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Quick Tips for Pacing

So much to do, so little time! We know that every second counts, so our Master Practitioners provided their tried and true pacing strategies together in order to create the list below. 

Download and share these tips!

  1. ALWAYS work the lesson before facilitating with students!

  2. Know where you want to be at the end of the period as well as the central learning target. What is THE thing you want students to know and be able to do at the end of the period?

  3. Chunk the activities; this doesn’t mean do one question at a time, but chunk pieces together. For example: Do Activity 3.2 Questions 3–7 with your group. You have 4:34.

  4. Set time limits for the chunks and USE A TIMER. This keeps everyone on track. The key is sticking to your time limits early on, even if everyone isn’t quite finished. Students can always catch up when you share out or move to the next piece.

  5. Choose what pieces of the lesson are most important to talk about or for students to present out to the class. Determine key pieces as you work through the lesson beforehand. Also, know that you don’t have to share EVERYTHING out as a class. Some ways to save time when having students present are:

    • Use the document camera instead of having students make posters.

    • Use mini-whiteboards.

    • Have a group that finished early make a display while others are finishing their work.

    • Instead of sharing out, have groups pair up with another group, and share.

  6. As you are able, jigsaw parts of long activities and gallery walk or present.

  7. Use ALL of your class time. Plan a warm up and wrap up for every day and hold students accountable for them.

  8. Have materials ready and at hand. You can pre-make posters with a table or graph so students only have to fill in their answers in order to present.

  9. Script good questions up front, as you work the lesson beforehand. Anticipate what students might struggle with or misconceptions they might have and create questions that will help move their thinking in the right direction if that should happen.

  10. USE formative assessment. Find out what your kids know and don’t know at the end of each period so you know what you need to do the next day and what you can skip. Don’t assume, find out!

  11. MIX THINGS UP! When things get predictable, kids get bored and the pace slows down!