Have you ever gotten ready for a lesson that you knew was going to be tough for your students?

You know the feeling-you dread teaching it almost as much as the students dread the moment when the content gets too hard.  We’ve all hit that wall as teachers, and it can be one of the most frustrating times in the year.  None of us WANT to see our students get overly frustrated.

In today’s EducationCloset On-Demand episode, I’m sharing a teacher tip for rearranging your design that will make this kind of lesson so much easier.  It’s called Isolate the Struggle, it truly helps to transform how I planned and executed the most difficult lessons in my curriculum.

Essentially, you identify the concept that is going to be most challenging in your lesson and move it up front as a warm-up to get your students ready for the lesson itself.  It’s important that you have students practice the concept in many different ways as part of the warm-up process – sketch it, write it, play it, etc.  This takes the pressure off and helps students to know that they are just practicing for the “real” lesson itself.  Once they get to this same challenge area in the actual lesson, they have already had a bit of time and experience with that concept, making it easier for them in the context of what they are learning.

Sound off: what are some of the most challenging concepts you teach throughout the year?  Would using this strategy help?