So is this too much info for a unit?

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by dmbfan36, Apr 26, 2010.

  1. dmbfan36

    dmbfan36 Rookie

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    Apr 26, 2010

    I will start this by saying that I only teach one section of 7th grade so I hardly get a say in what goes on but that is a whole other story.
    I have been informed by the other teachers that because we are behind our next unit will be made up of the next 5 chapter in the book but we will omit a few sections. All in all its 75 pages for them to read plus what ever we do in class.

    Am i crazy to think this is too much for these kids to read and process? There will be 12 class days in the unit, and basically a month for them to read the work at home but it still doesn't sit right to me.

    Any thoughts?
     
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  3. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Apr 26, 2010

    I don't teach social studies. It would be way too much in many math courses.

    But 12 class days translates into roughly 14 homeworks (if you allow 2 weekends.) That's 5 pages of reading a night-- VERY manageable!

    Why are you just finding out, in the end of Aprill, that you're behind?
     
  4. Soccer Dad

    Soccer Dad Cohort

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    Apr 26, 2010

    Personally, I'd make up your own reading packets of primary sources or something to supplement class notes. Cut out the textbook altogether. I can very easily get through a chapter when I cut out the homework involving it. But, of course, I still want them to read so I throw in some mini-readings.

    Just to add, I teach high school and my biggest unit is three chapters (Exploration, settling North America, the colonies). After that, my units are either 1 or 2 chapters. I know I have a tough time having my kids do homework every night, so I can only imagine how hard it would be for 6th graders for 2 weeks!
     
  5. Soccer Dad

    Soccer Dad Cohort

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    Apr 26, 2010

    BTW, what chapters are you teaching?
     
  6. dmbfan36

    dmbfan36 Rookie

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    Apr 26, 2010

    Soccer Dad,

    I wish I could cut the textbook - however, the rest of the teachers use it and we all have to give the same test. So what happens is that they pull questions that are from the reading of the textbook and then say that the kids should have read it. And I do give other readings and primary sources for them to read.
    Not how i like to operate but I have no choice.
    The chapters are from westward expansion/gold rush to Lincoln's election/right before the Civil War.

    And Alice - it is expected that the reading from the textbook is a something the kids do during the unit and they get HW on top of it. So just assigning the reading is not acceptable.

    UGH - it's driving me crazy.
     
  7. dmbfan36

    dmbfan36 Rookie

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    Apr 26, 2010

    Oh and Alice - the other teachers have been doing the pacing as the year was going instead of mapping it out at the beginning. Totally not thought through and now we are paying for it.
     
  8. Rockguykev

    Rockguykev Connoisseur

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    Apr 26, 2010

    Personally if my department was giving tests based on random information found in the text teaching 5 chapters in two weeks would be the least of my concerns.

    Also, asking a 12 year old to read 75 pages of a history textbook in two weeks would classify as torture under some article of the Geneva convention I imagine. Might as well just give them a speech on why they should never, ever be interested in history. =/
     
  9. dmbfan36

    dmbfan36 Rookie

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    Apr 26, 2010

    It's a battle that I constantly fight and get no place with. It's three against one and my voice is not heard as the AP sides with them on a regular basis. It's no wonder they have a hard time on tests - which is why I do as many alternative assessments as I can.
     
  10. Rockguykev

    Rockguykev Connoisseur

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    Apr 27, 2010

    Keep fighting the good fight. I know how hard it can be to deal with issues like that. Have you tried sharing some of your more interactive assignments and alternative assessments?

    That worked with a couple people in my department (though definitely not the most entrenched) and definitely worked with my admins. You sure aren't going to change everyone but it might help to give you some of the freedom you deserve.
     
  11. Soccer Dad

    Soccer Dad Cohort

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    Apr 27, 2010

    Let me guess... your tests come from the textbook publisher right? I've dealt with similar conditions. I was forced to use the same tests as other teachers. Those tests, like yours, pull on knowledge that is randomly found in the textbook. That's not my style. So I made my exams open notes/group activities OR I'd do an "admission ticket" activity where they could write w.e. they wanted on a ticket and use. Then, I'd give my (real) tests and I told them that at the end of the quarter they'd have two types of tests. Then I'd weight each accordingly.
     

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