my secret to productivity...

This post is part of the BlogHer #NaBloPoMo challenge.

Day 4 Prompt: At what time of day do you feel the most energetic and productive?

Hmmm...considering I'm writing this post at 12:41 am...I would have to be truthful and say I'm a night owl. Haha! But I am too old to pull late nights very often and still be productive day after day. So based on the conditions of my teaching job, I prefer to teach early in the morning and prep at the end of the school day.

But we're not here to talk about me! Let's ponder how to streamline the crazy amounts of energy my middle school algebra students maintain. And how do we set the stage so they can be productive from bell to bell?

I have a one word solution: CHUNKING!

Our lessons may feel very choppy to a random guest, but chunking our routines into 12-15 minute tasks allows my students to stay focused and maintain productivity. This means we participate in five or six activites each day. Here's our typical routine...

Although we follow the same basic routine each day, each piece varies from lesson to lesson. The the variety maintains energy and the routine yields productivity.

What does a typical day in your classroom look like to an outsider? Do you use some form of chunking? And what's your secret to increasing productivity? Inquiring minds want to know...please do share!

Happy Friday to YOU!
Enjoy your weekend...make it count!


  1. Lisa, we also chunk, and most days, we hit all parts. The kids generally do well with it. We're a TAP (Teacher Advancement Program) school, among other things. One of the TAP components is that each lesson should have direct instruction, some variety of group work (whole, small, partners), and individual work, so I find it lends itself to stability in lesson structure.

    We do:
    Get Started!
    Homework Review/ Cumulative Review
    Concept Check
    New Material/ Notes


  2. I've never heard of TAP; thanks for explaining the details! It sounds like it is based on solid components. Best of luck to you in 2013!

  3. Hi, I too split my lessons into blocks. If nothing else its the only way to ensure you cover multiple intelligences and use at 2-3 effective teaching strategies, rather than relying on one. As you said too, it also helps the kids to stay focused so much more than long lessons! I've found from experience that it also helps kids with attention difficulties, learning difficulties, low ability or low confidence - if despite help they lose one chunk they can easily rejoin the next and still complete most of the lesson - much better than getting stuck after 5 minutes, panicking and not trying anything else!

    Great post as usual :),

    1. Thanks, Emma! And you are speaking truth about long lessons...my anxious students would never recover. Thanks for speaking to the benefit for different learning styles too. Enjoy your weekend!