Methods & Materials to Melt Kids in Your Hands

As a teacher, the most important question you need to ask yourself is:

What is it I want my students to spend more time on?

Increased time on task improves learning, but only IF the task is appropriate for the grade level, curriculum, and individual student.

  1. Should the student do the assignment? (Is it appropriate?)
  2. Could the student do the assignment? (Do they have the skills?)
  3. Would the student do the assignment? (Is it motivating to them?)

Do I change the assignment or do I change the student?

  • If the student is the problem, change their behavior.
  • Maybe the student doesn’t know what to do or how to do it—teach them. Direct instruction gets the maximum effect in a minimum of time.
  • Modify the assignment until it is within reasonable expectations.
  • Is the student motivated? Is the task


  • Practice makes perfect.

As INTEREST increases, ATTENTION increases.
As ATTENTION increases, TIME ON TASK increases.
As TIME ON TASK increases, LEARNING is accelerated.

If we apply this analogy to reading, we find interest increases attention; attention increases time spent in reading, and time spent in reading improves comprehension.