Blogs on Alternative Scheduling

Blogs on Alternative SchedulingRSS
Jon BergmannNovember 18, 2013

I have been asked on a number of occasions what is the biggest hurdle that teachers need to overcome in order to flip their classrooms. In my experience, the number one hurdle is that teachers need to flip their thinking about class time.

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A.J. JulianiJune 25, 2013

Have you ever met an adult who doesn't really love what they do, but just goes through the motions in their job and everyday life? Have you spoken with men and women who constantly complain, showing no visible passion for anything in the world? I'm sure that, like me, you have met those people. I've also seen the making of these adults in schools across our country: students who are consistently being "prepared" for the next test, assessment, or grade level . . . only to find out after graduation that they don't really know what they are passionate about. These are the same students who are never allowed to learn what they want in school. Forced down a curriculum path that we believe is "best for them," they discover it is a path that offers very little choice in subject matter and learning outcomes.

Enter 20% time.

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Craig HaasMay 23, 2013

In assembling the plan for expanded learning time (ELT) at the Edwards Middle School, we drew inspiration from our own special education department. Too often, special education is viewed as a place or a static state, when the truth is that special education is a series of interventions, modifications, and accommodations afforded to students who are unable to access a curriculum under routine circumstances. ELT, too, is a series of interventions, and so, in applying some special education principles, we gained some valuable insights.

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Hassan MansarayMay 22, 2013

Not satisfied with students' progress on district- and state-mandated tests -- and after careful deliberation by administration and staff -- the Edwards Middle School implemented the Massachusetts Expanded Learning Time (ELT) Initiative in the 2006/07 school year. ELT has since become an integral part of the school day, where students receive an additional 60 minutes of support instruction in some core academic classes like English and math, and 90 minutes of electives in arts, sports and music, and other enrichment activities.

In order to maximize the benefits of ELT for students, I looked for ways to fine tune my approach to teaching individualized learning in my English language arts classroom. One of the instructional models that informs my approach to teaching individualized learning is the Readers and Writers Workshop. This approach proved very helpful in optimizing ELT. Read More
Amrita SahniMay 21, 2013

In the fall of 2006, Clarence R. Edwards Middle School ("the Edwards" as it is known locally within Boston Public Schools) became one of the first schools in the state of Massachusetts to implement the Expanded Learning Time (ELT) Initiative. The reasons why were simple: we were not making Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) and we wanted to make significant academic gains with our students. As it turned out, making our school day longer was one of the best things we could have done to help reform our school model and improve student outcomes. Our statewide exam scores, student enrollment, daily student attendance rate, community and family engagement, and time for team teaching/collaboration all improved as a result of ELT.

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Adam ProvostMay 6, 2013

I've interviewed hundreds of people over the last decade about how schools in the United States often choose to structure time. Most often, I pose the question to people in the places I visit, "Can you explain how the school day is structured, and why?"

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Dr. Joe MazzaOctober 5, 2012

Back in May, our team at Knapp Elementary was busy planning our annual summer reading program. Some of us had just participated in a parent-teacher chat via Twitter on maximizing opportunities to keep the learning going over the summer. We talked about ways to keep students engaged between when the school doors were closed and when they reopened in September.

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Milton ChenJune 10, 2010

As we head into summer vacation and schools are shuttering their doors for three months, we should be rethinking how summer can become the "third semester" for 21st Century learning. At a conference in Washington last week, a colleague was surprised to hear that the long summer break dates back to our agrarian society and the need for young folk to help their families bring in the crops. Today, the vast majority of students don't bring in crops but need to be harvesting knowledge year-round.

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Maurice EliasOctober 23, 2009

You may have heard the story that due to the recession, Hawaii has cut 17 days from its school year, leaving 163 days of instruction instead of the more typical 180 days. The story suggests that with Hawaii near the bottom of educational achievement, it can't afford to lose those days.

But I would like to suggest that because Hawaii already ranks as one of the lowest states academically, restoring those 17 days won't matter -- nor would adding ten more.

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Susan TidymanMarch 20, 2006

Efforts to create smaller learning communities that personalize education for young people and bring teachers together in teams are hindered by many of the traditional high school institutions: the bell schedule, the bus schedule, the cafeteria schedule, the football schedule, and the union contract's drive decisions.

Efforts to create smaller learning communities that personalize education for young people and bring teachers together in teams are hindered by many of the traditional high school institutions: the bell schedule, the bus schedule, the cafeteria schedule, the football schedule, and the union contract's drive decisions. Read More