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One Minute Ideas

Each week, Instant Meeting presents an idea or activity that you might use to make staff meetings more interesting, teacher-centered, educational, or fun.

Brief Description/Purpose

See how many different and new ideas your teachers can collect on themes of interest to everyone by using this professional development for-teachers/by-teachers strategy.

Materials Needed

  • Teachers come to the meeting with their "Idea in a Minute" typed in a neat paragraph.

Time Required

More Ideas for
Instant Meetings

Be sure to see our Instant Meetings Archive for additional ideas.

And don't miss our Great Meeting series. Dee Kelsey and Pam Plumb offer a short course on creating meetings that work, based on their popular guide, Great Meetings. They present ideas to help you learn how to lead meetings that generate ideas; analyze problems; define a vision; evaluate ideas and make decisions; plan for long-range needs; encourage group participation and keep groups on track; and much more.

Have you an "Instant Meeting" idea that you would like to share. Send your idea to
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Type Instant Meeting Idea in the Subject line of your email.

One minute or less per teacher

"Instant Meeting" Idea

This simple idea is an example of the kind of for-teachers/by-teachers professional development that guarantees sharing of good, practical, and easy-to-use ideas.

Announce ahead of time (at the previous month's meeting, if possible) the theme for the next staff meeting's "Ideas in a Minute" session. Possible themes might include

  • Simple Tech Integration Ideas-in-a-Minute
  • Math Facts Reinforcement Ideas-in-a-Minute
  • Reading Comprehension Ideas-in-a-Minute
  • Geography Ideas-in-a-Minute

Each teacher must come prepared to the Ideas-in-a-Minute session with a creative teaching idea -- one they have used successfully in the classroom -- tied to the announced theme. The idea must be easy to explain because teachers only have one minute or less to explain the idea.

Encourage teachers to present ideas that they don't think most other teachers have tried. You might even give out prizes for the best idea or ideas presented. You can choose the winner(s), or the entire staff can vote by secret ballot for the best idea(s). If the teachers vote, you might announce prize winners in your next staff memo.

When it comes to meeting day, teachers will come prepared.

  • They will have their idea typed out in a simple paragraph.
  • They will have rehearsed their presentation in front of a mirror to ensure that it does not take more than one minute to present. (Teachers whose presentations exceed the one-minute timeframe might be ineligible for prizes.)

    Before the meeting you might appoint teachers to serve as

  • a timekeeper, to ensure that no teachers takes more than his or her allotted time; the timekeeper will sound a buzzer or ring a bell, when a minute is up.
  • a collector, who will collect the paragraphs prepared by teachers. (The collector will probably want to arrange to have each teacher email a typed paragraph to him or her. That way, the collector can easily compile the ideas into a neat little word-processed "booklet" that can be shared with all staff members.)

All teachers are bound to come away from "Ideas in a Minute" sessions with a handful of new ideas they can use to make learning in their classrooms more engaging. If they have any questions about the ideas, or if they want to collect any associated work sheets or props, they know which teacher to approach.


Is this a valuable way to share ideas? You might do a follow-up survey of teachers to see if this activity is a valuable use of time. You might inquire about how many of the Ideas-in-a-Minute ideas they have actually used.