Managing the Classroom
Engaging Students in Learning
Indicator 2 - Interrupts/Obscures Instruction UETS 4a.
Effective teachers avoid any activity or speech pattern that interrupts instruction and disrupts the momentum of a class. They avoid indeterminate terms, choppy speech patterns and "uh." They do not switch back and forth excessively between activities, fragment lessons, or halt instruction to deal with management issues.
- Avoid interrupting or obscuring instruction by:
- Referring to irrelevant stimuli
- Using vague or indeterminate terms, e.g., pretty much, some, not many, not very, almost, could be, sometimes, somewhere
- Using redundancies and false starts
- Frequently starting and stopping
- Correcting yourself excessively
- Stringing questions together
- Repeatedly using a distracting word or phrase, e.g., uh, ok, at this point in time
- Hunting for materials or not having resources ready
- Taking excessive time to set up or run needed technology
- Stay focused on the subject.
- Have a clear goal or objective.
- Guide students back to the task or topic if the discussion heads on a different tangent.
- Avoid discussing irrelevant subject matter.
- As much as possible, deal with interruptions prior to or at the end of the lesson. Do not leave the class waiting; one minute should be the absolute limit.
- Confer with tardy students at the end of an instructional activity, not in the middle of a lesson.
- Engage the class in an activity before talking with an individual.
- Have appropriate disciplinary procedures in place to avoid lengthy lesson interruptions.
- Know when it is time to move on to another part of the lesson; avoid "going on and on" unnecessarily.
- Check for understanding frequently to determine appropriate pacing of the lesson.
- Make sure students know what they are supposed to be doing so you will not have to interrupt instruction to make clarifications.
- Ask students to repeat key steps in the directions.
- Write directions on the board for students to refer to.
- When student interest wanes or misbehavior begins, be ready to recapture student interest.
- Change up the activity as needed to maintain student engagement.
- Keep transitions to a minute or less to preserve the flow of the lesson.
- Make your lessons creative, using a variety of teaching strategies.
- Pre-plan lessons.
- Be prepared to present information in a logical order.
- Anticipate questions that students may ask.
- Have materials prepared and ready to use.
- Check that needed technology is working before the lesson. Have a plan to fall back on if technology fails.