Make the Most of Your Week Lesson #4: Make it Bite-Sized

Apr 3, 2013

Unit plan. . . overhaul behavior management system. . . grade “those” papers (insert mind image of toppling stack). . . re-organize classroom library. . .re-vamp family communication system….

Sound familiar? Got a few of these big To-Dos lingering around your own brain? Avoiding them because they feel too big, too daunting, too unclear? And with MAYBE 20-30 minutes of prep time per day, you feel like there’s no hope of EVER making progress?

Lesson #4: Make it Bite-Sized*

Meet Lindsay, a second year teacher, who plans out her week in advance and makes every To-Do bite-sized enough to actually make some progress (and feel good about it!).

Here’s what Lindsay tells me happens inside her brain . . .

“I think about my time in terms of chunks to use throughout the day.  Lots of changes can happen, and I don’t always get to everything I need to…but, I try really hard and this makes me more efficient.  In one chunk, I can prep one lesson or grade one giant stack of papers. This helps me not get pulled into off-task things like checking the news online or chatting in the Teachers’ Office.”

  1. Before School —Morning To-Do’s are all planned out
  2. 9:53 Prep—Check Exit Tickets, Reading Logs, and more. All things that help with that day’s lessons!
  3. After School—Calls, Email, and meetings. Note Lindsay is also paying attention to her energy levels at various points in the day, much like Drew did.

Lindsay, this is just so purposeful. And we see you have time allocated for the gym, yoga, and grad school, too! Clearly, planning ahead and making things bite-sized is paying off!

*Note: Bite-sized is a term often used at Achievement First (my part-time employer) to describe the size of lesson-plan aims. I repurposed it here.

Together Teacher Discussion Question: Can you maximize your prep periods by making anything more bite-sized?