Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Blocking or Chunking Class Time

One of the techniques that separate teaching skills is the ability to block or chunk time in the class. 

When creating your lesson plans make sure that you are paying attention to the amount of time that you spend on each segment. Instead of thinking of the class as an a hour or 90 minutes or what-ever version you have, think of it in terms of the amount of time that you can work without losing the kids.

No matter what their age (this works just as much with adults as with kids), attention only lasts so long.

I have heard many people say that computers and handheld games as well as the internet are to blame for the kids losing their ability to concentrate for more than 10 minutes at a time…for my age group, television was the excuse…maybe instead it really has to do with kids never needing to entertain themselves for a long time without something electronic…I’ll save that subject for the researchers and experts.

What I do know is that you will lose the kids if you talk too long, have them work extensively on an activity, watch a whole movie, and so on…

You need to block or chunk the time of your class.

Look at the amount of time that you have….here is an example of what I am talking about: 5 minutes for a sponge activity, 15 minutes for whole group instruction, 10 minutes for a reinforcement activity, a 10 minute academic vocabulary lesson, 5 minutes for a quick, ungraded formative assessment, 5 minutes for summarizing what was learned, and 5 minutes for previewing for tomorrow. 

This is an example of blocking or chunking.

There are so many different ways of blocking/chunking the time.

What is most important though is that you do it! 

It will help with the kids understanding and learning the content.

Here are some links to examples of blocking/chunking class time …

Have fun!


Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Are you registered to vote?

This November is a very important election in Georgia and across our nation. 

This fall Georgia will elect a Governor and a State School Superintendent as well as others. 

Public education has been under attack for decades but more so recently. Teachers, school administrators, and school system leaders have been asked to do more than ever with so much less. If you complain, do you vote? Do you participate in the election process? 

The best way to participate is to voice your educated point of view through your vote. In Georgia the last opportunity to register to vote is October 6th

So what are you waiting for? Get registered and then look for information about candidates. Don’t just vote without knowing the candidates and their platforms. 

Valerie Wilson                                Richard Woods

This week I will post a podcast (see link ) with the two candidates for state school superintendent (Valerie Wilson and Richard Woods) talking about the coming election. 

Hope that you will listen and share. Also, check out the links to other information about candidates that I have included.

Remember your vote matters but you have to be registered…so make sure that you are registered by October 6th.

Here are some links to candidate information:

Georgia My Voter Page has info about how to register to vote.