An important area in any part of the teaching profession is time management and this covers many areas of teaching. There is lesson planning which involves making sure a lesson runs on time and includes all of the aims for the lesson, reviewing at the end of sessions and doing this in a timely manner, and then there’s the making sure your own personal lesson planning doesn’t take too long. All of these areas will be covered in this week’s #TipforTuesday with a little help from some of our current Buddies!

Session Planning

As we currently have a number of different sessions on offer, Picaro, CGE, Exam, and academic sessions, each comes with its own necessary planning. The good thing is, aside from academic sessions with specific topics for students, planning on the whole shouldn’t need to take too long.

What is the main purpose of planning for sessions?

Although all the content of classes is already set for Buddies, it is important to know what you’re going to cover in class, understand it, and to have time to download any extra resources you may need/plan what props you are going to use.

This becomes a noticeably faster process once you get into the swing of teaching and have repeat classes!

Picaro and Phonics course

For these sessions – congratulations! Content wise you do not need to add any extra resources. Both our Picaro and Phonics courses contain everything you need, you do not need to think about songs, homework, or games. The reason for this is continuity across the sessions for Breadies.

A little preparation looking at the content is needed however to answer the following questions:

  • What do the notes from the previous session say? Are there targets you should be checking?
  • What is important is looking through the slides and making sure you as the Buddy completely understands the content. Some things you can think about when looking through the slides beforehand is:
  • Is there a particular grammar form you need to brush up on?
  • What order to the answers come in?
  • How are you going to explain the concepts to your Bready?
  • What props should you use?

It is also important to make sure that the correct content is in the classroom including all slides including the homework and game slide.

All this prepared? You’re good to go!

CGE Courses

Our CGE sessions require a little extra work. When checking what is in the session, use these question below as a quick ticklist when looking at each Bready’s profile:

  • How do you want to display the content? – In our shared folder, many of the books have already been divided into presentations which make for an easier class. You can upload it and away you go!
  • What homework do you want to set? – Have a quick look at areas the Bready has struggled with/recently learnt in previous sessions and what they’re going to be studying in this session – is there a relevant task you can think of using this information?
  • Do you need a song for the class? – In our shared folder we have a number of songs you can upload with topics dependent on the class content.
  • What about ice-breakers? – If you’re not using a song as the ice breaker, you can either think of your own depending on the topic, or check the sharing folder/padlet for any ideas/resources that other Buddies have shared for that topic!
  • Are there any extra resources you can find which could be useful for that topic?  – As well as those shared and created by Buddies on the sharing folder or Padlet, I find just googling worksheets on certain topics comes up with an excellent range of free resources made by teachers for teachers.

For the planning of any session, IQBar doesn’t expect you to put hours into it. A few minutes per student quickly going over the content and making sure all the correct files are in the classroom should be enough!


Make sure to save and categorise any useful resources you find for repeat sessions!

The number of times I’ve had a session which I’ve already taught and can’t for the life of me remember where I put the resource I’d used before. The more sessions you do, the more prepared you are for future sessions! Make a folder with clear names so when you need to find resources later they are not hidden amongst all the other files.

As you’re checking resources, make a list of what you’re going to cover with each Bready either writing on paper in front of you or on a notes tab on your screen.

“To make planning faster for each Bready I prepared a sheet to print out each teaching day where I can write the name of the Bready, what work they are doing in the session and one or two targets from the last session.”

Sarah S

At the bottom of this blog post you can find a prep template which you can print or open on the screen whilst getting ready!

TIP – It’s important not to be typing too much throughout the session as you make notes. It can be distracting for the Bready as it could seem like you’re not paying attention.

If you need to type, put one or two words which you can expand on later!  

So that’s for time keeping whilst planning, what about during the actual session?

25 minutes is a very condensed time period and sessions can often feel like they fly by. If you’re doing a Picaro session, remember you don’t have to finish the slides, likewise with CGE you don’t have to finish the two set pages. What’s important is your Bready understanding the content and the session moves at the correct speed for them.

“I have the notes application open at the side of the webpage and use a template for planning and reviewing each lesson. As the lesson is in progress I add one or two word notes under the ‘what went well’ and ‘areas for development’. In the 5 minute gap between lessons I add more detail. Then, at the end of the teaching day I tidy them up and copy and paste them over to the reviews on the website. Planning usually takes me around 30-45 minutes for a day’s teaching and reviews take 20-30 minutes. A handy tip too, is when one Bready is running late, use a separate tab to open the review page and complete the earlier reviews (making sure you can still see the classroom tab though!”  

Sarah W  

If you’re worried about how to manage time during your sessions, the approximate minutes spent on each section is:  

Icebreaker (2-3 minute)

Check homework (2-3 minute)

Content (15-17 minute)

Set homework (2 minute)

What’s important is remembering to extend on the content and make sure your Bready really understands what’s being taught!

 What about writing reviews?

This is very easy if you’ve been making short notes and using the template provided below. Rather than having to wrack your brains about what happened in the session and then get them down in the reviews tab, you can simple extend on the key words you wrote in your notes and send the reviews off as quickly as possible!

Some people find that reviews can be written in the five-minute gap between sessions, or can at least add more detail to the notes written during class.

You also don’t need to spend too much time on the review. Once filling in the gaps from your notes, the review format only requires a few words, explanations and targets, it’s okay not to write long essays about your Breadies!

Buddies! What tips do you have for time management? Let us know!