8-31-10 A Question About Schedule

Does our daily schedule allow for deep learning, especially when the class time is chunked as 50-55 minute blocks? What if we wanted to explore the campus, work in the organic garden, develop a complex project? Would a double-period allow for more experiential learning?

What about pass times? Can we get where we need to go and do what we need to do in 5 minutes? What if pass times were 10 minutes? How could we make this work and not lose instructional time?

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About boadams1

Learner. Husband. Dad. Chief Learning and Innovation Officer at Mount Vernon Presbyterian School in Atlanta, GA. Have worked in transformation design, educational innovation, and school leadership for 20+ years.

4 thoughts on “8-31-10 A Question About Schedule

  1. Hi! My name is Kim, and I am also from Mr. McCalla's math class! I think that over all 50 minute class periods work really well. I think that although we may run out of time for all of the things planned, I personally know that as a student I would not be able to concentrate for two periods and therefore defeat the purpose of allotted time periods. However, I do agree that sometimes extra time is needed! In response to the pass time question, I think that 5 minutes is not always enough. Although as Sukriti said, detention is the worst thing that could happen to us if we are late, detention is still not fun! But I know that if more time were given many people would use that time to socialize rather than use for school related business. I think the best way for this is to allow about 7 minutes in between classes.

  2. Hello, how are you? Nice to meet you! I am Sukriti Mohan from Mr. McCalla's Honors Algebra II class in Memphis, and I would love to reply to this discussion! I think that this is a great discussion! Well, I have never been part of a school where the schedule is set up in double periods instead of the 50-55 minute blocks, but the idea is actually appealing to me. Obviously, I have those classes where I dread being in the classroom for even 50 minutes, but the point of being in school is learning, even if it seems unbearable. The idea that we do not have enough time in the day to really truly learn has really become apparent to me this year. We have only completed three weeks of sophomore year, yet I can already tell that this year will be extremely hectic because of the limited time in every classroom. However, instead of having 7 classes every day, what if we only had four? For one thing, the classes would be about twice as long. If you have two separate class periods, it is much more difficult to get into the "zone" than if you have one extended time block. Because we have less classes in a day, we can have twice the homework every night and still be doing the same amount of work. In addition, teachers could truly teach without interruption or keeping the class after the bell rings. As for the question of pass time, I think five minutes is perfectly fine. We really don't need ten minutes to get some books and go to another class. And if we get held up for some legitimate reason or go to the wrong class, nothing horrendous happens to us. We aren't thrown in a dungeon or exiled. If worst comes to worst, we go to detention! No huge punishment is inflicted upon us!

  3. Hi I'm from Mr. McCalla's Algebra 2 class. I believe it is hard to get into deep learning with 50 minute blocks. We always seem in a crunch for time if we take too much time asking questions on the homework. With so little time we can only get through an overview of the lesson instead of getting into deep learning. A double-period would help us get in depth about the subject, and allow time for experiential learning. But, more than 5 minutes between classes is not necessary because you would lose instructional time.

  4. Hello! I am from Mr. McCalla's Algebra II class and he told us we could comment on your blogs! I think that having double periods would make it harder for me to concentrate! I personally could not sit still for two class periods with no break. However, I do think that you have made a good point that sometimes we do need more class time to do more complex projects. At our school, we have a period everyday at the same time called ALAPP. ALAPP is where a class could meet for more time if needed. If it is not needed for something else, then it is free time to do homework or meet with a teacher for help. I think our system works very well. I also think that 5 minutes in a pretty good amount of time to get to class but 10 minutes might be better. Some teachers don't stop immediately after the bell rings and then we are late to our next class. With 10 minutes to get to the next class, we would not be late to class. Great Question!

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