Teaching in the long blocks

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  • 1. Teaching in the Long Blocks
  • 2. Ben
    Teach in “units” (20 minutes segments) rather than in “days” prevents confusion—you don’t have the luxury of finishing up “today’s work” because all same-level classes won’t necessary line up by both unity/day
    Allow students certain personal freedoms, i.e. a cup of coffee—most college profs will allows this
    Take a two-minute stretch break in the middle—stand up and shake out limbs—“freshens” the next activity
    Do not get sidetracked by irrelevant questions from those students who need lots of attention. Teach for five minutes, then ask “Any questions?” Then get back to it—if the line between teaching an question answering goes blurry, you are done—has happened to me! Cut off anyone who changes the subject—“Save it for later” or “That’s not the right topic.”
  • 3. If you are going to lecture at all, never do it for the whole period and always for the first half of the period; activities followed by lecture lets the students down
    Lecturing the whole period must always be a practice for when they may encounter an ill-prepared professor. Tell them that “for fun we’re going to pretend you are stuck with a professor who has no notes, no overhead, and no handouts—see how much you can write down,” but then afterwards you should go over it again and see what they retained. They love to outsmart each other!
    Assigning busywork is not an activity: just because students are working together, it doesn’t mean they are learning. An activity could be anything that you do together—not “handed down” from on high.
    Long amounts of group work becomes a social activity—keep it short and get back to synthesis/post-assesment.
  • 4. Carey
    Breaking up the 80 minutes is the most effective means of keeping the students’ attention for the most of the time.
  • 5. Therefore, the block schedule works well for building in a Pre-assessment activity and a Post assessment activity. This way teachers have time to evaluate on a daily basis
    1.) the amount of material each student grasps
    2.) the connections each student has made
    3.) the readiness of the class as a whole before moving on.
  • 6. Here are cross- departmental recommendations for making the most out of the block schedule:
    1.) Pre-Assessment Activity
    2.) Material
    3.) Hands-on activity- that expects students to exhibit
    A.) Knowledge(Remembering previously learned material; can be linked to pre-assessment) 
    B.) Comprehension (Grasping the meaning of material)
    C. ) Application (Using information in concrete situations)
    D. )Analysis(Breaking down material into parts)
    E.) Synthesis (Putting parts together into a whole)
    F.) Evaluation (Judging the value of a product for a given purpose, using definite criteria)
    4.) Post-Assessment Activity
  • 7. Pre-Assessment Ideas
    Informal Questions- ex. Who remembers two things we discussed/covered last class? Who can summarize the focus of last class?
    Predictions- ex. Today we’re going to be learning about _________ write down what you think will happen by the end of class.
    Pretests
    Reflective Journal Writing about material covered at last class or homework
    And so much more
  • 8. Post –Assessment Ideasto constantly monitor student learning
    Exit Cards – hand each student a 3x5 card and tell her to write down any questions, comments, areas in which they’re unclear; all should be covered next class
    Think-Pair-Share- Pose a high level final question to the whole class, have students think on their own, pair with a friend to discuss, and share their answers in the last minutes of class
    Quickie Quizzes
    Empty Outlines
  • 9. REFLECTIVE TEACHING JOURNAL
    While the students are completing their daily assessment, take this opportunity to write!
    This helps:
    To solidify what worked and what didn’t
    To keep notes on students all in one place for comment time
    To keep new ideas for teaching together
  • 10. Christine
    “I never teach my pupils; I only attempt to provide the conditions in which they learn” Albert Einstein
    Student centered learning focus
    Complete Learning Cycle:
    Exploration
    Concept Invention/Vocabulary
    Application
  • 11. Process Skills
    Focus on process skills as well as content (ex: leadership, interpreting data, writing effectively)
    Information Processing
    Problem Solving
    Personal/Teamwork
    Critical Thinking
    Communication
    Management
  • 12. (Guided) Inquiry
    Materials from multiple perspectives help students draw connections/interpret information
    Sciences: Observation, symbol, particle
    English: vocab/ grammar, discussion, writing
    History: comparing and contrasting cultures, continuity and change over time, cause-and-effect relationships
  • 13. Moving forward
    • Sharing reading… professional development…(Peggy will help find us resources on whatever topics we want/need)
    • 14. Departments make a ‘plan’ for being consistent in approach 80 minute classes for their subject area