How to teach in :45

Discussion in 'General Education' started by rachaelski, Jun 1, 2009.

  1. rachaelski

    rachaelski Habitué

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    I need help and advice. Next year, I will be teaching :45 minute classes. My previous experience has been block-scheduling. The shortest class I have ever taught is an hour, and the longest was a 3 hour block. For those of you that teach shorter class, do you have any advice?

    Thanks!
     
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  3. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    I've never taught a single period class of more than 38 minutes. (Of course, my slowest group has me for a double period 3 times a week.)

    I think the trick is breaking the material down into tiny little morsels.
     
  4. tgim

    tgim Habitué

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    I don't have any experience other than teaching at the elem level, so some "classes" are 20 min., and others might be an hour. I would just recommend not wasting a moment. From the very first day let them know what you expect - from the very first moment, whether it is a problem solving activity, a spelling activity, a writing prompt, etc., just get them engaged from the very beginning.
     
  5. rachaelski

    rachaelski Habitué

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    I am teaching reading/writing...I made a breakdown that I hope will work. Monday and Wednesday I will teach writing, Tuesday, and Thursday reading. Friday will be an assessment day. I broke down the day like this:

    Do-Now/Warm-up :)05)
    Mini-lesson :)10)
    Guided Practice :)10)
    Independent practice :)20)

    I teach in a workshop style so this should work (I hope!). Two days a week the kids will have independent writing time, one day is literature circle meetings, and a day for independent reading time. My big thing is that the kids get to work on their own for an extended period of time.
     
  6. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    I went to an intensive workshop and one of the things they really stressed was time. Warm-ups and bell work was, according to the presenter, a complete waste of time. I kinda tend to agree, although I remember doing those bell work when I taught fifth and it was kinda nice some days when I had lots of paper work to catch up on (bad me! :D) Anyways, I just wanted to throw that out there. Also, independent practice is too long. You need more teaching minutes and less independent work. That way, they will be able to do the independent work, well, independently because you had enough time to teach it well! :) That was another thing they taught us at this workshop.

    I would change it to look like
    Teach :)40) During your teaching, you are constantly doing CFU, which will tell you if they are getting it. It's kinda like guided practice.
    Independent :)05)
     
  7. rachaelski

    rachaelski Habitué

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    38 minutes?!?!?! That number escaped me the first time. Wow, that is AMAZINGLY short.

    Peachyness, wow, 40 minutes of teacher-talk?!?!?! Did I mention I am teaching reading and writing? I want the kids to learn by doing. I do not believe the kids can become better readers and writers if they are not reading and writing.

    1 for small chunks of information, 1 for small chunks of practice....keep it coming!

    Thanks ladies!
     
  8. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    Hmmm, well, right, I know what you mean. You're right, in order to learn how to read and write, well, they must read and write. When I said 40 min. of teach time, I didn't necessarily mean that you talk for the whole entire time. That's where CFU and EDI and TAPPLE comes in :D during teach time.

    What about a writers and readers workshop format?

    Like, 10 minutes of mini-lesson, 30 minutes of reading/writing and then 5 minutes to regroup/share. Something like that.
     
  9. rachaelski

    rachaelski Habitué

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    Yeah, that's basically what I am going for, a modified workshop style....the guided may be a little less time and give a little wiggle room. I am very constructivist in my teaching philosophy...I strongly dislike the teacher-talk. I want the kids to have real reading and writing experiences~creating documents, reading real books.
     
  10. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    I really like the readers and writers workshop format, but I know many districts do not, so that's why I through out the first idea. I've done readers and writers workshop and found that my kids needed at least about 25 minutes of uninterrupted reading/writing. But, that was fifth grade. BTW, are you teaching junior or high school?
     
  11. rachaelski

    rachaelski Habitué

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    7th and 8th grade at a Catholic school...so less of the testing pressure.
     
  12. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    Ah, that's nice then!

    So, I looked at your original plan and I would get rid of warm up and put those five minutes somewhere else, like independent work, then. But, that's just my opinion. :)
     
  13. ILoveGrammar

    ILoveGrammar Rookie

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    I teach 6-8 English/Lit. and I use the warm-up as a classroom management tool. It helps the kids settle and gets them to remember where they are (each classroom has a very different vibe and we don't have "passing" time - they go straight from one room to the next) So, the warm-up/bell work helps us both get settled and focused. Additionally, I think it can work if it is relevant to what you are studying. I use it to do review from the previous day, do a diagnostic test, or write on topic I know they are talking about anyway (put it on paper kids!), etc.
    :2cents:

    **I teach in Cath. school too - we should chat!

     
  14. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    Well, I've only taught up to fifth, so perhaps it works up in secandary school. All I know is they really convinced us that it is not an effective way to run a classroom. But, it could be that it does work. Who knows. One reason why I, an elementary teacher, have been watching this thread is because I wish to move up to secondary. So, I am really wanting to understand and learn. :)
     
  15. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Oh, it gets better.

    It's 38 minutes on a full period day. We have an assortment of schedules, ranging from homeroom meeting (36 minutes) to AM or PM Assemblies (32 minutes) to Mass/ Extended AM or PM Schedules (29 minutes)

    That said, our kids tend to be good, and our administration is amazingly supportive. You can get a lot done, even in 29 minutes, in a quiet class.

    And I actually like the 38 minute breakdown. It forces me to break the work into manageable chunks. We see the kids every day (and the slowest kids have double periods, alternating math and English).
     
  16. rachaelski

    rachaelski Habitué

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    Thanks guys! I truly appreciate the help and feedback. ILoveGrammar, I am sure I am going to be asking you a bunch of questions as I get into things. My background is teaching in charter schools, grades 5 and 6 (middle school/class switching model).
     
