At my new school, we have a period called Extra Block for 40 minutes. This is basically an extra block where we can do whatever we want for the kids. We will alternate the classes we will have each week. The idea of this period of tie is to work with kids on skills that we need to work on. On Wednesdays, I won't have as many kids because some of them will go to band. I like the idea of X-Block but I want to structure it well and be consistent to minimize behavior problems. I also do not want the planning to take me too long. The previous teacher did stations for X-Block every day. He had a teacher station where he pulled struggling kids, a challenge station, and a computer station. He had the struggling kid the whole 40 minutes and had the challenge station and computer station kids switch after 20 minutes. We do have enough chromebooks for every student. I want to do things a little bit different and use this time to do things I might not have time for in my math classes. I personally do not have experience running stations (except one disastrous day when I tried last year) so I would love advice on behavior management when the teacher is working with a small group. My idea for this block is to do something different each day such as: Monday: Whole Group Skill Review: a lesson or practice review of a skill that is coming up (or example, we would review equivalent fractions before teaching ratios), and use the last 5 minutes to independently practice multiplication facts. Tuesday-Thursday: We would start with a whole group number talk or something similar (Which one doesn't belong?, etc.) and then I would pull a small group while the rest of the kids work on a computer game such as prodigy. I am going to ask the previous teacher about the games that his students played on the computer. I feel like I don't want to plan another station if it's only going to be 30 minutes. Friday: Open Response Practice: I would have the kids work on an open response question independently, then with a group, and then work together to write their final solution on chart paper. I would start with easy questions (4th or 5th grade) to get kids used to explaining their thinking clearly. I'm not sure if 40 minutes is enough for this though and the questions would have to be short. Does anyone have ideas/suggestions?

Several questions: 1. What grade level(s) do you teach? 2. Is there a set roster, like you'll have Ms. Brown's homeroom on week 1, Mr. Jones' homeroom on week 2, etc... 3. Are you teaching on a team, and if so, will all of your kids be on your team? 4. Will you see the same kids on a cycle, if so how long? Ex. the class you have on week 1 you will also see on weeks 6, 11, 16, etc... class 2 on weeks 2, 12, 17... 5. Are the classes heterogenous or homogenous?

Cool! This is totally more in my wheelhouse than expected. With them being your OWN kids and seeing them so frequently (I kinda expected you to be a middle school with six or seven sections of kids), you can do so much more. Another question: do you teach just math or do you also cover science? You could use this time for more science time, if needed. I think you'll probably find that many of your kids still need operational fluency practice. Adding that in at this time is perfect. Spend five to ten or so minutes a day on facts, especially multiplication and division. Using this time for intervention for your lower kids, like you planned sounds good. Honestly, when I've had extra time, I didn't really *plan* it like I did the rest of the day. I learned what my kids need to practice and went with it. I use the extra time for more rote practice - "take your whiteboards and do x, y, and z. Play war with multiplication facts. Your regular block will probably be more standards-specific. Allow this time to be SKILLS.

I only teach math. There is another science teacher. I like the idea of whiteboard practice as well. I definitely want to build in time to practice multiplication and division facts.

I think you could just use these blocks to reteach some concepts. Over the course of the year (even early on), you will see what the students struggle with and you can just use this time t go over things, reteach or reinforce. This extra time is perfect for math and very much needed.

We do something like this but its only two days a week. Last year was our first year doing this and it was pretty miserable at first. What I decided to do was get one teacher in my subject area each to start a movie related to the subjects we were teaching playing in their room and the other two teachers got small groups of kids to review with. Worked out ok but I'm not convinced it led to better scores at the end.