Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Daily Assignment #22: Downtime-Be Prepared

We all have those moments when something happens unexpectantly and downtime occurs, students have nothing to do.  It can be very scarey, especially if you haven't developed a repertoire of strategies to fill those moments.

Let me give you some examples of what I mean:  the music teacher is behind schedule and your class is waiting in the hallway, or  the school nurse is checking all the students' hearing and vision, you can't teach a lesson because half the class is at the nurse's office and the other half is with you, or it is photo day, the class is lined up waiting for their turn, which feels like forever, or some students have finished their work and others are still working, or it's dismissal time and buses are late, and the list goes on.  Sound familiar?  What is amazing is that these can all happen within one day.

So, what should you do?  Keep on hand ideas to fill these moments.
Examples:  Fast Math, Simon Says, Hangman, Math Facts, name states, capitals, countries, rivers, baseball/football teams, famous pairs, e.g. Bert and Ernie, Otis and Milo, Anthony and Cleopatra, Adam and Eve, songs, e.g. Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes, skip counting, telephone, spelling challenge.  Notice some of these are content related, others are fun and just to get through the moment.

Take a moment and collect a few ideas to build your repertoire.  Check in with colleagues, find out what they are doing, exchange ideas.

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Thanks and Best Effort,


  1. Thank you so much! I just came across this website for the first time, but it is a wealth of knowledge. I've just been having this downtime issue for the last week and I have been at a loss. I really needed. I've been reading the older posts as well. I am a first year teacher and you've truly just helped me.

  2. I'm so pleased that this was helpful. Your feedback is very encouraging.
    Please share this blogsite with colleagues and friends.
    If you have any topics you would like me to write about let me know.
    Best Effort,