Time and time again, substitute teachers find themselves trying to fill classroom time. Whether you finish the lesson plan early, or the teacher failed to leave a lesson plan, you need to be prepared to fill the extra time with something of value.
One way to fill time is to teach good study habits. Most kids know they need to study, but not all of them know how. If you find yourself with extra time on your next substitute teaching job, use these study tips to teach your students good study habits:
Flashcards are one of the most effective learning tools. Flashcards induce Active Recall, the practice of actively stimulating the memory during the learning process. Research shows that this technique is more effective than reading a textbook of listening to a lecture (known as Passive Recall). Have your students create flash cards for a relevant lesson.
Turn it into a Song
We’ve all had trouble getting a song out of our head. Our brains have a knack for recalling song lyrics. When we hear a song, our brains make connections between the lyrics, melody and rhythm. When we later hear the song, those connections give our more context to help recall the lyrics. Challenge your students to make up lyrics to one of their favorite songs using information from a current lesson.
A mnemonic device is a time-tested technique your students can use to recall information easily. Have your students create several different mnemonic devices using information from a current lesson. They could create acronyms, rhymes or use imagery associated with the pertinent information.
If you have some chatty students, use it to your advantage. Pair your students up with information or flashcards from a current lesson and have them explain each aspect in as much detail as possible without consulting their notes.
Inevitably, you will have extra time to fill in the classroom. The best thing you can do is to be prepared. Next time you finish your lesson early, teach your students good study habits.