Providing just three math lessons to my 6th graders is a stretch for me. I have this nagging sense that I am not doing enough -- that I am somehow slacking off and denying my students the opportunity to maintain a somewhat accelerated pace though the curriculum. I fight the feeling that I am short-changing my sixth graders by not providing "enough" content weekly. And yet, I think that in the end, three new lessons weekly is the best for student learning.
Below is my modified schedule to accommodate three lessons weekly:
Here are a few reasons why I am moving to this framework:
- Marinating Steak: I truly believe that students need lots of time to soak up new math concepts. Like a steak that has been marinated for hours, students require opportunities to practice new learning over the course of days. (Especially with decimals and fractions!)
- Keeping Pace: Even in teaching just three lessons a week, I should be aligned to the pacing guide set by our school district.
- Stress Reduction: I think by reducing the amount of the "new", students will feel less anxious knowing that we will continue to practice the new concepts learned the week before on Mondays.
- Flexibility: With the adjustment to the schedule, not only will we be better able to review material, but we will also be able to use Mondays and Fridays to assess understanding. I can target these days as days to administer quick quizzes or unit tests.