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!