.

Here are five revelations learned after only five minutes into the movie about showing the first movie of the school year in Georgia history class:

1. During the showing of a movie, never, ever blurt out that that part’s important to remember. They don’t like it when you do that

2. During a showing of a movie, never, ever, ask them if they understand that last part

3. During the showing of a movie, never, ever ask them if they remember when we talked about that exact same stuff a few days ago

4. They like the lights turned off and the window blinds closed

5. After the movie, if you ask them questions about the movie and most of them don’t have a clue what you’re talking about and you offer to show the movie to them again they don’t want to see the movie again

So … revelations. One of my little historians said Savannah’s a real nice place now. Forrest Gump lives there.

www.adixiediary.com

Educator, Consultant, ADE , ClassTechTips.com

Here are two other management

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Here are two other management tools I use almost everyday:
Pick A Student http://wp.me/p2qsME-90
Traffic Light http://wp.me/p2qsME-7G

Educator, Consultant, ADE , ClassTechTips.com

I like using management tools

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I like using management tools like this one to help my pacing: http://wp.me/p2qsME-1v

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