Classroom Scheduling Tools Deliver Paybacks in Time Savings and Stress-Relief
Scheduling differs from lesson planning in the following ways:
- What you hope to do
- Follows the 80/20 Rule, i.e., 80% for Administrators, 20% for you
- Keeps you on track
- What you have to do, such as:
- Show up on time to the computer lab, library, lunchroom
- Deliver students to special programs on time
- Take some time for planning, restroom breaks and stress relief
- Follows the 100% rule, mess up on this stuff and 100% of the school knows about it
- Locks you in step
Here are the items that you should work into your schedule:
- Inspirational Message for the Day
- Inspiration and Self-Concept
- Affirmation of Students’ Skills, Talents, Importance
- Positive Suggestions
- Daily Oral Language
- Daily Oral Vocabulary
- Daily Oral Math
- Links to all the other subjects, classes and activities that your students experience that day
- Visual Learning Aides
- Graphic Organizers
- Charts and Graphs
- Pictures, Drawings and Videos
- Higher-Order Questioning
- Performances Based upon Multiple Intelligences
- Writing Assignments Every Day
- Students’ Collaborative Projects
Keep student projects ongoing.
Train students to work on individual projects at the beginning of the school year, but students need
communicate about the curriculum and process a lot more information than they can
gather by paying attention to teacher talk.
One of the keys to a successful schedule is building time for each student. This means a little time with some students and a lot of time with others. This also means finding creative ways to get help for students.
Hint: Homework seldom provides viable learning. Why not replace homework time with what students need?
The Difference between Planning and Scheduling
Both planning and scheduling are strategic and tactical.
- Your Game Plan, How you win without heavy losses (in this case…losses in your time and spending money)
- Tricks, Shortcuts, Maneuvers, Plays, Ploys that contribute to your win…save time, decrease stress, allow you to keep your money in your pocket
Planning for the year is strategic.
Then you save time by scheduling, and you avoid stress by ensuring that you
take action on important issues. By focusing on thematic units, you stich
and tie learning together…and create a learning frameworkwhere students build meaningful connections…knowledge, skills and abilities.
Scheduling DOLs, DOMs, and DOVs…and Daily Writing Assignments is strategic because these keep students attentive, focused, and engaged while overcoming obstacles to student performance such as boredom, short-term memory failure, and fatigue.
Planning for the year is tactical because you allow space for unplanned, happy events and opportunities in your plan. You build in higher-order thinking questioning and Multiple Intelligence performances for students. This saves time, focuses upon the hands-on learning and the >visual learning strengths of students.
Scheduling is tactical because you choose high payoff materials and methods that meet multiple goals while saving time and reducing stress. Tricks such as reusable modules, building a library of interchangeable graphic organizers and forms, and integrating math in every content area subject streamline your workflow. Scheduling is tactical when you can take advantage of high student interest with “spur of the moment”
interests such as connecting a fair use article with a specific graphic organizer to create a targeted, instant lesson.
Build Habits and Routines
Building habits and routines saves time and decreases stress for both students and teachers. Saving time and reducing stress allows for creative, spur of the moment choices not available if teachers and students feel pressured by time constraints. Saving time and reducing stress also keep everyone’s mood relaxed and upbeat, so that your mental faculties
stay sharp and alert. A “Relaxed Attentiveness” mind-frame notices opportunities and acts upon them.
Planning and scheduling allow for creative, dynamic learning that sprints past plodding, dull, isolated learning objectives.
Learning flourishes in an environment of meaning, such as when you focus upon Thematic Units, but holds on by a thread in an environment of drill and isolated concepts.
Schedule learning that connects with and interconnects with other learning, and you multiply learning. Integrate everything, and you work smarter and stress-free.