Original Article: https://www.responsiveclassroom.org/blog/lecture-less
One great strategy is to keep direct teaching lessons short. A friend and colleague of mine once shared this piece of wisdom about lesson-length with me: “The first minute of the lesson is the golden moment, when students are ready and able to take in everything you say. The last thirty seconds is the silver moment, when you can really drive home a point and students are refocused. Everything in between is the leaden moment.”
This might be a bit extreme, but the point is worth considering. How long can students remain focused during direct instruction? I know that I myself tend to drift after about 10 minutes of a lecture.
Try structuring lessons so that direct teaching takes 5–10 minutes and then give students a chance to practice and apply what they’ve learned. You can always regroup and conduct another 5–10 minute direct teaching lesson later on if you have more teaching to do!
Mike Anderson is an education consultant, award-winning teacher, and author of many books including What We Say and How We Say It Matter, The Well-Balanced Teacher, The First Six Weeks of School, The Research-Ready Classroom, and Learning to Choose, Choosing to Learn. Learn more about Mike and his work or invite him to work with your school or district through his website: www.leadinggreatlearning.com. Connect with Mike on Twitter: @balancedteacher.