Q&A #2528

How much time for math?

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From: Suzanne A. (for Teacher2Teacher Service)
Date: Nov 11, 1999 at 11:59:14
Subject: Re: How much time for math?

I teach 7th grade mathematics at in middle school in Rialto, California. Our
class periods are 55 minutes on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday but
Wednesday is a minimum day and the class periods are 35 minutes each.

Two years ago I had a block schedule. I had two math classes back-to-back and
they were blocked with the science class. So, on Monday and Thursday I had
one group of students for 110 minutes and on Tuesday and Friday I had the
other group of students for 110 minutes. The science teacher did the
opposite. On Wednesdays because of minimum days we each had both groups for
35 minutes.

I liked the block schedule because I was using two rooms. I taught in a
regular classroom the first class period and then we went to a computer lab
for the second period. I developed lessons that were introduced with
manipulatives or paper/pencil activities and then were again introduced using
technology. I have no test data to say that students learned more but I
believe that spending longer on problems and using a variety of methods to
work through them enhances learning.

Actually, though, block scheduling is not required to teach this way. This
year I teach 4 days in the lab and 1 day in a classroom. I am still using the
idea of mixing activities, technology, and paper-pencil formalization.

 -Suzanne A., for the Teacher2Teacher service

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