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How much time on lesson?



I just started teaching this year and I find that I have very little time in teaching the subjects. I spend more time trying to keep control of class. I have a very bunch of wiggly little ones. About how much time per subject is good? I am lucky if I get about 10 minutes for each subject. Basically, at the end of the day I spend a grand total of close to an hour on teaching. Should I feel quilty?

Hockey Fan

Junior Member
state guidelines

I'm not sure what state you are in but your state should have some guidelines for the "ideal" minutes spent each week on the various subjects. Obviously some lessons during the year are more intense (or not as intense) so the time frame can vary.

What grade is this? Also, if this is your first year teaching, have you been assigned a mentor to help you? If your district doesn't have a mentoring program, is there a veteran teacher in your building that you can consult with?

I'm in my 11th year of teaching and if there is one thing that I feel very strongly about it would be classroom management and procedures. I spend the first several weeks of school (in a third grade room) modeling / practicing scenerios with my students. Then, as the year progresses, I do "mini sessions" as the need arises. I know that at the beginning of the year we all want to jump in and get moving on the curriculum but I am now able to focus more on my teaching because I have established clear guidelines in my room.

Hope this helps!


Senior Member
state requirements

Yes I agree with the previous poster that you should check with your principal about your state requirments about the time you should spend on each subject. I have found in my 8 years of teaching that mini lessons are much more effective than long drawn out teaching sessions for this age. Of course that is not so for everything. For example, when introducing a brand new concept that may be difficult I spend more time teaching. Once we have the concept we have mini lessons. I also teach a lot in small groups for reading and math so the mini lesson allows me more time for that. I guess my average day would look like this.
10 minute mini lesson on language, practice skill
10-15 min lesson with math 45 min practice skill/small group/take it to your seat centers (if it is a new concept such as subtraction w/ regrouping we may spend the entire hour practicing with manipulatives for several days.
20 min. mini lesson for reading. I read a tory pointing out the skill or strategy I am teaching. 70 minutes practicing skill/ centers/ small group
I genreally integrate science and social studies into centers and story time.
The majority of my teaching time is spent on more individualized instruction.
I also agree with the first poster on the procedure thing. You aren;t giving up weeks of good instruction time by spending weeks establishing procedure. You are actually gaining so much by drilling procedures and then revisiting them as needed during the year becasue you will in the long run spend a lot less time trying to control.

On another note this probably won't happen for you right away. I have been teaching for 8 years and I have just this year solved the problem of sharpening pencils in my classroom. I could never come up with a procedure that I was happy with until now. I am always looking for ways that will improve my instruction as well as my procedures.



I spend 1 hour on math, 35 mins on interactive read aloud, 1 hour on Independent Reading, 15 minutes on word work, 1 hour on science, and 1 hour on writing. I teach reading, writing, science, and math 4 days a week each. I used to teach everything for 45 minutes but found longer blocks 4 days a week to be much better for me!



Full Member
I spend about an hour and a half on reading act.; 30-45 on math, 30-40 min. on science and social studies ad 30-40 min on writing. We switch teachers for science and I have no control over the time there. I wish we had more time to devote to it! I also have a chopped up schedule where my prep time cuts in to things and at one poin tin the day I have 12 kids coming and going for intervention services! It is crazy! Then there is recess, assemblies, b-day treats, speical events, holidays... it never seems to be enough time to squeeze it all in.