Level 3 – Classes that require emphasis on pace and time (Units 1-6)

I hope you find this post helpful. I spent quite a bit of time thinking about classes that require you to watch that clock!

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/grammar

-Too much content

-Combination of different subject matters

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

Below are the classes that I still struggle with in terms of pacing to this day.  I believe these lessons need to be adjusted at some point.  Please keep note of these classes if you ever see them on your schedule.

Note: **I do not encourage teachers to do what I do. I simply list them as options if you are really short on time**

Note: **I am not including Unit 5. For those that have been around for a while… you know why.

Unit 1 Lesson 9: A Year on Earth (MC-L3-U1-LC2-9)

Number of slides: 26
Why this lesson can be difficult: Too much content – especially reading.
Pace Recommendation: More time is needed for the second part of class.

This lesson is the only one in Unit 1 that gives me a lot of trouble. This lesson is especially difficult for (1) young students who still need time decoding and sounding out words when reading and/or (2) students who are good conversationalists but struggle with literacy.

This lesson covers:

(1) Learning the months: May – August.

(2) Reviewing “before/after” sentence patterns. Students have seen this sentence pattern in Lessons 3-6, but this is their first time using it with the months.

(3) Reviewing the “bossy e rule.”

(4) First time seeing the story “The Sad Ape.”

(5) Reviewing when to capitalize letters and underlining words that make the “long a sound” on slides 15, 17, and 23. Slide 23 is towards the end of class and includes some long and brutal sentences.

(6) Making sentences using the sight words.

If students struggle with at least 2 of the 6 points listed above (and a lot of them do), it can be very tough to complete everything on time. I have a few 5 year old students who are great little conversationalists but need time with reading.
What I do:

I blaze through learning the months May-August if possible. For “The Sad Ape” story, I underline all the words with a “long a sound” before students start reading. This helps a bit with their accuracy and pace. I sometimes skip the stopwatch sight words activity and just have the students say the sight words one time. For slide 23, I will sometimes just have the students read the sentences and ask students to read the sentences out loud again and identify the long “a” sound. I put this in student feedback. Despite all this, there are times where I don’t finish everything on time.

MC-L3-U1-LC2-9 2.png
One of the last slides. This slide can be brutal for many students!

Unit 2 Lesson 4: What are you wearing? (MC-L3-U2-LC1-4)

Number of slides: 26
Why this lesson can be difficult: Difficult grammar, long reading passage, difficult sentence patterns (if students are struggling with before/after).
Pace Recommendation: Slightly more time needed for the second part of class.

A lot of content in jam packed in this 26 slide lesson. Grammar, phonics, and a long reading passage. Not to mention reviewing ‘before/after.’

This lesson covers:

(1) Reviewing different clothes.

(2) Grammar – present tense vs. present continuous tense.

(3) Sight words – Students must make sentences using the sight words.

(4) Using before/after in sentences associated with the days of the week.

(5) Long reading passage (slide 18), followed by a birthday riddle (slide 19).

(6) Reviewing the long ‘e’ sound.

If students struggle with at least 2 of the 6 points listed above (and a lot of them do), it is nearly impossible to finish on time. Trust me on this.
What I do:

It is really difficult to speed through this lesson. You want to make sure students understand the difference between when to use ‘He/She/It wears’ and ‘He/She/It is wearing.’ At the same time, it is very hard for students to say these consistently with grammatically perfect sentences. If students struggle with the grammar, fine. If students struggle with reviewing ‘before/after’ (students have practiced this all throughout Unit 1), then I will skip ‘slides 18-19.’ I also mention to parents in the feedback that I skipped it due to the lack of time. I have students simply say the sight words rather than making sentences. There is really no time for that (I’ve learned through trial and error). For reviewing the long ‘e’ sound, I don’t even bother with that BINGO activity. I have students read the words or some of them, depending on the time.

I’ve had to explain this slide to a couple of 5 year olds…

Unit 2 Lesson 8: Clothes for the Seasons (MC-L3-U2-LC2-8)

Number of slides: 27
Why this lesson can be difficult: Too much content, difficult reading passage, difficult reading comprehension questions, difficult grammar (placed towards the end of class to surprise the teacher and the student).
Pace Recommendation: Pray.

