Teach Better and Save Time for What Matters Most
Teachers are leaving the education field in droves. Really, really good teachers. Maybe you're one that's considering it.
How can we help empower teachers like YOU to do your best work -- and get home at a reasonable hour for the important stuff?
The answer? EfficienTEACHing.
This project provides you with research-based teaching practices you can use in class tomorrow to save time AND teach better.
Is that even possible? I think you'll see that it is.
Use the buttons below to skip to a specific part of the page. Or just scroll and look through our resources.
Want to contribute an idea to this project? Email matt@DitchThatTextbook.com.
Getting more buy-in and motivation from the beginning means more motivation and less disconnect.
When we know them and what they're into -- their passions, their hobbies, their curiosities, and more -- we build a level of trust. Trust leads to influence. It also builds rapport and motivation to succeed in our classes.
So, how do we find out what students are into?
Student interest surveys.
Want to know what students are into? Ask them!
INTEREST SURVEY RESOURCES
Send simple messages to meet students and their families where they are.
Most of those kids have allies at home -- parents, guardians, really anyone who loves them and wants the best for them. We can team up -- student, parents, and teacher -- pushing and pulling in the same direction to get better results.
In a short amount of time, you can write a message that all the families get. You can write a short personal message about each kid that gets delivered individually to each student's family.
CUSTOMIZED NEWSLETTER RESOURCES
Use what science suggests to make learning stick faster.
"Retrieval practice is a strategy in which bringing information to mind enhances and boosts learning. Deliberately recalling information forces us to pull our knowledge 'out' and examine what we know."
It's low-prep. It doesn't cost anything. It can be weaved into what you're already doing in class. Here are 10 ideas you can use in class.
LONG TERM LEARNING RESOURCES
When you let students do “free recall,” as these brain dumps are called, the teacher isn’t playing “gotcha” by asking for specific answers to specific questions. Students get to show what they know.
Help new information stick in students' minds with the "brain dump," an effective, low-prep activity in the classroom.
FLIPGRID DIGITAL BRAIN DUMP RESOURCES
PRACTICE & ACTIVITIES
Systematize your best activities so they don’t feel like work.
Stations can provide time for practice, preview, review, collaboration, choice work time, and small group or individual teacher time. If you have never done stations before then planning them out might seem like a daunting and time consuming task. But helping you teach better and save time is what EfficienTEACH is all about!
Check out this post for TONS of tips, tools and resources to help you get started or level up the stations you are already doing.
STATION ROTATION RESOURCES
What teacher doesn’t want to save themselves time and teach better? It’s finding those low-prep, high-return activities that we can use right away that can be challenging.
That’s where EduProtocols come in.
Automate what you can and let student show you what they’ve learned.
Formative assessments don’t go in the gradebook. These assessments are for us teachers, to guide our instruction.
So how do we get good, authentic, informative data from assessments that students know aren’t going to be graded?
With fun and engaging assessments that students WANT to do! We know that it's especially important that these assessments are easy to do and require little to no prep.
NO-TECH FORMATIVE ASSESSMENT RESOURCES
Teachers use formative assessments to get the pulse of the class, to see how students are progressing. When used correctly, formative assessments let teachers make quick changes to their plans to meet students where they are.
Plenty of digital tools exist to help teachers mix things up. Don’t think of formative assessment as worksheets and quizzes. Students can draw, choose, write or say to show what they know.
MATERIAL & CONTENT
Give students choice and use what already exists.
Digital resources abound online. They can be more up to date and just as accurate as a textbook. Where do we find them, and how do we curate them?
Here are 20 sources of FREE digital content for your class.
Systematize communication tasks and empower peer review
hat's what makes it exciting but it also makes it an incredibly overwhelming and daunting task. Especially when we teach multiple classes of 30+ students. How do we modify our instructions to meet ALL of their needs? How do we make the most of our time and theirs?
That's what we want to tackle with you.
Providing feedback is an important skill. The ability to give meaningful feedback to our peers is even more powerful.
Here are 10 tools for effective peer feedback in the classroom.
ROUTINES & HABITS
Build them for yourself and students so you don’t have to ask.
Do you ever feel like you tell students to do the same things every single day? If we could only make some of those activities habits ... then we wouldn't have to remind them every single day ...
This is where habit stacking helps a LOT. Habit stacking can create cues to help students remember to do what they need to do. Here are 10 ways it can work.
HABIT STACKING RESOURCES
Provide a discussion rich environment where students hear each other’s ideas easily.
Discussion can engage students and help them to see different perspectives.
Here are strategies you can use to create a discussion-rich classroom.
ACTIVE LISTENING RESOURCES
Get more done faster to spend time on what matters.
Email can consume our lives. With some strategies, though, we can minimize the impact it has.
Here are some tips to help with email overwhelm.
GMAIL PRODUCTIVITY RESOURCES
Help students make sense of what they’ve learned and transfer it to other areas.
If we sprint to the finish line, completing as many tasks as we can and checking off boxes without stopping to reflect, students miss out.
Thankfully, some simple prompts can help. It's even better if they're in copy-and-assign templates you can give to your students right away -- for FREE. Right?!? This post will give you some ideas for reflecting at the end of the year AND lots of templates to get started.
END OF YEAR TEMPLATES
COMMUNITY AND RELATIONSHIPS
Grow closer to students and help them grow closer to each other.
Helping students build relationships with each other -- student to student relationships -- is crucial, too. That's at the heart of classroom community. It answers these questions: "What do we stand for? Who are we? What is this school, this classroom made of?"
So ... how do you build relationships? How do you develop classroom community? Here are 20 ways!
COMMUNITY BUILDING RESOURCES
Write lesson plans faster and automize things you do often.
Artificial intelligence can help you write lesson plans faster -- and give you new ideas you might not consider.
Here are some tips and strategies you can use.
LESSON PLANNING RESOURCES
Make the most of your time to fit in self-care and create a positive work-life balance.
When you're stressed or need some support, an AI assistant might be an unlikely choice. But it can give you strategies to cope and empower your wellbeing.
Here are 6 ways ChatGPT and AI can help.