I have just started teaching mathematics up to secondary level. I don't have much idea as to how to handle the class.

In order to make students learn well, how can we divide the time in order to put a mix of lecture and specially the group work?


2 Answers 2


In my 75-min algebra 2 class, I use this schedule daily: 5 min for warmup, 35 min for individual presentations to the class of homework solutions, up to 10 min for direct instruction if needed from me, 20 min for classwork in groups, and 5 for some quick exit exercise that I collect as a check on understanding. It's been working well for me; I got the basic structure from Lee Mahavier, a very experienced and successful teacher of secondary ELL's in Georgia.

  1. Identify what you want you'd like to teach the students for the class. Maybe more importantly, identify the goals of the course. What do you want the students to know and what do you want them to be able to do once the course is over?

  2. Write up a reasonable calendar for the course. Put the lessons you want to give in a reasonable order and designate which days will correspond to each lesson. You may need to alter your goals for the course at this point upon noticing you don't have enough time.

  3. Each day in the course, just teach the students the thing you set out to teach them. There's no need to have an immutable structure to each day (a 5 minute warm-up, followed by 27 minutes of lecture, then a 12½ minute breakout exercise, …); use your training as a teacher, and your own intuition, to teach them as best as you can each day. Some topics will require more lecturing than others to setup. Some topics will require very little scaffolding, and you can have the students explore during the class meeting. Some topics are better discussed in groups, whereas some are best thought about individually. Be flexible.


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