This is the lesson I hate the most out of any VIPKID lesson… more than any teacher talk lesson… more than any fish, reptiles, mammals, and birds lesson. This lesson is B-R-U-T-A-L. I have NEVER, I repeat, NEVER finished every slide on time. Even students who would be a perfect example of a role model student find speed bumps throughout this lesson.

This lesson covers:

(1) Reviewing ‘before/after’ … without any scaffolding or support (e.g. no sentence patterns for students to look at for assistance).

(2) Reviewing ordinal numbers and using them to order the months of the year.

(3) A long story about pirates. Reading comprehension questions throughout each slide and after the story.

(4) Make your own phonics words.

(5) Reviewing the present simple sentence.
What I do:



I follow the curriculum without much extending. I also do a lot of condensing. For example, rather than going through all of the 12 months using ordinal numbers (e.g. January is the 1st month of the year, February is the 2nd month of the year, etc), I simply have students say only a few of them. I usually circle 1st, 4th, 8th, and 12th and have students make sentences using those ordinal numbers. For the pirate story, I highlight the answers within the story. It is still often difficult for students to answer the reading comprehension questions, but at least they have an idea of where to search. I often skip the comprehension questions at the end of the reading. I’m not sure why there’s reading comprehension questions at the end of the reading when there are 2-3 comprehension questions after each slide. Students usually enjoy making their own phonics words and can say them independently. For the present tense review towards the end of class, I will sometimes have students make one sentence for Mike, Meg, and Dino. If we are really short on time, I often have no choice but to skip it and explain to the parents why in the feedback.


*****Insert every Unit 5 lesson*****

Unit 6 Lesson 7: Smells Nice, Tastes Good, Can I Touch It? (MC-L3-U6-LC2-7)

Number of slides: 26 (4 of the slides are useless – dice)
Why this lesson can be difficult: Too much content, unfamiliar sentence patterns.
Pace Recommendation: Majority of time needed for the first half of class.

Don’t be fooled by this lesson. There are technically only 22 slides if you remove the dice slides. I always seem to struggle with finishing this class on time.

This lesson covers:

(1) Reviewing some of the facial parts.

(2) The sense of taste and smell.

(3) Spicy, sweet, salty, and sour.

(4) Adjectives.

(5) Phonics – Reviewing short and long vowel sounds a, e, i, o

What I do:

On slide 6 and especially on slide 7, I will often model the answers for each of the senses first. I do this so students know the proper way of saying the answers. Students will often say: “It smells like stinky” or “That smells like bad” because they see the question form as: What does it smell like?” and “What does that smell like?” Providing the answer form first will save time on constantly correcting the students. When introducing the different tastes (spicy, sweet, salty, and sour), I will often do it for the students and have them repeat after me. I make a note to the parents that students can review this and practice independently. If the pace of the class is going well by the time we reach ‘adjectives,’ I may ask students to show me some things in their room using adjectives. If we are behind, I will simply follow the curriculum. Finally, for reviewing phonics, I never use those dice that are provided. I just have students say all the words.

I provide the proper sentence patterns for every student first.


Unit 6 Lesson 11: Smells Nice, Tastes Good, Can I Touch It? (MC-L3-U6-LC2-11)


Number of slides: 31 (4 of the slides are final project reminder slides)
Why this lesson can be difficult: Too much content, especially in the first part of class.
Pace Recommendation: Majority of time needed for the first half of class.

There is a ridiculous amount of content within the first 10 slides.

This lesson covers:

(1) Reviewing the 5 sentences along with a bunch of questions students have to answer.

(2) Reviewing the different tastes.

(3) Reviewing adjectives and when to put a comma.

(4) Phonics – Reviewing short and long u words

(5) Reading – The Book of Senses

What I do:

The very first thing is I simplify slides 6 – 10.

It may not look like much, but next thing you know… you’re already behind.

As you can see from slide 7, students have to talk about five things that they can smell, touch, taste, feel, and see.  I immediately ask them to only think of 3 things.  Sometimes I will ask them to only think of 2 things if I sense they need more time.  I also eliminate question 3 for slides 6-10.  For the adjectives activity, if students are really struggling with understanding where to put the comma, I will do it for them and then ask them to watch the replay and do it themselves in the feedback.  For phonics, I do not time them (it is a timed activity – 3 times).  The reading in the lesson is not really difficult and most students can read it independently.


Feel free to leave and questions or comments below!

Have a good day everyone!




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