Laura A. Diaz ____ Teach Write

TEACHER, AUTHOR, EDUblogger "I want to (read and) write books that unblock the traffic jam in everyone's mind." ~J. Updike

Gimme Five!~ The 5-Minute Teacher: How Do I Maximize Time for Learning in My Classroom?



So, you want to be a teacher that can deliver quick, thought-provoking lessons that will have your students raising the roof  to learn more and find deeper meaning on their own?

See, yeah, I heard that…… MMM-hmm that….the:  “Wh-wh-what is she talking about?!”

Hang with me a sec now, okay? Well, gimme five minutes to explain……see what I did there? 😉

I have recently had the fantastic opportunity to read a book written by Mark Barnes on just this topic…….What a coincidence!

In his book, Barnes lays out for the reader ideas and strategies for creating a student-centered learning environment where the teacher (in theory) only spends about five minutes “on the stage” and the rest of the time works as the “guide on the side.”

Now, ideally, in a utopian school environment world,this sounds absolutely right on spot and amazing! In fact, many homeschoolers have used this instructional method for years with tremendous success.  However, we all know that although our hearts reach for that ideal and long for that ideal, that we really teach in a politically driven world of high stakes testing and regulations….be honest, you know it’s true.

One example of this clash between utopia and reality is the focus Barnes presents regarding observational assessments as opposed to structured assessments.   In the reality,where we find ourselves teaching, this is not completely possible. In fact, most districts now require you to submit your structured assessments into the gradebooks.  In addition, you are required to submit a certain number of approved assessments.  However, here is my thinking on that…. we all know that as qualified, highly effective teachers we are doing observational assessments all– the– time!   Those observational assessments guide not only our lesson planning but our structured assessment planning.  Therefore, I propose that this is not an either/or situation. At least, in my eyes, it doesn’t have to be.

In the book, Barnes argues that most classroom discussion is controlled by the teacher or, in some cases, by the loudest, most out-spoken student. I can see what he is saying.  I can also hear what you’re saying also: I have a pacing plan to stick with, lady! Yes, I know. Yet, this again, does not have to be an either/or situation.

Teaching from a prescribed curriculum with dictated state and district timing does mean that we cannot  completely hand over curriculum choice and control to the students.   However, this “guide on the side” learning  can be accomplished through best practice techniques which  involve teacher guided rather than teacher directed instruction.  Such strategies will  include scaffolding, differentiation, collaboration, gradual release of responsibility, and reflection practices (by both the students and the teacher).

In this way, knowing your students and their learning strengths/style you can begin guiding your students learning. Furthermore, teachers are able to give students more choices as to how they will learn something and are able to clearly explain why what they are learning is important.  This will take a lot of keen observation and effective feedback to succeed. So the teacher will need to be AWAKE…….yes, I said it… the teacher.  Don’t sputter at me, you all know teachers who are on cruise control and asleep at the wheel.   So you stay awake, okay?  I’m not saying this is easy.  We knew that when we signed up for this calling. But the result? Your students will be more engaged, taking responsibility for their learning and AWAKE.

For myself, I will take what works with my personal teaching/learning style and use my strengths to  motivate, activate, and maximize learners and achievers.  —See what I did there?  😉

Let me explain:



Well, enough of this rambling.  It is my hope that you got the gist or were inspired to learn more of what I was trying to share with you.  Below you will find a few links that will guide you on an exploration of what this “5-Minute Teacher” business is all about.  Take control of your learning, teacher, and follow those links! 😉


Happy Teaching! 🙂



@Teacher ToolKit  <——-This link will take you to @TeacherToolKit which has many links to various informational sites regarding this subject.

 28-Minute Lesson Plans with Links and templates.

As seen on the @TeacherToolKit web site:

“The demands placed on us in the classroom, by meeting the needs of students; or systems and management, can create unnecessary bureaucracy. The original 5 Minute Lesson Plan was designed to reduce planning time, whilst give the teacher an overview of what is important. It is here, that this concept has evolved into all the variations that you can find below.”

*This information is all via the ever talented ( I look up to his genius), Award winning Assistant Headteacher; Author of 100 Ideas: Outstanding Lessons. Creator of the #5MinPlan; @SLTchat; #TMLondon; @MyEdHunt; @SLTeachMeet; and writer for The Guardian Education.

Licence: @TeacherToolkit Ltd. by Ross Morrison McGill is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Based on all work published at

Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.


