Problem of the Day as Routine

teaching kidsI was so glad to hear that Common Core had less standards that the 1997 set in California. When you look at the pages of standards you have to teach in a year, it can produce anxiety. A reasonable response to that anxiety can be to schedule too much each day. It’s been said it’s better to aim at something and miss than to aim at nothing and hit your target. A problem of the day for math and language arts can seem miniscule but if done every day, you can get a lot done over a year. 185 standards covered in both ELA and math, that sounds good to me! I can feel anxiety lifting as I type it. If you go through them as a class, you have a different approach that isn’t possible all day long. Plus, the mind likes routines and chunks of information. All these things are the pros of doing a problem of the day.

Check your school’s curriculum for problems you can use. If you don’t find any good ones there, try old tests or pursue it on the internet. If you can’t find any to your liking, drop me an email and I’ll be happy to do some searching for you. One challenge in doing this is being regular at it. Morning routines get broken when deadlines approach too rapidly or other demands find you unprepared. I’d challenge you to be committed to it for at least one week and see how you like it. There is so much to learn in a year it can seem like you have to eat an elephant. Well, whether you like it or not, you’ve got to teach all the standards. What’s the best way to eat an elephant? One bite at a time. Problem of the day as routine can help you eat the elephant.


Having been a public school teacher since 1997, I've gained valuable classroom experience. Sometimes a great tool is a dynamite lesson plan. These posts are from a real teaching journey. I hope they inspire you. Thanks for reading!

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