Enough time with Class?

Avatar for xjustalkin
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Enough time with Class?
4
Thu, 09-09-2004 - 4:21pm
I taught 3 years at a private school. This is my first year in public. I'm so overwhelmed with the materials I am required to teach. I am teaching 3rd grade - the first grade for state testing. Over the first few weeks I SCRAMBLED to get all of the materials covered. I thought I was just unorganized - SO UNLIKE me. But, this week - since there is no school because of Hurricane Francis - I sat down and did a "schedule-at-a-glance summary. I found out that I only have ALL of my students for 1 1/2 hours a day! The rest of the time a bunch are taken out for ESOL or ESE. In that 1 1/2 hours I am responsible for morning work (8-8:30), Math, reading and science/social studies and WRITING!! Now, I don't know about the rest of you but math and writing take quite a while to teach. I even put two subjects together (ex. I have them write a paragraph about something learned in previous science/ss.)

I understand that we have children that require special programs...but, are we taking them out of the class too much? I just don't know what to do...we need more hours in the day.

Was education THAT different when I went to school?? I don't remember ever being interrupted for anything. I don't even think we had all of the fine arts (art, music, computer, etc) that they have now. Did we suffer? Are we lacking?

Just thinking aloud. If anybody has a suggestion about a possible solution to my scheduling crisis...please let me know.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-24-2003
Mon, 09-13-2004 - 2:54pm

Times have changed for sure. There are so many special classes that most teachers don't get enough instruction time for the basics. Most tell me that they are in a similar situation to you. At my former elementary we studies a schedule called parallel block. All of the pull-outs leave at once and you teach the other half. Then the first group leaves for a special and you teach the

Sherry

 

Avatar for sharlene1
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Mon, 09-13-2004 - 7:26pm
This is my easiest year ever as I only have 2 students leave (for Speech and PT) and the therapist both scheduled them at the same time! (Last year I had kids going to 6 different specials all through out the day, so I can sympathize with you. I only have 1/2 hour this year where they are missing and half of that time is their second recess. In our school each grade level has a "golden hour" that is actually 90 minutes during which we teach reading. (I actually teach reading/language arts/writing for 2 1/2 hours each day). The therapists do their bests to schedule around reading, math, and science. Sometimes they do "push in" and complete therapy in the class, providing assistance to "their student(s)" and others nearby.

Would it be possible for each grade level to block out a time so they can get important subjects like reading and math to all the kids at the same time? Are the special teachers willing to incorporate the subject matter into therapy time? One year I found that we could schedule "center time" concurrent with most therapies so kids would miss a center and go to therapy instead. This worked pretty well and left a smaller number of students so I could also work with a small group. Everyone got some individual attention.

In the past few years our school has also tried to schedule our gym/music at the same time for each grade level. This was nice as I had at least one grade level partner whom I could meet with. I know it's hard when it's a testing year, but do remember all grade levels help to prepare the kids for the test. LOL, we were just reminded of that in a faculty meeting today!

Sharlene

Avatar for xjustalkin
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Mon, 09-13-2004 - 10:02pm
We do have a 90 minute a day literacy block. ESE and ESOL is taken out during this time...but those teachers are responsible for their language grade. Each grade does have their Fine Arts at the same time. Our day is from 8-2...I just think I really need about another hour a day!!

I really like the idea of parallel blocks.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-23-2003
Wed, 09-15-2004 - 5:42pm
I love that idea! I'm a big fan of block scheduling for itinerants. I'm an SLP and have a classroom but had many a long conversation back in grad school about types of scheduling.

!

Lori