When I first started teaching online I was unsure how to pace my lessons and I did not have enough ideas for teaching vocabulary. So if you are new, this pacing guide and the vocabulary tips will help you improve.
Pacing can be difficult when teaching online because the materials are provided for you. It takes time to get used to the company’s curriculum style. There are also a lot of other considerations such as the student level, the time of the class, the activities within the lesson, and whether or not it is a group class or a one-on-one class.
In my PDF I decided to share a pacing guide for a 45 minute lesson with 4 intermediate or advanced students and a 25 minute lesson for beginner students. I created a video to walk you through the entire lesson, but let’s talk about some of the basics here.
45 Minute Session Pacing Tips
Most 45 minute sessions, whether they are adult or junior, intermediate or advanced, have a similar style:
- Title Page
- Introduction to the Lesson
- Reading Page
- Reading Page
- Reading Page
- Discussion Questions Page
With this in mind, you can easily create a pacing guide for any situation. Here is what you need to have in mind to create your pacing guide at iTutorGroup:
- Decide how many minutes you want to spend on each slide. I usually spend two to three minutes on reading slides and five to eight minutes on discussion pages.
- Decide how you fill in extra time once you have completed the reading or activity portion of the slide. I provide some tips for games, prop usage, and more on my PDF and YouTube video.
- Consider any possible interruptions such as IT issues, student questions, students who are not at the right level, or behavior problems (for junior clients).
25 Minute Session Tips
The structure for pacing a 25 minute session is similar to a 45 minute session in that you will need to decide how many minutes you have to spend on each slide in order to end the session on time. What is different is that you will need to supplement a lot more activities for beginner students. Most 25 minute sessions are with younger kids, so definitely plan activities to expand on the materials.
Beginner students barely speak any English, which means you have to do a lot more talking and the student has to do a lot of repeating. You have to plan activities that incorporate visuals, props, a whiteboard, and total physical response. All of those tools help beginners comprehend English.
For both the student’s sake and your sake you need to mix up the variety of ways in which you teach vocabulary. Sometimes this feels overwhelming, especially if you are not a creative person or if you don’t have any teaching experience. So let’s make this as simple, but effective as possible.
Work with what you have. Consider everything that is part of your online classroom and then think of all the ways you can make an activity with it.
- The whiteboard is the easiest place to start. You can have the student draw vocabulary words (pictionary), play spelling games (hangman or tic-tac-toe), write lists that the student can use to recall vocabulary, do board races (see how fast the student can write or draw a word compared to other students or to you), and draw a comic with words or ideas from the lesson.
- Props (stuffed animals, toys, etc.) or visuals (flash cards/pictures) are an excellent way to practice vocabulary. You can have two stuffed animals have a conversation, use the props to have the student guess the vocabulary word or practice recall, or play a guessing game using props.
- You! Use your personality to make jokes, smile, ask questions, and be silly when talking about vocabulary. If the words have to do with emotions, act out the emotions. Use a lot of Total Physical Response. Make the student laugh and enjoy the lesson with you. If you can do that you are definitely going to be added as the student’s favorite teacher.