Managing the 6-Period Day

Here are the tips that you and your colleagues have suggested so far:
  • Have a laser focus in teaching the content. Lay it out by 10-15 minute chunks.
  • Students are still adjusting, too. Allow fewer bathroom breaks (when appropriate) and limit other activities that are extraneous to what you need to accomplish that period.
  • Streamline your routines as much as possible. Invest some time to teach these to kids at the start of the year and the rest will flow more smoothly.
  • Teach smaller content chunks. We have the whole year.
  • Economize on time by literally teaching how to hand out and collect papers so that little to no academic time is wasted. (see Teach Like a Champion book pg. 7 -8 and 156 – 157).
  • Take a break while eating lunch (no grading papers). If we don’t take care of ourselves, no one else will.
  • Exercise! Maybe even take a walk outside the building during lunch.
  • If you have an aide, have this person alphabetize all student work. It WILL save you time.
  • Don’t forget to let students carry some of the load and responsibility by grading their own homework and quizzes.
  • Use the scantron for tests and quizzes. It is a huge time-saver!
  • Don’t give extra credit on quizzes or tests that are teacher intensive in grading; instead, give ExCr with multiple choice or another easy format for grading.
  • Use the “clickers” to assess student learning on a more frequent, but smaller scale. You can immediately see which students “get it”. See Tricia or Ellen.
  • When reviewing HW, limit how much time you allot to this task, and only go over those questions that you know students typically struggle with. As students become comfortable with this, have them choose the questions they’ve struggled with to focus on.
  • Keep activities varied as if it were a block schedule class. 55 minutes of only note-taking is not good, just as 80 minutes of only note-taking was not okay.
  • Stagger the grading workload; have approx .5 of classes take vocab quiz on Week 1 and the other .5 on Week 2. Same with HW; always collect, but grade .5 one wk, focus on the other .5 next wk
  • Be FLEXIBLE, probably easier for me as a new teacher, maybe due to not having too many expectations on things such as getting certain content covered fast enough, etc.
  • Only attempt to teach one concept per day where in the old 4 period day we could do 2 and 3 and sometimes even 4 concepts in the 90 minute period.
  • Reformat tests to hasten grading. Have kids write answers in a left-hand column on the front page. Place your key next to this; no page-turning.
  • I had to give up grading homework in most of my classes. Just give credit if good effort is shown.
  • Be mindful of the time it takes to make transitions in your class. The longer it takes to “turn to page 35”, the less time there is for teaching.

This information is also posted at Wallwisher:
Wallwisher-6 Period Day