Teach 7: Maximizing Instructional Time

Why is it Important?

Maximizing academic learning time is a critical tool which is needed to improve student achievement and requires multiple policies and programs to support great teaching and learning. School districts around the state and country are looking for ways to improve student achievement by increasing instructional time, because simply increasing the school day or year does not guarantee increased academic learning time. In fact, doing so may actually create unintended negative consequences.
The following reflection, exemplar videos, and effective practices are used with permission from Houston Independent School District (http://houstonisdpsd.org).
Below are two exemplar clips. Please watch with the following reflection questions in mind. You may need to give each video a moment to load.

Reflection Questions:

Use the following reflection questions to guide thinking prior, during, or after watching the video exemplar. They can be used individually or to facilitate conversation during PLCs, department meetings or as an entire faculty.

  • What routines did the teacher have in place? How did it help the classroom run smoothly?
  • What does it mean for an instructional strategy to be considered high-impact? What examples were given in the lesson?
  • How did the teacher keep the students engaged in meaningful tasks?

Elementary Exemplar


Secondary Exemplar

Effective Practices

Hallway Work

Job Assignments

Material Organization

Pacing Tools

Tight Transitions

Work the Clock

Do Now

Teach Back

Washington DC- Reality PD

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