Teacher Helpline: Playing Curriculum Catch-Up

Teacher Mandy writes: “Here it is May 1st and my third graders and I are weeks behind the plan for[…]Continue Reading

Teacher Mandy writes:

“Here it is May 1st and my third graders and I are weeks behind the plan for the year. The day goes so fast. How do other teachers keep manage to fit it all in? Thanks!!”

We certainly know the springtime craziness, Mandy! You’re itching to get as much done as possible, and your students are getting antsy about the prospect of summer break. The good news is, a lot of learning can happen between now and the end of the school year. Here’s what our helpliners had to say:

  • It’s all about prioritizing what you have left to do. Lots of things get in the way and you have to revisit your original ideas. I make a plan at the start of the school year and don’t think I’ve ever achieved everything on it—but we always achieve some unexpected results as well. —Lisa W.
  • Make assignments do double duty. For example, if you are reviewing quotations and figurative language, have students write personification in dialogue form. —Karren K.
  • Use your best judgment. I teach first grade never cut reading, phonics, grammar, spelling or math. Other subjects sometimes do get trimmed back. —Andrea B.
  • Check with the teachers one level above you. They can often tell you which topics are “musts” and which are expendable. —Connie G.
  • If you can, assign extra homework. Just one additional worksheet can make a big difference. —Alexis P.
  • Look at your transitions between topics. This is often where teachers lose time. Putting the effort in to make sure your classroom management is solid is worth it. —Virginia W.
  • Remember, at the end of the day it’s about quality, not quantity.It may be a cliche, but when it comes to teaching, it’s so true! —Lori H.

What other advice do you have for Mandy? Please share it in the comments.

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