  1. The 5 Minute Lesson Plan by @TeacherToolkit
  2. The 5 Minute Assembly Plan by @TeacherToolkit
  3. The 5 Minute Interview Plan by @TeacherToolkit
  4. The 5 Minute Lesson Evaluation by @IanMcDaid
  5. The 5 Minute Behaviour Plan by @TeacherToolkit and @LeadingLearner
  6. The 5 Minute Marking Plan by @TeacherToolkit and @LeadingLearner
  7. The 5 Minute Results Analysis by @TeacherToolkit and @LeadingLearner
  8. The 5 Minute Meeting Map Planner
  9. The 5 Minute Governor Agenda Plan by @ClerkToGovernor
  10. The 5 Minute Lesson Review by @TeacherToolkit and @Shaun_Allison
  11. The 5 Minute Ofsted Plan by @TeacherToolkit and @LeadingLearner
  12. The 5 Minute Inspector Calls Plan by @TeacherToolkit and @LeadingLearning
  13. The 5 Minute TA Plan by @R1chWilliams
  14. The 5 Minute Staff Well Being Plan by @TeacherToolkit and @LeadingLearner
  15. The 5 Minute Tutor Group Plan by @TLIdeas
  16. The 5 Minute I’m Stuck Plan by @Abbie_Tucker
  17. The 5 Minute CPD Plan by @TeacherToolkit and @LeadingLearner
  18. The 5 Minute AfL Plan by @TeacherToolkit and @PivotalPaul
  19. The 5 Minute Class Profile by @MissieMaths
  20. The 5 Minute Gifted and Talented Plan by @TedfordDanielle
  21. The 5 Minute Parental Engagement Plan by @PW2Tweets
  22. The 5 Minute Test Results Analysis by Daria Kohls
  23. The 5 Minute Coursework Review by @JoBaker9
  24. The 5 Minute Literacy and Numeracy by @EduKayte
  25. The 5 Minute Strategy Plan by @LeedsArtTeacher
  26. The 5 Minute Meeting Plan by @LeedsArtTeacher
  27. The 5 Minute Research Plan by @TeacherToolkit and @LeadingLearner
  28. *NEW* The 5 Minute Change Plan by @TeacherToolkit and @ssgill76 *NEW*





Learn It in 5: Mark Barnes 

5-Minute Teacher Resources and Helpful Websites <—–This link is a page that contains a tutorial for using screencasting programs, screen casts used to help students and links to other important tools, mentioned in Mark Barnes book, The 5-Minute Teacher: How do I maximize time for learning in my classroom, by ASCD.

Don’t miss Learn it in 5 editor Mark Barnes’ critically acclaimed book, ROLE Reversal: Achieving Uncommonly Excellent Results in the Student-Centered Classroom, now available in the ASCD storeBarnes & Noble and at



11 comments on “Gimme Five!~ The 5-Minute Teacher: How Do I Maximize Time for Learning in My Classroom?

  1. MaggieMeyers
    June 7, 2015

    Wow! Great links and I will certainly check hat book out and read it more in-depth to see what it’s all about. I’ll comment on what I thought later.


  2. Mr.Zee
    March 17, 2015

    Thanks, this is an interesting topic and like how you included some great links and resources. Very helpful Keep up your good work! I haven’t read this book before, but you’re right, it at least looks like it’s worth a read.


  3. Jojo
    November 8, 2014

    Awesome content, thank you! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Mrs.Salome
    July 25, 2014

    A great read. I’ll certainly bbe

    Liked by 1 person

  5. latishaharkins
    July 23, 2014

    Your blog? Its very well written; I love what you’ve got to say. Spreading the word at work to the other teachers I work with. You have so many great resources and inspiring ideas on your blog that I do not see how I can get through it all in one sitting! 🙂 As Arnold says, I’ll be bock!~

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Ms.Bessie.Luden
    July 23, 2014

    Nice post. Setting you as a resource for future collaboration.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Aracely
    July 18, 2014

    I’m going to tell my big brother, that he should read this blog. He teaches high Social Studies and I bet he’d love your ideas. Well, coming from a sophomore anyway, this girl here loves you. I also follow your book on WATTPAD. Keep it chill!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. JillWeisegarden
    July 18, 2014

    Superb! This has provieded many useful facts and innovative ideas to us, keep up the work you do both as a teacher and a writer/blogger.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. conniehartman11
    July 6, 2014

    Love your “voice”

    Liked by 1 person

  10. A.Gherdy
    July 4, 2014

    Fun reading this. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  11. adriannamontez
    July 1, 2014

    This is challenging but seems like it’s worth a look-see. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

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