We all have interruptions in our classroom, so here you will find 5 creative ways to save a derailed lesson. I’m super excited to be here and share ideas about how I like to try to save a lesson that goes off the rails. I hope you’ll be able to use a few of the ideas yourself!
We’ve all been there…fire drills in the middle of a poem analysis, a fantastic lesson that ends 15 minutes too soon, technology that just won’t work, a student having a disruptive day, assemblies, school announcements, or surprise interruptions. There are so many things that can completely derail a lesson!
I don’t know about you, but I hate it when a lesson gets off track. I mean, let’s face it, a lot of time, planning, and preparation goes into everything we do. So, when a situation arises, whether it’s a fire drill, assembly, student misbehavior, or anything that interrupts students’ learning, it can be frustrating. My least favorite part about a lesson interruption is that students lose out on critical learning time. That’s why I’ve spent the last few years amassing a few resources that I can use as BACK UP PLANS in response to some of the most common situations that might derail my lesson…and today, I’ll tell you all about them…
classroom. When it works, it’s amazing! However, working through technology issues in front of a classroom can lead to a management nightmare and loss of critical instructional time. After one particularly trying day with a technology failure in my classroom, I decided to make a Technology Debate activity to use as a back up plan. The idea was to create something that wasn’t specific to any particular lesson (because I wasn’t sure when I would need it), but that could keep my kids thinking and working independently while I solved any technology issue. Oh, and if the issue couldn’t be resolved, I wanted an activity that could easily extend into an entire class period.
wouldn’t be operational any time soon, we hosted a class-wide debate. It was so cool! The Technology Debate activity absolutely came to the rescue!
simple worksheet that challenges students to think creatively.
On our way out the door, I have the kids grab a clipboard and I bring along some pencils. Then, while waiting outside, I hand out the worksheets and they continue learning. Oh, and not only is it a way to extend their learning, it’s perfect for keeping them quiet while waiting in line!
of a student that is having an off day can stop every bit of learning in the classroom for the ENTIRE group of students.
To prepare, I just made two sets of behavior cards. One recognized kids doing the right thing in class (“Keep it Up”) and the other requests that students making a poor choice stop what they are doing (“Stop”). Then, it’s all about handing out the behavior cards seamlessly during instruction. That means getting in the habit of handing out the “Keep it up” cards all the time.
I hope you and your students like these resources! If you enjoyed this post, be sure to share it on your favorite social media platform, or pin it so your teacher friends can see!
Thanks for letting me stop by! -Mary Beth