Prepping with PowerPoint means Smoother Direct Instruction

In the old days — aka B.T., before technology — we had to read ahead in every Teacher’s Edition textbook so if the lesson called for a sentence or definition to be written on the board, we could do it before school started just to save a little time.

But with PowerPoint and a little planning, you will discover a new way of teaching your curriculum’s content.

Several years ago, our Intermediate grade level got the idea to create PowerPoint presentations for each story in each theme of our language arts curriculum.  We illustrated the vocabulary words, defined the terminology, and typed in all content which was directed to be “written on the board.”  What we found is that our classroom management improved as we had to turn our backs to the class fewer times.   Our direct instruction also flowed much better as we referred less and less to the hard copy of our Teacher’s Editions, since we were incorporating the outline of its lessons into our PowerPoints.

Then we realized we had a CD-Rom with pdfs of all the  transparencies and workbook pages.  We added those files to our PowerPoints, and then projected the workbook page or practice transparency onto our white boards so students could come up and fill in the blanks projected onto the white board.

We took pictures of each practice book so we could add PowerPoint slides directing students to work on a specific page in a particular practice book.  This made getting out the right practice book much easier for students, since at many grade levels, language arts and math books are all the same color!

The last piece of the puzzle was purchasing our own wireless laser presentation remote, like the Targus Multimedia Presentation Remote.  One part plugs into a USB onto your laptop/computer, and the other is a combination laser pointer and clicker to advance PPT slides.  With this $30 device, we were able to provide direct instruction while circulating around the classroom, improving management even more.  For those with a bigger budget, an eInstruction Mobi board does the job just as nicely.

It took a team effort and a pull-out day or two to create the outlines for each story and theme, with each of us taking a theme to create and then share with each other.  Each time we have used them, we find more ways to enhance and improve them.

By using PowerPoint to prep your lessons, you will guarantee smoother direct instruction, cleaner delivery of curricular content, and a more engaged, attentive class.

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