Level 2 – Classes that require emphasis on pace and time

I hope you (whoever reads this) find this post helpful.

~I will try make a video soon for those who are prefer a video over reading.~

As a general rule, I believe pacing at 1 slide per minute is good to follow.  However, there are some classes in which you just can’t do that.  Some reasons for this include:

-Unfamiliar and/or difficult concepts/terms

-Too much content

-Combination of different subject matters

-Difficult/out of place reading passages, comprehension questions, or sentence patterns

Even after teaching nearly 4500 classes, there are some Level 2 and Level 3 classes that I still struggle with in terms of pacing.  I will go over the Level 2 classes that I believe don’t follow this rule, what I do to have better pace without taking too much away from the class.

Unit 4 Lesson 3: People in My Family (MC-L2-U4-LC1-3)


Number of slides: 27

Why this lesson can be difficult: Long sentence patterns

Examples: -Who do you live with? -Who are the people in your family? -Definition of “people” and example sentence provided.


Most students do well reviewing the letter sounds and blending practice (phonics).  It’s the sentence patterns in the middle that students can sometimes struggle with.  Furthermore, there are some “This is/These are” grammar exercises afterwards.  For students who’ve started at Level 2 Unit 1, they’ve had plenty of practice with this concept through Level 2 Unit 2.  For new students who’ve started on Level 2 Unit 4, this may be difficult for them since this is the first time they get exposed to.

What I do: My suggestion for this would be to spend less time reviewing the letter sounds and phonics words and also on “This is/These are” if they have a good grasp of this.

Unit 5 Lesson 2: We Have Fun Together(MC-L2-U5-LC1-2)


Number of slides: 31

Why this lesson can be difficult:  Long sentence patterns.  Too much content.  Combination of difficult subject matters.

Examples: -Phonics reader sentences. -This is a plus/equal sign. -Introduction of pronouns combined with the “be” verb.  -Math equations combined with phonics words. -Irregular plural noun (mice) can also throw off students, especially in Lesson 4 when they learn about “minus.”


This is the Level 2 class that I dread the most.  Students jump right into the phonics reader sentences even though they haven’t learned all of the blends (they will eventually learn all of them later in Unit 5).  Right after this, they are slowly introduced to the words “plus” and “equal.”  I think the pace of introducing these words is fine.  It’s when they have to say these newly learned math terms with the phonics words that throws off so many students.  It’s not easy.  Furthermore, the words that are included are difficult to pronounce words (desks) and irregular plural nouns (mice).  Students also have to read the “word form” of the numbers (e.g. one, two, three, four, five), which many students have not yet learned.

What I do: If students struggle to read the phonics reader sentences fluently and/or accurately, I read it for them twice and have them repeat.  The teacher directions (TD) say to have the student read, but many students struggle with reading them independently.  ***I mention in student feedback to the parents that (1) students will continue to have opportunities to practice the math equations in lessons 4, 6, 8, and 10, (2) practice recognizing the numbers in word form, and (3) that students will see the phonics reader sentence patterns again later in Unit 5 (which is true).*** I also simplify the math problems and have the students only say the math equations in English (if they are really struggling).  To give you an example, let me translate the math equations in Korean written form (if I was teaching Korean):

For students who have no problem with the math content:

책상들 다섯개 플러스 책상들 다섯개 이퀄 책상들 열개 (Five desks plus five desks equals ten desks.  This is what students see. Not so easy, is it?)

For students who are somewhat struggling:

책상들 5개 플러스 책상들 5개 이퀄 책상들 10개 (5 desks plus 5 desks equals 10 desks.  You still have to say it in Korean, but at least you recognize the numbers in their “standard form.”)

For students who are really struggling:

5 플러스 5 이퀄 10 (5 plus 5 equals 10).


Unit 5 Lesson 8: My Toys (MC-L2-U5-LC2-8)


Number of slides: 29

Why this lesson can be difficult:  Long sentence patterns.  Too much content.  Combination of difficult subject matters.

Examples: -This is a “not equal sign.” -Math equations combined with phonics words.


Like Unit 5 Lesson 2, students are introduced to more math concepts.  Students by this time have had a plethora of opportunities to practice saying these math equations in the classroom and hopefully out of the classroom.  Most students that I’ve seen can say the math equations with some fluency.  Most students struggle saying the sentences accurately, however.  Many students forget the “is” or “to” when saying “is not equal to” (e.g. “5 plus 5 is not equal to 8”).  In addition, the sentence patterns can be long and overwhelming for some students.