  17. INteacher

    INteacher Aficionado

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    I think you must also "train" your students so you don't lose time moving from activity to activity. I don't know anything about writer's workshop but I would assume there are notebooks, reading books and other items to go along with the program. You will lose valuable time waiting for students to get out notebook A, or book B or journal or "I didn't know we were doing that today", so begin day one with the schedule and train your students to follow the schedule.

    BTW - I do a bell question every day and have for 15 years. - one reason is the same as ILoveGrammar to start brains working on my subject, to give me time to take attendance (this admin time is also included in your 45 minutes :)). I also use bell questions to get them focused and to review material. When I do my student surveys at the end of the year, there are lots of students who will reluctantly record how the bell questions helped them.

    Good Luck - plan accordingly and you will be fine :)
     
  18. ku_alum

    ku_alum Aficionado

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    INTeach, I'm with you on both points.

    For the first couple weeks of school as students walk by me at the door I say "Hi, look at the board" ... my neighbor teacher laughs at me and some of the kids find it amusing, I say it 20ish times each class period. :) But, it works. On the board, I have a PowerPoint slide with the bell work for the day.

    To the OP, will you have access to a digital projector? One of the best things I added into my classroom last year was taking 15 minutes or so before school started to create a PowerPoint with all the "stuff" for the day. So, for instance, it has bell work, transition information, etc. I can tell students to read the board when needed and all of the info is there (and I'm not erasing and rewriting all day long). I do this for each section I teach.
     
  19. chemteach55

    chemteach55 Connoisseur

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    I second the digital projector. I use mine daily. I also have a tablet laptop which allows me to write on my computer and project on the screen. I never have to turn my back to my students to write on the board and I have a record of everything that I taught in a class period.

    As for Bell Work--I love it. It works great. Mostly it is for classs management givng them something to do immediately upon their entrance to the classroom. I tend to use it as a review of something that we have covered during the year to re-fresh the minds of my students.
     
  20. rachaelski

    rachaelski Habitué

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    I plan to have my bell work be journals, weekly vocab review, and mastery tracking.
    For example, on Monday, the kids will have their weekly assessment from the previous week and they will record their mastery level and create individual goals for the week.

    On Tuesday, it will be vocabulary practice (based on the vocab. from class for the week, kids will have a weekly vocab project with 5 words a week, its a tic-tac-toe board I used before. It worked amazingly! Kids using the words in conversation and everything).

    Wednesday, the kids will have a 1 work vocabulary prompt, and 5 minutes to write anything and everything they can think of (think Mechanically Inclined...I believe).

    Thursday the kids will do more vocab review for bell work.

    Friday, will be a response journal to independent reading from the previous day.

    Obviously, things may change, but I have a skeletal structure in place, which makes things easier for me. I am all about the structure. My kids get scared if I don't have an exit ticket at the end of class or a bell work assignment on the board...but they know EXACTLY what to do in my class!

    Thanks again guys!
     
  21. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    ku_alum~I love that idea of using the powerpoint instead of having to write it each day. Do you have a slide for each day?
     
  22. chemteach55

    chemteach55 Connoisseur

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    I do not know how ku_alum soes it but I have a PowerPoint per week. When I plan for the week (usually on Sunday afternoon), I make a PowerPoint with 5 slides and on each slide I put a Bell Work or instructions to begin class. For instance, if we are having a quiz that day, we do not have a Bell Work so on that day's PowerPoint slide but instructions to remind students to take out a pencil and calculator so that they are ready to be handed a quiz as soon as the final tardy bell rings. I then can add slides in between the bell work as needed to lecture or work problems. Everyday after class, I convert the slides for that day to a PDF and post on my website. This makes the information available to any student that is absent.
     
  23. rachaelski

    rachaelski Habitué

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    I LOVE the powerpoint to PDF thing!
     
  24. ILoveGrammar

    ILoveGrammar Rookie

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    Great ideas! I never thought of putting the info. on a powerpoint; that will save me so much time! Woo hoo! And then posting to website! Brilliant!
    Thanks everyone :)
     
  25. ILoveGrammar

    ILoveGrammar Rookie

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    I am sure there are other methods that work very well (as you learned in your workshop), but each just finds what works for us. I have read things that convinced me it was the gold standard, then turned around to see someone else say it was terrible. Not every class is the same; that's what makes teaching so exciting!
    I really see the bellwork as an extension of the direct instruction time; I see the kids everyday, so we build on what we did the day before. A little reminder of what we did the day before, asking them to apply it, review it, or in some other way, think about it, seems to have worked for us.
    I look forward this summer to looking up the techniques you mentioned!
     
  26. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Thanks, chem!!
     
  27. silverspoon65

    silverspoon65 Enthusiast

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    I have only taught 90 min classes, too. The school I am going to next year has shorter classes a day, I think just under an hour. That is crazy to me. It will take some readjusting
     
  28. km51571

    km51571 Companion

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    cfu? edu? tapple? oh my

    What do CFU, EDI, and TAPPLE stand for? These are acronyms I've never heard of!:unsure:

     
  29. Terrence

    Terrence Comrade

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    CFU stands for Checking For Understanding.
    TAPPLE is an acronym we use while CFU-ing.
    T- Teach
    A- Ask a Question
    P- Pause (wait time)
    P- Pick a non-volunteer
    L- Listen to answer
    E- Elaborate or move on

    EDI stands for Explicit Direct Instruction.
    She must have gone to the EDI training. This is a company-owned program. They come to your school and show you how to teach an explicit direct instruction lesson.
     
  30. runnerss

    runnerss Comrade

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    Oraganization is going to be your best friend. If you are super organized you won't waste a single minute and will get that much more done.
     

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