Are the first two minutes of a lesson the most important to set the stage?

We always here that the start of your lesson is the most important.  What is our hook? How can we catch our studnets attentions?  What will make this interestng for the students?  As of right now, I agree, a good hook is very important to a good lesson.  With that being said, I feel like there are aspects of a lesson that are more important.  Such as the brainstorming or “we do” section of the lesson so students can get an idea of what is being asked of them in the lesson.

I think a big part of this depends on what you are trying to set the stage of.  For example,  in Jan Richards’ Setting the Stage for Engagement, we find out that smiles, heart, and materials are the most important parts of setting the stage for engagement.  Without a smile on the teachers face, the students will not feel a sense of happiness within the lesson.  Without heart, or loving what you are teaching, the students will feel that and feel the same way the teacher does about the subject.

On the ASCD website, they explain that while 2 minutes may not be the most important of a lesson, 2 minutes can be the foundation to a meaningful relationship between a student and their teacher.  If you try to connect with each student for 2 minutes each every day and do this every day for a couple weeks, the relationship will begin to form.

On the CRLT website, they talk about the most effective ways to layout a lesson plan to prepare for the best lesson.  They do mention having a relate-able introduction to bring the students in and interested in what is going to be taught.  However, they mentioned many more important aspects of lessons besides just this.

Lastly, when researching on the Education World’s website, the focus was setting the stage as well.  However, in this case it was specific to meaningful play.  The solution? Having a prop box.


So, is the first 2 minutes of a lesson the most important for setting the stage?  I think, while it depends what you are setting the stage for, I believe this is not necessarily the case.  It is in fact very important but I think involving students in exploring the lesson together later in the lesson is more important to the layout of the rest of the lesson!





How to use it in the classroom?  Check out these amazing resources below!

This resource is a blog from an instructional technology consultant.  He goes into detail about the specifics one can do with this app/website.  This includes videos and pictures to physically show the words that he is expressing throughout the post.

This link comes straight from Wunderlist itself.  They give 4 teaching tips when using the app. Reading this provides a great way to inspire teachers to keep their classroom, students, and colleagues organized and on the same page throughout the year.

Another resource straight from Wunderlist, this site provides 3 tips but instead of for the teachers, these are for students.  These tips go into detail on getting books, staying organized, and preparing for class.

This site is direct towards high school students.  It is, in a way, a wake up call to prepare them for organization skills they will need in college.  Within the site, there is a list of bullet points to help students read the tips easily, along with a video to help show what the site is explaining.

This resource breaks Wunderlist down into three categories: Planning, Organization, and Time Management.  Within these categories we are introduced to how to best use the app to gain these skills.

This website is told through the voice of a teacher.  They explain how they use it in there classroom.  There is some great advice provided in here along with separating one class from another and track what students have completed what assignments.

Cyber Bullying

Cyber bullying is a form of bullying but takes place strictly over technology devices such as :

  • cell phones
  • computers
  • tablets
  • social media sites
  • text messages
  • chat
  • websites

Cyber bullying is a problem because for a couple reasons.  Technology is such a prominent thing in today’s society so it is readily available in some way for a majority of people to use.  With that being said, using this technology is an easy way to hit at someone without having to say something to their face.  There is a sense of bravery and assurance that comes along with this and allows anyone to say anything.  Not only that, but there are many sites and forms of technology that allow you to comment or get in contact with people anonymously so that they may not even be able to get “caught” in action.

What’s the worst that can happen?  Kids who are cyber bullying are more likely to:

    • Use alcohol and drugs
    • Skip school
    • Experience in-person bullying
    • Be unwilling to attend school
    • Receive poor grades
    • Have lower self-esteem
    • Have more health problems

According to Cyber bullying statistics from the i-SAFE foundation, well over half of young people do not tell their parents when cyber bullying occurs.  To me, this shows how much of an impact it can have on an adolescent.  They may feel sad, scared, or even embarrassed that the bullying is taking place on them and effecting them.

One resource I could use in the classroom is a Cyber Bullying Video that is short and to the point, but can make a big impact on the students.


Technology Inventory

In my school, the kindergarten and first grade teachers share a cart of chrome books for their students.  These are always readily available for the teachers whenever they want to use them but there is only one cart so they must communicate with the other teachers when deciding how many they need and when they need them.  The kids love these because my CT allows a few out at a time as a must do for them to complete which includes them listening to a read aloud off of YouTube.

My teacher also has a doc camera in her classroom that works really well with lots of their days.  This allows her to play YouTube videos for the kids for brain breaks and also really help the kids with listening and using their fine motor skills appropriately during their project 64 time, which is a type of art lesson for the class.  The kids can watch my CT step by step during this time and really pay attention to little details which they may not notice otherwise.

One last thing my school has is a computer lab.  I love this, even for kindergarten because it allows them to practice logging on with their letters and numbers and play fun games that are very age appropriate and still have much of an educational meaning.

Blogs in the Classroom

I think that blogging could be very cool as a teacher, especially if used in a smart way.  Once you are committed to having a blog, my first step would be following as many teachers as I know along with education blogs that I could get useful information out of.  Once I have people that I know following me, I think that a great way to use it is to post my low points and high points in teaching.  This way, my readers could feel like they are not alone in these low points and get great ideas with my high points.  Along with this, for my low points I would hope to get comments on advice on how to help my issue from helpful colleagues.

When talking about how my students can use blogs, I could go about it the same way.  Depending on the ages, I may have them make a blog, and every once in a while (maybe every friday, or maybe once a month) have them do a sort of classroom evaluation on what they like or dislike about the class. This way I can get feedback on my ideas and classroom management and try to tend to students who are not liking my teaching style.  A different prompt could be highs and lows or that week/month, this way I can form a relaxed sort of environment to gain a relationship with the student.  One last idea is in a way using both of these, but instead change the prompt every week/month depending on what you are looking for from them.


