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If a teacher is fortunate enough to work with students for a ninety-minute reading block, they will want to make the most of this opportunity. With this amount of teacher-student contact time, teachers can move their students forward in one school year. Student growth can exceed expectations. The key to maximizing the benefits of such a structure involves detailed planning, arranging a rotation schedule, and adaptability.

Planning for Block Scheduling

Block scheduling can provide an invigorating arrangement for diverse learners. To create such an environment, teachers need to plan for a variety of activities in each class period so that students are not working independently or sitting still for an inordinate amount of time. Research of the online essay writer shows that all learners benefit from movement, pacing, and varied activities, so this needs to be taken into consideration when planning.

That being said, students also thrive on routine. If students can walk into a classroom knowing what to expect, where to look for an agenda or learning goals, and how a class will generally be facilitated, they will feel comforted as well as oriented towards a positive work environment. What does that look like? Here is a sample arrangement that utilizes rotations of independent work, collaboration, and teacher-led direct instruction. Variations on this rotation routine are easy to implement as needed, but this schedule serves as a solid foundation for effective planning.

Creating an Effective Rotation Schedule

Teachers can arrange for four segments in a ninety-minute block. The first twenty minutes can serve as an opportunity for a read-aloud, whether the teacher reads a novel out loud or plays an audio recording. Students will read along in their books. The next sixty minutes allow for three twenty-minute rotations, in which teachers have carefully arranged heterogeneous groups of students who will circulate together. The understanding is that, when appropriate, students can quietly assist one another– as small groups tend to breed a familial sense of trust and mutual support.

The first group’s rotation would begin as independent work consisting of self-directed study at a computer station utilizing a reading program, such as Study Island or Read-180, or researching a specific topic. As the best essay writing service reddit 2022 suggests that the research can be documented in a student’s journal, in which he takes notes and also makes comments, and devises questions relevant to the notes.

The second group’s rotation would begin as collaborative work. Here, students would work together as a small group to accomplish a specific, well-defined task in which each student has a clear role. An example activity might be to annotate the text read by the whole group that day. Students can document their thoughts and questions on sticky notes, attach them to their books, and use them as a springboard for discussion. Alternatively, students can work on a written assignment where they are allowed to discuss the material as needed.

The third group’s rotation would begin with teacher-led instruction. Specific reading strategies and skills would be taught here, preferably at a table where all students, as well as the teacher, are facing each other for open discussion. The teacher might choose to instruct on standards such as using context clues, identifying organizational patterns in a text, or analyzing literary elements in a short story. All students are expected to verbally contribute during the discussion.

Adapting as Needed

While this rotating arrangement usually allows for variety and a smooth transition between stations, it is not always the best way to achieve every learning objective. Sometimes, teachers will need to adapt their plans or modify their groups. If, for example, certain groups of students are not collaborating effectively, they can be redirected to spread out throughout the classroom and work in pairs or independently. After all, it is necessary for all students participating in the teacher-led instruction to be able to concentrate without unnecessary noise and distractions.

Another concern is the need for differentiated instruction. Teachers may find that some students may need assistance with vocabulary development while others need to improve their fluency by practicing reading aloud. Therefore, the essay writer site emphasizes that modifications to the heterogeneous groups would need to be made. Nothing is set in stone, and flexibility is the key to a well-functioning reading classroom.

Ultimately, the only limiting factor in a block-scheduled classroom is the teacher’s creativity. While this rotation format offers many benefits, teachers should try a variety of arrangements to discover one that will best meet their students changing needs. With proper planning, teachers will devise a successful classroom structure that encourages students to work with others, work independently and participate in teacher-led discussions.