What I do: As I mentioned before, I will really simplify for students who are absolutely struggling with reading.  There is also a tic-tac-toe math activity as well.  Rather than playing tic-tac-toe (I’m not sure who has time for that with all the slides in this lesson), I have students say the math equations.  Sometimes I will only have them say 3 instead of all 9.


Unit 6 Lesson 11: Meals of the Day (MC-L2-U6-LC2-11)


Number of slides: 31 slides (4 slides include final project reminder)

Why this lesson can be difficult: Difficult sentence patterns.  Reading passage can be difficult for some students.

Examples: “What time of the day ___________?” “We have breakfast in the morning.” “What is your favorite meal of the day?” “What do you eat for ______?”


I always struggle with this particular Unit 6 lesson for a few reasons.  (1) Most students always struggle with the sentence patterns “What time of the day ___________?” (do you have breakfast/lunch/dinner).  I wish VIPKID provided the first sentence as an example without having the students try and figure out the sentence pattern right off the bat as a fill in the blank activity.  The concept of “day” is introduced appropriately, but further examples (props) may be needed.  (2) The word “favorite” is introduced in Unit 5, but is not revisited at any point in Unit 6 until this lesson.  Furthermore, it is immediately followed by the word “meal” and sentence patterns which include these two words.  Students can sometimes struggle with this.  (3) The reading passage titled “What is for dinner?” includes some unfamiliar/difficult words and concepts.

What I do: I immediately provide the full sentence pattern to the students (slide 8), Rather than having the student guess: “What time of the day _________?” (What time of the day do you have breakfast?) I assist with the remaining sentence patterns or even type it out for them so they can have a visual when saying the sentences.  I also go through the story “Jump Over” really fast because students have already seen this story in Unit 6 Lesson 5.


Unit 9 Lesson 1: In My Neighborhood (MC-L2-U9-LC1-1)


Number of slides: 28

Why this lesson can be difficult: Difficult concepts (mostly at the beginning),

Examples: -A neighborhood is a place where people live.  -It is a small part of a big town or city.  -This city has many areas.  – Each area has many neighborhoods.


The first half of the lesson can be difficult for a lot of students.  The sentence patterns that is introduced to explain what a “neighborhood” is can be overwhelming for most students.  I feel like most students have no idea what I’m saying or what they are saying when the sentences are being read.  Right after these sentences, students are introduced with the vocabulary associated with neighborhoods.  After this, students must identify these words (corner, street, building, sidewalk) with a picture provided that does not really show a sidewalk or corner.  The second half of the lesson goes over the sight words and phonics and is not as information-dense.

What I do: I try not to put too much emphasis on the first couple of slides.  Sometimes it may be hard to judge how well students will do on the phonics content – /ab/ and /ad/.  You want to make sure you have appropriate time to work on the sounds, especially if students struggle to distinguish between the two.


Unit 10 Lesson 3: Animals I Know (MC-L2-U10-LC1-3)


Number of slides: 27

Why this lesson can be difficult: Difficult sentence patterns.  Unfamiliar terms.

Examples: -Pets live in the house.  -A lion is a wild animal.  -A duck lives on the farm.

The majority of this lesson consists of new sentence patterns as well as the concept of “verbs.”  Students have to switch from saying “A lion lives in the wild” to “A lion is a wild animal.”  Students can sometimes say one of the sentence patterns but will struggle with the other one (or struggle with both).  “Verbs” are introduced after reviewing “nouns,” but distinguishing the differences can often be quite challenging for students.  You also have to watch your pacing because the goodbye song is “Five Little Monkeys.”

What I do: Sometimes I will do some of the “noun” and “verb” activities for the students if they absolutely cannot get it the first time.  Students will continue to learn about “nouns” and “verbs” throughout Unit 10.  I will also assist them with the reading passage (towards the end of the lesson) if needed.

Some visuals of each word may help students.

Note: Although some of the sentence patterns in Units 2 and 3 can be difficult for many students, I find that the amount of content in each lesson is suitable enough where struggling students can usually finish on time.


Have a nice week everyone!







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