Showing posts from February, 2017

Block Schedule Planning

I had an opportunity to teach on a 45-minute traditional class period schedule and a 90-minute block. Both models have their pros and cons. I think my own preference is block schedules because you have so much more time to dive into content. There are fewer transitions and it just seems calmer and more conducive to learning.

However, one major challenge is finding purposeful ways to fill that block. If you notice that you are doing one activity for a long period of time, it might be important to think about chunking. What I mean by chunking is thinking of you period in 15-20 minute chunks of time and planning activities within those chunks. I find it's difficult to keep students attention if something lasts longer than 20 minutes, so that was my maximum for any activity (except an assessment).

I developed the following sample block plans based on 85 minutes. So, if you have 60 minutes you can think about cutting out one of these pieces. If you teach 90 minutes, add 5 minutes to o…

What is the answer?

The Hows:
How do we fix math education?
How do we address issues of equity and access?
How do we improve test scores?
How do we choose curriculum materials that encourage inquiry, exploration, problem solving, and application?
How do we improve number sense?
How do we make math fun, relevant, engaging, and meaningful to students?
How do I set up positive norms in math class?
How do I address math anxiety of my students? parents? other teachers?

The Whats:
What is the best curriculum?
What interventions are best?
What approach is better?
What is the purpose of math education?
What are we doing wrong (or right!)?
What will get us the biggest improvement the fastest?
What do teachers need to improve their teaching?
What do students need to improve their learning?

These are just some of the questions I think about, am asked, or read about daily. Daily! The longer I'm in education, the longer my answers to these questions become. I see peoples' eyes glaze over as I try to explain ho…