Prime time tasks: an ASFM thing

At the start of my first full school year, I went through the training for new teachers, which among many many other things introduced us to the school’s preferred lesson schema. This pretty closely follows the lesson plans promotes by McGill, so I feel fairly comfortable with it. They have some special terminology which teachers apparently use consistently, including the Prime Time Task, or PTT.

Just as it sounds, the Prime Time Task is an activity during the “prime time” (i.e. the first five minutes) of a lesson. The intent is to have the students come in and have something to do right away, usually to activate their prior knowledge (such as reviewing the previous, connected lesson) or to explore the current lesson. This way, we wake up their brains before moving on to the “new information” part of the lesson.

Screen Shot 2014-05-27 at 1.49.34 PMNot a new idea, but very cool to have a slick name and acronym, and to get all the teachers on board.

My first prime time task for Grade 9 (to right) was a little challenge to see if I could activate some prior geometrical knowledge and get students thinking about overlapping shapes. I suspect they won’t all be quite this clever, but I will certainly keep using them to get my students involved in the lesson right away.