Consider this - if, every day, I am expected to teach a brand new lesson in phonics/reading, math, social studies, science, and English language arts, when am I going to have time to review the lessons in those teacher manuals? Um, never.
I've been teaching for a few years now and I've never had "down" time during the day, or quite honestly, even the year! Even those of us with the best intentions wind up doing everything else during our prep period other than reading through all the material. There's some good stuff in those books, but you must be able to spend the time and read every page and take notes. We're all trying to survive on the Cliff's Notes versions.
So, how did I remedy this?
One year, my team split up our curriculum and we each took a subject (or two) and agreed that it would be our responsibility to ACTUALLY read ALL THE PAGES and put together lessons that the rest of the team could use. Initially, I was bummed because I picked math and we have a different lesson EVERY DAY.
However, once I settled in to read that Teacher's Manual, I'm going to say I was surprised at all the goodness it contained. I created presentations that I (and my team) could follow during each lesson to keep us on track. They weren't to read from, they were to keep the lesson flowing and guide the teacher (and students).
Well, without tooting my own horn, I have to say - they were a hit! It's so nice to know that you can just open up the presentation and even if you don't remember exactly what it was about, there is enough information in there to guide you through it.
I also found that they are extremely helpful for days that I have substitutes. I copy all the presentations onto a flash drive and label it Reading - AM, Math - PM or whatever my schedule is for the day and all the sub had to do is follow along. It really helped my classroom run much more smoothly and the subs loved how easy they were to use.
I put them on TpT, and the response was phenomenal – teachers in other grades started asking me to make them for their classrooms, and so I did.
I know that on TpT, there are a lot of educators offering pre-made lesson presentations for Engage NY math (a.k.a. Eureka Math). Most are priced very competitively and include cute fonts and clip art. So, how do you decide which product is best for you?
Before you make that decision, you should understand what these products are and how they can be used. These products are tools, NOT replacements for your experience as a teacher. They will not magically teach your class for you.
What the presentations are meant to do is to help you save hours of prep time and provide a colorful, informative background as you instruct your students. That being said, be sure to review the slides BEFORE you teach to ensure that you understand the main take-away of the lesson. This way you can integrate your personal experiences and keep your kiddos engaged.
Here are a few tips to help you when choosing presentations:
Tip #1 Make sure the presentation is compatible with your classroom technology
There are multiple types of software available, and each school seems to have purchased something different. If you have a Smart board, you will want to use compatible software and there are excellent presentations that are designed for this technology that allow you to move items on the board and create an interactive experience. For the rest of us, purchasing this format doesn’t make sense as we don’t Smart board software that run .notebook files.
The most universal type of software is a PDF (portable document file) and should work on almost every type of computer. Most products will list what type of format they were developed for in the description. Be sure to check your classroom technology before you purchase a product.
I made my presentations in PowerPoint format because it’s what my school used and what I know. However, I know that many schools are now using Google slides.
Unfortunately, my PowerPoint slides for grades 3-6 just weren’t compatible with Google – the animations don’t work the same. While customers asked for a Google friendly version, I just didn’t have the capacity to create new slides for all of the grades. That’s 180 lessons x 6 grade levels. I just didn’t have the time.
Tip#2 Look for a guide that closely follows the original product
There are five key parts to each lesson plan developed by Engage NY: Fluency; Application; Concept Development; Problem Sets; and the Exit Ticket. Each section focuses on a different aspect of the learning process and play an integral part in the Engage NY teaching philosophy. It is recommended that you verify that all the sections are included in the product you purchase (make sure they’re actually in the original lesson plans first!).
Tip #3 Divide the lesson up based on what works best with your schedule
Though most Engage NY supplements will be constructed in the exact same order they are listed in the module, they do not need to be taught that way. You can follow from slide 1 until the end, but you can also divide up the sections listed above into mini lessons throughout the day. For example, you could easily use the application section for morning work or move the sprints to a 10 minute break in your day.
I hope these tips help you choose the presentation that is right for you. My goal is always to reduce my planning time, help me to be prepared, and improve my lesson pacing.
- Classroom Teacher
This website uses marketing and tracking technologies. Opting out of this will opt you out of all cookies, except for those needed to run the website. Note that some products may not work as well without tracking cookies.Opt Out of Cookies