How long should the day be?

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by jen12, Dec 10, 2010.

  1. jen12

    jen12 Devotee

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    How many hours do you think the school day should be? I hear a lot of talk about lengthening they school day from those "activist" types who want to dictate what should go on in education, but don't work in the field.

    Personally, I think the day should be shorter for the younger kids. Our first and second grades are in school for 6.5 hours. There is a three hour block after lunch that is just ridiculous. Even with a recess, they steadily get more and more difficult later in the day. If you spend all of your time trying to control behavior, how can you actually teach? I really don't think the seven and eight year olds have a long enough attention span for 6+ hours of school. Some do, but the majority really haven't developed that yet.
     
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  3. Lynnnn725

    Lynnnn725 Connoisseur

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    What are the days like in China? I know they are longer, but what are the components of their day? Just wondering...
     
  4. teachgrade5

    teachgrade5 Comrade

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    Sometimes I wish I just had 30 more extra minutes just get everything in that I need to get in, but I teach 5th grade and not the little ones. Then again, even if I did have 30 more minutes I am sure that I wouldn't get to use those minutes as they would be used for some new program that the school would implement...lol!
     
  5. FourSquare

    FourSquare Fanatic

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    I'm an "activist" type and a teacher. :whistle: I'd love our school day to be longer, but I guess I'm in the minority. We also have an incredibly short day though. (8:30-2:15) With a special and a 20 minute lunch, I only get 4 hours with them. 8:30-10:30....11:15-12:45....and MAYBE 30 minutes at the end of the day, and that's if dismissal is really tight. Usually it's like 20 minutes and you can't do much.

    I hate it!

    If I had my druthers we'd go 8:00-2:30. It wouldn't kill them, and I teach 2nd grade.
     
  6. Elocin

    Elocin Comrade

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    Our school day is 7.5 hours for 190 days. The kids get 25 minutes for lunch and after 4th grade no recess. Personally, I think they could really use the recess but our school is very big on the longer school year/school day and not "wasting" instructional time.

    I think the day is too long for the kids with behaviors--those that are inclined to act up all the time but there is a noticeable slide in their behavior by around 2:00 and we still have 90 minutes more to go!!!
     
  7. cmorris

    cmorris Comrade

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    My school is eight hours a day exactly. I do not think my school day should be lengthened.
     
  8. monsieurteacher

    monsieurteacher Aficionado

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    I think my day should be lengthened... but that could be just because I teach from 8:30 - 11:25. (With recess and snack removed, that leaves me 2.5 hours/day).

    Of course, the kids are there for an hour and a half more of instruction, which I think is a nice length for K-2. I just wish I could be full time with them!
     
  9. webmistress

    webmistress Devotee

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    I don't think the days should be longer, instead I think the amount of material we are trying to squeeze into one day (week, quarter, or year) should be reduced.

    7.5 hours is enough to me. However, the scheduling, curriculum, etc need to be better. They could extend the day all they want, but there will never be enough time as they keep adding more and more standards, meetings, data crunching, training, blah
     
  10. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    We have a day that is less than 6 hours...not nearly long enough, even for my primary students.
     
  11. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    In Korea, it is common for students to stay long hours after school studying.

    I have no issues with the length of my school day-8:30-310 for students...just that some days I can't get it all done!
     
  12. luckyal29

    luckyal29 Companion

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    Having taught English a year in China, we finished the day around 4 ish I believe but after you factor in the 2 hour siesta the instructional hours were on par with US. Seriously, a 2 hour siesta in the middle of the school day :dizzy:. Thought I was in Spain. Not sure how it was in other cities.
     
  13. mrachelle87

    mrachelle87 Fanatic

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    Wow, we go from 8:00 to 3:00
     
  14. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    In our day, after deducting specials, lunch, recess, etc, we have 3.8 hours of actual instructional day. We have a mandated 90 minute reading block and 60 minute math block. That leaves 80 minutes for science, social studies, language arts, spelling, handwriting, and everything else. We could use another hour, at least.
     
  15. Pisces_Fish

    Pisces_Fish Fanatic

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    I think 6 hrs of instructional time, 30 mins linch, 30 mins recess, and 30 mins enhancement, is ideal.

    I think the length of the school year is more important that the length of the day. I think all schools should be year-round, with 9 weeks on, 3 weeks off. We spend too much time "backtracking" in August and September!!
     
  16. greengables

    greengables Rookie

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    :yeahthat:
     
  17. halpey1

    halpey1 Groupie

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    My kindergartners arrive at 8 and don't leave until almost 3 - it's a Looooong enough day for five-year-olds... and I'm beat by the end of most days myself. :)
     
  18. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    I think part of the problem with the lenght of the school day is that it's NOT OVER after school--there's all that homework to do.

