5 Time-Saving Hacks for Teachers Using ChatGPT and AI

Ted Pickett has been a teacher for 16 years, both in the US and abroad. Most of his career was spent as a Middle School English and Social Studies teacher in the New Orleans public school system, and he currently works as an Instructional Coach and IT Teacher at The American International School in Abu Dhabi.

As an early adopter of AI tools such as ChatGPT, he has been encouraging teachers to use the tool to improve their practice and simplify their professional lives through his YouTube Channel @Mr.Pickett

Here, Ted shares his top 5 time-saving hacks for teachers using ChatGPT and AI.

AI tools in the classroom

One of the most common complaints from educators is the overwhelming workload we face. We are constantly being assigned new tasks and additional demands on our time, without anything being taken away. We are like buckets full of water, with more water continually being added.

For this reason, I believe AI tools like ChatGPT are a godsend for educators. For the first time in my career, something has arrived with the potential to save us time and make us better educators. This tool can help drain our buckets, allowing us to spend more time addressing the needs of our students.

The thought of using AI tools may seem daunting or intimidating for some, but here are some easy and effective ways to put them to use:

Hack #1: Curriculum Planning

Whether you're planning a unit, a lesson, or looking to improve an existing curriculum, ChatGPT can be a helpful assistant.

Here are some prompt examples you could try for curriculum planning:

  • Prompt: “Create a four-week unit plan for a [insert subject, grade level, and standards or skills]. The class sessions are four times per week, 50 minutes each. The unit should include collaborative learning, student choice, and an end-of-unit group project.”
  • Prompt: “Create a lesson plan for a 40-minute class session for [insert subject, grade level, and standards/skills]. The lesson should include a fun introduction activity, station rotation work, and a 5-question exit ticket.” Once it has created the lesson, you can also prompt it to make the material for the different stations.
  • To revise an existing lesson plan, copy/paste it into ChatGPT, then prompt: “Take this lesson and revise it to include more engaging or interactive activities.”

Related Resources: Lesson Plans

Hack #2: Differentiation

Catering our instruction and material to students with a variety of ability levels can be challenging. This is where AI tools like ChatGPT can be of great assistance:

Text Differentiation: For students with varying reading abilities, you can adapt the same text to suit their individual needs. Here are some prompts you might use:

  • Prompt: “Revise this text to make it suitable for a student with dyslexia.”
  • Prompt: “Revise this text to make it suitable for a student on a 3rd-grade reading level.”
  • Prompt: “Revise this text to make it suitable for an English as an Additional Language student.”

Lesson Differentiation: You can also adapt your lessons to cater to students with different learning needs. Here are some prompts you might use:

  • Prompt: “Revise this lesson to accommodate students with Attention Deficit Disorder.”
  • Prompt: “Revise this lesson to make it suitable for visual learners.”
  • Prompt: “Revise this lesson to make it suitable for students with auditory processing issues.”

Differentiation isn't about creating individual lesson plans for each student. It's about being aware of the diverse needs in your classroom and ensuring your materials are accessible to all. AI tools can help make your classroom a more inclusive space for all students.

Related Resources: TeacherVision Differentiation Resources

Hack #3: Assessments

If you want to improve or diversify your assessment methods or create a bunch of formative assessments in advance, try these prompts:

  • Prompt: “Create a multiple-choice quiz based on this lesson plan: [copy/paste lesson plan into prompt]”
  • Prompt: “Create an essay question assessing the theme of loneliness in 'Of Mice and Men.'”
  • Prompt: “Create a set of word problems involving quadratic equations for a high school algebra class.”

Related Resources: Assessment Hub

Hack #4: Rubrics

AI can simplify the creation of rubrics. Be sure to include the phrase “as a table” in your prompt so that it formats the output in a way that is most helpful to you:

  • Science Project Prompt: “Create a 1-5 score rubric in table format for a 5th grade science project on the solar system. The rubric should assess the following categories: Understanding of the Subject, Research Quality, Presentation of Information, Creativity, and Collaboration Skills."
  • History Presentation Prompt: “Create a 1-5 score rubric in table format for a high school history presentation on the causes of the Civil War. The rubric should assess the following categories: Depth of Knowledge, Organization of Presentation, Visual Aids, Speaking Skills, and Response to Questions."
  • Creative Writing Assignment: Prompt: “Create a 1-5 score rubric in table format for a middle school creative writing assignment on the theme 'A Journey Through Time'. The rubric should assess the following categories: Creativity, Use of Language, Grammar and Spelling, Story Structure, and Character Development."
  • Math Problem Set: Prompt: “Create a 1-5 score rubric in table format for a high school math problem set on calculus. The rubric should assess the following categories: Accuracy of Solutions, Understanding of Concepts, Neatness and Organization, Use of Mathematical Language, and Completeness."

By clearly defining the type of assignment and the categories you want the rubric to assess, you can generate a comprehensive and fair grading system for any kind of student work. Remember, the more specific you are with your prompts, the better the AI will be able to assist you.

Related Resources: Rubrics Planning Hub

Hack #5: Homework Assistance for Students

AI tools can provide guidance to students outside of the classroom, allowing them to get immediate feedback on their work and understand their mistakes. ChatGPT can be used as an automatic tutor, explaining complex concepts in simpler language and providing additional practice problems.

Here are some prompts you might use:

  • Prompt: “Explain the Pythagorean theorem in a way that a 7th grader would understand.” 
  • Prompt: “Provide a step-by-step solution to this algebra problem: Solve for x in the equation 2x + 7 = 15.”
  • Prompt: “Give an example of a metaphor and an analogy in literature, and explain the difference between them.”
  • Prompt: “Provide three practice problems on the topic of photosynthesis for 9th-grade biology students.”

This innovative use of AI can provide students with extra support, especially when teachers or classmates may not be immediately available. It can also help teachers to better utilize their time in the classroom by reducing the amount of repetitive explanations, allowing you to focus on more complex, higher-level learning activities.

AI tools have created an unprecedented opportunity for educators to streamline our workload and enhance our teaching methods. With its ability to serve as our personal teaching assistant, AI isn't just a tool — it's a game-changer. Let’s clear away the piles of busy work that have weighed us down for too long and get back to the joy of inspiring young minds.

Related Resource: The Time Management Workbook

Looking for more time-saving ideas?

Head over to our Classroom Management Resources Hub where you'll find a treasure trove of our best classroom management resources, from advice on setting up your classroom, to behavior modification articles, as well as advice on a range of effective teaching methods and strategies. Check out our Teacher Blog too where you'll find more tips, articles and advice on saving time in the classroom and beyond.

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