Hi Cynthia! Thanks for writing. Yes, we have a whole 39 minutes from the time the bell rings until they have to move to another class. They are looking into a slight change that would give us 45 minutes. So frustrating! We tried to look at a partial block schedule, but we have many children filtering in and out of other programs, for instance a challenge math class and special class part time. This is a big issue. Doesn't look like we will get more time. We are a very large middle school. Scheduling is a nightmare. We are set up on teams like your daughter is. We are 3 person teams. All three of us teach english/lang arts and then I do the math, and one does science and one does social studies. I am trying to find someone in a similar situation with suggestions. I don't want to try to do this program without everything we need. Thanks so much for writing!
On Wed Apr 24 22:41:42 2002, Cynthia wrote Re. Re: Time!!:
> Debra: > >Thanks for writing. Time is always such a big issue in schools these >day isn't it? > >Our district has implemented Investigations in >>grades K-4. Our 5th grade classes are in a middle school setting. We >>have 39 minute periods. I, for example, teach a double period block >of >>English/Lang. Arts and then 3 5th grade math classes. Here is the >>question- It has been "suggested" that we use Investigations in Grade >>5 since this is what the classes below are using. From what I see, it >>seems as though this is not possible. Do you really need an hour each >>day? > >I agree with the suggestion you received to continue Investigations >into the 5th grade curriculum. I think you really do need a larger >block of time than 39 minutes for a successful implementation of >Investigations. In fact I think you need a larger block of time to >teach any form of mathematics. > >I am curious. Do your children rotate from classroom to classroom? Do >you lose time in the movement? When you say 39 minutes is that 39 >minutes after the class is settled? > >I hope it is not an either or situation that is decided because of the >time frame you're locked into at this point. Is there any way your >staff can look at the schedule and schedule larger blocks of time for >math like you have for English and Language Arts? > >My daughter also was part of blocked time 5-8th grades. She had a >teacher for English/Language Arts and Social Studies and another >teacher for math and science. Both teachers did amazing things because >they could go in depth with one discipline and also integrate ideas > from the 2 disciplines in a deep way. They also worked very closely >as a team. > >Perhaps there are other readers who can share their upper elementary >schedule. > >____________________________ >>>How would it be to teach this program to 3 classes a day? > >I find Investigations to be very engaging for the kids and as a the >teacher. I would personally love to teach math all day long. Even if >it was 3 classes are focused on the same unit. One advantage for >teaching math 3 times is a person new to Investigations can really >become familiar with the units and mathematics through the various >experiences. It's not uncommon for middle school teachers teach the >same math classes 2-3 times in one day. > >____________________________ >>>>The program seems wonderful, but is it doable in our situation? > >The program is wonderful. It's worth looking very hard at schedule >options so you can provide rich experiences. Keep writing with >questions. > > >Again, I hope other readers will share how they have schedule >mathematics in the upper elementary grades. > > >Cynthia >