Routine and Structure(8th Grade History)

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by teach2reach1, Jul 30, 2009.

  1. teach2reach1

    teach2reach1 Rookie

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    Jul 30, 2009

    Hello all,

    I was hoping for a little bit of help in regards to having a daily routine for my 8th Grade U.S History class. We are on 90 minute block schedules where even/odd periods alternate days.

    This will officially be my second year teaching and I did notice that structure helped a lot when it came to classroom management. I am in a very low socio-economic area of Los Angeles where our average API over the last few years has been between 590 and 630. Many of the students are very apathetic about education, so I feel it is my job to make history as well as education interesting for them.

    I guess what I am wondering is if a routine is the best way to go for students who lack motivation. I love Jamie Escalante quote " Students will rise to the level of expectations" will a structured routine help these students rise to a high level of expectation?

    Sorry I wrote a long post I am just passionate about proving fellow teachers, administration, parents and even students that they can be successful.

    Any ideas please let me know the book we use is Holt: United States History Independence to 1914

    Thanks Fellow Educators
     
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  3. Mrs. K.

    Mrs. K. Enthusiast

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    Jul 30, 2009

    I really don't think it matters where you teach - routine and structure are always going to be beneficial to both you and your students. However, make sure your students see that you have a reason for your routine. I don't teach history (though I did teach an English/SS core for a couple of years) but with British literature, I try to get my students interested in the material by pulling out the universal themes that are still relevant to their lives today. I would think some of our resident history teachers, like Brendan, can give you advice along those lines. (If you add "in history" to the title of your thread, I'm sure they'll be along soon!)
     
  4. teach2reach1

    teach2reach1 Rookie

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    Jul 30, 2009

    Thanks Mrs K! I will change it right now
     
  5. INteacher

    INteacher Aficionado

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    Jul 30, 2009

    What are you looking for? Are you trying to figure out a schedule and/or routine? Or are you looking for activities to engage your students??

    The routine in my history classes typically is something like this - introduction of topic with lecture and discussion about 15 - 20 minutes; then my students do something (independent work, group work, simulation, stations) to respond to what we just learned for the rest of the period. My classes are 55 minutes so this works for me. When I taught on a block schedule, I did basically the same thing just doubled - discussion, activity, back together to discuss, begin new topic discussion and activity.

    I am not sure if this is what you are looking but I hope it helps.
     
  6. teach2reach1

    teach2reach1 Rookie

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    Jul 30, 2009

    Hello INteacher,

    I guess both would actually help. I meant to suggest what activities to do in class over the 90 minute block and how are the activities broken down by minutes. Your post is very helpful thank you.

    I read somewhere that middle school children only have an attention span for about 10-15 minutes, so should I transition activities about every 15 minutes.
     
  7. Teacher_Lady

    Teacher_Lady Rookie

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    Jul 30, 2009

    I have the same type of schedule and a structured routine definitely helps. I usually spend the first 5 to 10 minutes talking about current events going on in the news. Then the next 5 to 10 minutes is spent on the warm up activity. Then, I spend the remainder of the period on reading, lecture, and note taking activities. Then, during the next 45 minute period, the students are working on independent or group activities using the information that was presented to them, like creating a foldable or some other student produced activity. Then I close the lesson with some type of review activity to check for understanding. Depending on what we are working on, this structure is open to change. I just know that with ninety minutes to fill, you have to have alot of stuff planned to keep their attention. It is always better to be overplanned than underplanned. You also have to allow for some review time at the beginning of the lesson since there may be a few days where you might not see your kids because of weekends or holidays, plus trying to catch kids up who were absent. Personally, I wish I could see my students every day, but I've learned to make it work.
     
  8. INteacher

    INteacher Aficionado

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    Jul 30, 2009

    Okay - here's a thread where I went crazy posting some of my lessons - most of them are on the second page

    http://forums.atozteacherstuff.com/showthread.php?t=88837&highlight=social+studies


    hope this helps
     
  9. Ron6103

    Ron6103 Habitué

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    Jul 30, 2009

    I also teach on the block schedule (for one more year), and my daily routine looks like this, with estimated time frames.....

    1. Bellwork - reading assignment with review questions (20 Minutes)

    2. Lecture & Discussion, often with PowerPoint (30 minutes)

    3. Activity - primary source, film, group work, etc (30 Minutes)
     
  10. Brendan

    Brendan Fanatic

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    Jul 31, 2009

    I will have 70 minute periods next year and I will only have my non-AP kids for 2 out of 3 terms. In my classes there is no typical day. However, I refuse to lecture for longer than 20 minutes on any day. I have two typical days. One of which is half lecture (with Power Points and Video Clips) and half acitvity (readings, projects, discussions, video etc). The other of which is spent entirely on activities. Somedays the lecture time will be supplemented by a video and others the activity time will be broken down into smaller assignments. Each week I typically have 3 half lecture/half activity days and 2 activity days.
     

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