Education Blogs

  1. – This a great blog to go to when you are stuck, not knowing how to get through to certain students on specific troublesome mathematical concepts.  This Blogger does an excellent job of organizing their page so that anyone can find their specific grade level they are looking into without any troubles.
  2. – On this website, there are multiple blog posts consisting of a variation of subjects all relating to mathematics.  While scrolling through the blogs, the main subjects I noticed were how to help teach mathematical misconceptions, different math related games, and how to get through to struggling learners.
  3. – This is more of a personal blog.  The blogger is called Mr. Math.  His main focus is to help teachers like himself deal with testing, working a 10 hour day and then blogging. His blogs consist of math games, activities and troublesome topics.
  4. – This is my favorite blog thus far! The bloggers main focus is math games and activities to share with other math teachers around the world.  However, some fun stories about her students and other passions tend to sneak in her writing.  Since she has over 900 posts, she has collected her favorites as to not overwhelm the new readers.
  5. – This blogger is a little less organized.  It seems as though she has plenty of good and useful information but it would be difficult if you were going in to look for a specific idea.  The main point of the blogger is to provide the reader with free and useful lesson plans and activities that she has used in her own classroom.
  6. – This site went about bloging in a whole different way.  The website has many links to activities and ideas but the blog just goes through all the different math concepts with different ideas to go along with each.
  7. – This blog seems to be more science related =unlike the past math ones.  The blog talks about steve spanglers experiences while he gives tips on how to handle certain situations pertaining to your classroom.
  8. – This blogger focuses on math games, videos, and books to use in the classroom.  Lately his main focus is on other math bloggers trying to get everyone to come together at a math blog carnival.
  9. – Cathy Jo shares her professional thoughts on different aspects of technology used in the classroom.  With this, she goes into detail on different books, videos, and activities pertaining to this subject.
  10. – On this blog site, there are mutliple blogs that all seem to be focused on one thing, this persons classroom.  I actually really like this blog becuase it allows me to really relate to what I will be going through in the near future while also supplying me with great ideas for every part of my classroom, mainly focusing on mathematics.


Resources on Social Media


K-5 Literacy Coach. Avid reader & recommender. Devoted to inspiring life-long literacy habits!


3rd grade teacher from kentucky: infrequently tweets about being a mom and teacher.


She is a mom and a 5th grade teacher.  She also helps out with book club.  She posts updates about her classroom environment.


She has been an elementary teacher for 29 years strong.  She is big on blogging and even has her students contribute.


He is a 3rd grade teacher.  He also helps out with book club. He mainly tweets about books, and his classroom.  There are also some cute classroom videos and pictures.


M.Ed 3rd and 4th Grade (looping) Teacher,  She is excited to share and collaborate with teachers all over the world.  Her tweets consist of books, teacher advice, and blogs.


She is a 3rd grade teacher, reader, and blogger.  Most of her tweets consist of ratings of books, new book ideas, and blog posts.


She is a 7th grade teacher and creator of the Global Read Aloud and author.  She posts about advice for teachers.


She is a 4th grade teacher with over 30 years of expericence.  Her tweets consist of ideas and advice for teachers.


reader, author of The Book Whisperer & Reading in the Wild, & facilitator (where a few other tweeters said they help out with) , & co-host. She tweets quotes and books that she recommends.


She posts tips for inspired teachers.  Most of her post are pictures of new fun ideas.


She posts lots of different crafts that are good for classroom activities.


She has a corky way going about sharing ideas and tips for teachers.


She displays different ideas, games, and activities that allow for a fun and engaged classroom.


They discuss the importance of teachers having a voice and encourage all teacher to come together.


They post great links to resources, ideas, and activities for in the classroom.


This pinterest is great for beginner teacher.  It includes lots of activities and ideas to help make your first classroom come to life.


This pinterest shows cool ways to use and make foldables in your classroom.  I will definitely use this in my future classroom.


This board helps early elementary teachers make lessons, plan activities, use calendars, and much more in their classroom.


On this board are plenty of reading resources such as guides, centers, and more to include in your 1st or 2nd grade classroom.













50 Word Bio

12294714_10205095605769933_4582338439851160004_n     Kali Orenstein is a 4th year student at Grand Valley State University.  She is attending GVSU as a Mathematics and Education major with an Elementary Certification minor.  Everyday, she goes into work and school eager and excited to learn more about her field of education.

Educational Organizations

  1. National-Level Educational Organization
  • National Council of Teachers of Mathematics
  • Social Media Outlets:
    • $90/year, full membership
    • $117/year, full membership plus a research journal.
  • When you join NCTM, you gain access to all our expertise, tips, lessons, research, connections, and insights. And with all that, you get results—in the classroom and in your career.
  • It comes with a Journal and 25% off an education book.  It also comes with a set of lesson plans.
  • Annual Conference is April 13-16 $365 for a full time membership in the early bird registration.

2. State-Level Educational Organization

  • The Educational Technology Organization of Michigan
  • Social Media Outlets
    • I was unable to locate any links to social media outlets.
    • $300.00 Institution (First Year)
    • $175.00 Institution (Each Year after First Year)
  • Benefits?
    • Professional development conferences
    • Workshops
    • Discount telecourse and other packaged course licenses
    • PBS statewide discount licenses
    • Database Resources including statewide distance education enrollment figures
    • Statewide distance education listserv
    • Discount teleconference licenses
    • Resource for information on the latest technologies
    • Networking advantages
    • Distance education research
    • National / state voice for instructional telecommunications issues
  • You have access to instructional telecommunications issues.
  • November Conference, $75 for members.