    As a teacher, I think my 20 minute/ make up 3 homeworks per marking period rules are fair.

    As a mom, I've spent way too much time battling with my kids when they were tired, getting them to finish their homework.
     
  19. TeacherApr

    TeacherApr Groupie

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    I am a firm believer in that it's QUALITY NOT QUANTITY when it comes to the school day.

    We are 7 hours a day. Every other M we get specials, T NO SPECIALS so it's 7 hrs straight minus ONE 15 min recess (which we had to fight out principal for because our P only wanted 10 for the longest time) and 45 min lunch/recess, W-F we have 40 min specials but it is GRUELING for K-3 to go for 3 hours STRAIGHT in the afternoon of academics, academics, academics.

    I think it depends on your schedule. I'm ok with a 7 hour day IF we had a 20 min recess in the afternoon. However, a school that has constant things going on (like some of the posters mentioned above) then I feel that day should be extended.
     
  20. UVAgrl928

    UVAgrl928 Habitué

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    I agree that the pacing guides and curriculum should be re-evaluated. Each time they redo our standards, there is even more material that they add. I would love to go to year round school. I agree with the PP that we waste a lot of time at the beginning of each year.
     
  21. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    I was just going to start a thread about this! We go from 7:55 to 2:00, but next year we will get out at 2:30. I am ok with that, because there certainly are days that I can't get through everything. Also, our kids have specials every single day. On Wednesday, my kids have 3 specials, so there's hardly any time to do anything!
     
  22. Em_Catz

    Em_Catz Devotee

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    Personally, I think the school day should be lengthened in order to shorten the school week.

    I would be okay adding an extra hour to each school day so that on Friday, the teachers could have a workday to put in grades, tidy the room, professional development, meetings, whatever.

    And the students could either stay home, or they could have a mass study hall in the cafeteria.

    If THAT isn't an option, than I am against lengthening the day because I feel like the kids dont get enough time to really be kids during school. Even lunch is heavily restricted.

    The monitors are so busy trying to get the kids in and out, that they assign seats (so our kids don't get to sit with their friends all the time) and 25 of the 30 minutes is basically silent lunch because they're worried the kids are going to be so busy talking they won't get finished eating.
     
  23. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    Our school day (for all students in Kinder-5th grade) is from 7:45-2:10. We have a 20-minute morning recess and a 50-minute lunch/recess.

    The kids are I are exhausted by the end of the day!
     
  24. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Ours are exhausted by the end of the day as well. For our real struggling students, we add an extra hour onto their day as well at least once a week...sometimes more.
     
  25. teach'ntx

    teach'ntx Comrade

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    I pick up my students from the hallway around 7:40 even though the day does not start until 8:00. Then the kids leave around 3:15. We have 20 minute recess, 30 minute lunch, and 45 minute special everyday.
    The only country I know about is Germany as my brother had his kids in their schools when my SIL was stationed there. They were released by 12:00 each day. However, they had work to be done each day at home and all the parents made sure it got done (we could only dream of that here). They also decided by 4th grade if a student was on University track.
     
  26. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    Shorter day.
    Longer year.

    There's only so much information a person can process at one time.
     
  27. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Sarge, I so agree! And there is far too much wasted time already in the day.

    However, parents would never go for this! They need day care when they are at work.
     
  28. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    Our school day is 7:57-3:49. That is nearly 8 hours a day.

    Our farthest family lives about 40 miles away from school, out in the boonies. Their children (the oldest is in 5th grade, on down to K) get on the bus at 6:05. AM. They are dropped off last of course, at around 5:30. PM.

    How many adults do you know that work an 11 1/2 hour day?

    No, I'm not for lengthening the day.
     
  29. mrachelle87

    mrachelle87 Fanatic

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    I am with you...I can't imagine teaching children after 3...they are so tired.
     
  30. FourSquare

    FourSquare Fanatic

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    The last school I was at the kids went 9:30-3:45. :eek: Wayyyy too late! Once we hit 3:00pm they were done, and frankly, so was I.
     
  31. Deeena

    Deeena Cohort

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    My school day goes from 8:00 - 2:00. I personally feel this is too short. I am always struggling to get everything in. I think my 3rd graders could handle an extra hour. I would try to do more science/social studies in the afternoon since right now I'm lucky if I get in 40 minutes 4xs a week.
     
  32. John Lee

    John Lee Groupie

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    Are you saying the siesta wasn't a good thing? Honestly, I think a siesta has good potential... and could allow for days to be lengthened.
     

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