Classroom teachers should emphasize time on task to their students. The time that students are in a class is precious. Most of the time is spent focused on the lesson being presented. The rest of the time should be devoted to working on independent study lessons or studying for assessments.
During the presentation of a lesson, students should be very attentive. If they do not understand a certain concept, they should ask their teacher for assistance. If a word is not understood, students should ask for a definition. If a solution does not make sense, students should ask for another example or another way of solving the problem. Students should also listen to what other students are saying in response to questions asked by the teacher. Students must be active participants in the learning process.
After completing a lesson, I was always encouraging students to use their time wisely. During this time, I expected students to be focused on working on problems that I assigned. On occasion, I told them to use the time to study for an upcoming assessment. During this time, I worked with students that required individualized instruction. It was also a time when students could request extra help in learning the concepts being taught during the class period. When students were given an opportunity to study, this time was also available for students to request reinforcement of concepts or of techniques for solving problems.
Students that focused on the lesson and used the free time to work on assignments or sought tutoring were usually the most successful. Teachers should always tell their students that they should not hesitate in asking questions. In general, the students that tend to ask the most questions are those that are usually the most successful in the class.