It’s About Time!

by Kroeningj

Time is so precious in the classroom, especially when you only have approximately 43 minutes with a classroom of 9th graders. Routines need to be established, but after a while, they sometimes fade away. A more pressing activity has taken it’s place. Or maybe it’s just time to change things up. Regardless, there definitely needs to be a Clean Start to let students know the show is in the road. Without realizing it, I have been using the Clean Start technique for years (211).When I want students to start on an activity I say, “Ready,Set (pause for dramatic effect), Go!” And of course, my students begin immediately, well, sometimes, a few times…However, I have to admit I am not so good at the Clean Finish (212). I do have the standard “Finish up the thought/passage you are on”, but often a student calls out,”It’s time to go” and soon they are out the door. I need to plan better for a Clean Finish.

I might just be back in the classroom teaching a regular schedule next year. Managing a 90 minute block seems daunting after spending five years with skinnies and two more years running a MTSS room. I like All Hands (214). Setting up a routine for answering questions in the beginning of the year only makes sense. Once a student is identified, all hands need to go down and students should then track the speaker. Respectful culture.

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One thought on “It’s About Time!

  1. alissahansen

    It is so much about time! I cannot agree with you more. I think I tend to start my classes with a Clean Start often, but I still struggle to do this day after day because of time constraints. I LOVE entrance cards or using Quizizz or Kahoot to review material or starting class with a debate; however, time is of the essence so keeping it short and sweet is best. “Scholars, you have 30 seconds to debate why Skittles are better than Starburst.” This is one of our tactics for a Clean Start that we used in preparation for the persuasive speech and it gave students a sense of urgency (a footrace as Lemov calls it on page 211) and told them that class was underway and that they should be thinking of what they will debate for 30 seconds publicly. This was a great paced, energetic way to start class, but it’s not like this every day. Clean Finishes are something that I struggle with as well, and 43 minute periods are usually the culprit. Students will be engaged in finishing a writing or discussion and then it’s off they go and we have no time to solidify what was learned, so I have to start all over again the next day. I do use the verbiage “Alright, you have 1 minute left, so try to finish your last thought.” But if students take more time to process what we are working on, sometimes a 3-5 minute timeframe with a prompt is just not enough time. Technology can help with this at times because they have the opportunity to go back to it on their own time if it’s not finished in class.

    In the words of Cher, “If I could turn back time…” . Sometimes I would!

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