Timing Secrets - Tips to Extend Your Lessons

What do you do if you find yourself shy of the lesson time? Its a question a lot of teachers have and today Teacher Chayla aims to answer these questions with some helpful tips.

My name is Chayla Soden. I am a current Qkids teacher from the United States. I am passionate about my active studies in English Writing and Literature, Philosophy, and Religion. I am a stay at home mom of my son, Brett. I have a male Rottweiler and a female German Shepherd, one rescue cat, and two prairie dogs.

Timing Secrets

How to extend your lessons
to maximize student-teacher
time efficiently and effectively!

You just finished your mandatory two trial classes with Qkids and something happened: you went too fast or, woah, too slow during your class! Don't worry! Most of us make this mistake when we first start with Qkids, too. I went too fast in one trial and then too slow in another trial, and it wasn't until the third trial that I got hired with Qkids! I made it a point to figure out how to time my classes right so I would not make a timing mistake again. Through trial and error, I found some secrets of the trade that I'd love to share with all new and prospective teachers alike! I hope you find this guide helpful, and as always, feel free to message me personally so I can assist you in the hiring process. If you are new to Qkids, feel free to use my referral link at the bottom of this page to support more articles like this. 

How Long Should I Teach Each Slide?

This was my first question when I started teaching English online with Qkids. I felt that surely some slides might take a certain amount of time than others. But how was I supposed to know which slides to focus on? Not only that but how could I then plan it out perfectly, especially when I could have one student for a lesson that I previously taught with four students? I found a general rule of thumb for every class, though! Plan to spend at least two minutes on each slide.
With parent interruptions, student distractions, student mistakes, students answering slowly, students refusing to participate, student-teacher free talk, and all the other things that could happen that you can’t foresee, you can end up spending up to four minutes on each slide if you make sure to spend at least two there!
Each lesson has about 12 slides, give or take a few. If you spent a minimum of two minutes per slide for a 12 slide lesson, that is 24 minutes that you spent just meeting the bare minimum. You need to spend 28 minutes on the lesson material before reaching the “end” slide where you can spend the remaining two minutes praising your students.

What About The Rest of the Time?

I know what you’re thinking at this point. You feel a bit better but you’re still unsure. That’s four minutes we’re talking about. Four long and awkward minutes in an online classroom! What could you possibly do to handle that time in a worthwhile way for the students, the parents, and you?
Don’t worry - there is a very fun and simple solution for you: use the tools! The tools are a lifesaver. The tools given to teachers are what make Qkids so special! No other online ESL company has an interactive platform quite as Qkids does. The marker, spotlight, and text board are my go-to in every lesson I teach. I have yet to get to the "end" slide before 28 minutes, even with one student! Here are a few ways to incorporate the pen, spotlight, and text board tools.

Qkids Tools – The Answer to All Your Timing Needs

Use the pen tool to do the math with the students
Use the spotlight tool to focus on the main ideas in slides
Use the text board to create visual sentences
For the pen tool, bring it out when letters and numbers are involved. Always. There are a lot of lessons based on the Chinese yuan and the American dollar. These lessons typically are not as long as others and instead of slowing down your teaching, go ahead and write! Use visual aids such as drawing each number and doing math with the students. This will enhance their learning experience. There are a lot of lessons in Qkids centered around counting. These lessons are broken up in segments. For those of you that are interested in phonics or already teach phonics, phonics lessons are based on the English Alphabet. Drawing letters will help the students remember the lesson. Whether you're teaching phonics or a number-related lesson, the pen tool will extend your time perfectly while engaging the students more!

For the spotlight tool, bring it out when you are in the introduction and animation page. Show the students what you’ll be talking about in your lesson by removing all other distractions. Introduction slides and the animation page are intended to ease the student into the real material. Make it fun! Ask questions! I want the students to answer my questions on these slides however they want too, not parakeet after me! I want them engaged here. Plus, the spotlight tool is wonderful on any slide for students that might not understand what you’re asking. The spotlight tool is much better than circling with the pen. I recommend moving away from circling with the pen tool and using the spotlight tool instead!

For the textboard tool, bring it out as much as you can. I recommend typing relevant sentences on every slide. I type made up sentences for each of the "learn new words" cards. I type bits of the storyline in the animation slides with Koby and Momo. I type out keywords throughout the lesson. I even type out what the students say! If I ask, "what is the weather like"? and one student shouts, "it is windy"! I praise him or her while pulling up a textboard that says, "it is windy". This allows the students time in the limelight, so to speak. They will want to shout out the right answer in the hopes that theirs might make it on the big screen for all to see!

Now Get Out There and Work!

With these secrets in mind, you can maneuver through your lessons without the fear of time. Time is on your side! It is not against you. You only need to find a system that works for you! Just don’t forget your tools and shoot for two minutes per slide. When I have finished the greetings, the introduction, and am beginning my first review slide, I quickly check my current class time and compare it to the rest of the slides. For example, if I am at 16 minutes of class time by slide nine, I will quickly scan the remaining number of slides and count them by twos to estimate how much time I may or may not have on the upcoming material. If I find I will be two minutes shy of meeting the “end” page by 28 minutes, I feel comfortable typing, drawing, and using my spotlight tool even more. 

If you found this helpful, and are thinking of applying to Qkids, feel free to contact me at chaylasoden@gmail.com after using my referral code ZMIVEB. I will be more than glad to assist you in your future career with Qkids! For my readers that are already with us, get out there and make the world a better place through Qkids!

Shaping the future of E-learning together! Helping Qkids family grow in your own way!

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