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100-minute-lessons coming....experience anyone?

Discussion in 'Secondary' started by SmellyEl, Apr 19, 2010.

  1. Hey - think yourself lucky!!! Our GCSE grps only have elective subjects on a given day each week - 3 hrs 1 wk, 2 the other.
    To make it even better, next yr it will be: all morning 1 wk, all afternoon the next!!
    Yes, and I'm MFL!
     
  2. We have lessons that are either 60 or 120 minutes and although I teach science sometimes I have to teach a 2 hour theory based lesson.
    My advice would be to make sure that you plan a range of activities and change these at least every 25mins, don't be frightened of giving the kids a break at a good point in the lesson - I don't mean letting them all get up and walk out but do something completly different for a short period of time (in a 2 hour theory based lesson I plan for 2 of these breaks)
    Go for it you will soon get into the swing of longer lessons
    Z
     
  3. What are the reasons for the 100 minute lessons? How many do you get in a day?
    We are going from 8 periods a day (where most of them were doubles anyway, lasting 75 mins) to 5 periods next year (of 60 mins each).

     
  4. I haven't been given any reasons other than the usual "enhance learning". There are three 100-min-lessons a day.
     
  5. 100 minutes are fine, on the understanding that if you plan various activities for the students to do. Three part lessons are fine as are 6 part, the same rules apply for both 60 mins and 100 mins lessons. Please do not worry, longer lessons, if prepared properly can actually be more beneficial, as you do not have to stop the students working half way through, they have the extra time to comeplete the work, rather than going through two lessons. Also, it means you can put 2 lessons together, so they can understand certain key concepts better as they are taught/learnt in one lesson, rather than a week apart!
     
  6. gruoch

    gruoch Occasional commenter

    At a challenging school I once went to it was a behaviour management strategy - fewer kids around the school/fewer changeover times. I don't know whether it worked as I didn't get the job!
     
  7. TCSC47

    TCSC47 Lead commenter

    But why CHANGE from what old system you had! What was wrong with whatever was happening before? I'm retiring this year and all I seem to remember is change after change after change. If it was to improve the quality of education then we have had so many changes that the students should be gaing their BSc rather than half a dozen GCSEs! - which is pretty much what my contemporaries got in the 60's.
    I am retiring this year and the main image I am left with is that I had to rewrite, rethink, re-resource, re-plan almost every year. This is not hyperbole!
    Standing in front of the class dealing with 25 plus adolescents (the most difficult age of being a human), dealing with their ever more demanding parents and the fallout from political posers, is hard enough! Why make it harder by changing the goal posts and continually pulling rugs from under our feet.
    Actually I know the answer. --- What is the best thing for an unruly class? Something for them to get their teeth into. Activity for the sake of activity if they have acheived their learning objectives. And why not. They will benefit, have fun and be occupied so they are not a problem to you.
    But it should not be the same tactic for us teachers. The reason for all the changes I have endured throughout my career have simply been to keep me on the back foot and not voicing my concerns and critism of the bean counter management that has taken over pretty much of our society.
    If something is not broken - then break it!! - so you can fix it.
    And finally - what I shall be so glad to leave behing are the comments like -"if you prepare properly"! This is simply putting the blame for the mess that ensues, onto you, the poor, worn out, abused and misused teacher.
     
  8. my statement regarding preparation was not meant to be placing the blame, but just stating a fact! i honestly believe witht he challenging kids i have in my school and classes, that walking into a 100 minute lesson, unprepared is asking for disaster to be honest with you. I am not blaming anyone, i have done that very thing and regret it! i honestly believe that you need to prepare your lessons, yes we can all wing one or two now and then, but not all the time. and im not saying write out pages upon pages of lesson plans, as i do not do that, and have not done this in a long while, however in my head i know what i need to do, resources are all prepared etc.
    But the rest of what you say is correct, if it is not broken, it shouldnt be changed. and the way the school system is going is getting more and more initiatives and less and less teaching and focus on the sstudent as an individual to be honest.

    anyway sorry if it sounded like i was blaming anyone i wasnt!
     
  9. TCSC47

    TCSC47 Lead commenter

    Apologies are in order from me matt711 Like you, I think the single most important thing for any lesson is prep. I have to admit that I was playing to the gallery a bit, making a point somewhat at your expense even though I did read your comments in the way that you meant them. Sorry!
     
  10. If the teacher doesn't prepare properly then of course they deserve the blame for whatever happens - it's their job.

    100 mins lessons are great - as has already been mentioned, you can actually teach the topic/skill thoroughly with a lot of variety, have enough tme to make sure the kids produce a high quality outcome that they can be proud of AND have enough time to review what they've learned properly.

    3 part lessons? Haven't heard that old thing in years. Are people still that backwards?

     
  11. TCSC47

    TCSC47 Lead commenter

    I have always been torn two ways in my teaching career. One is to take on every initiative and do the best with it, assuming there are good reasons behind them, and that whatever else goes on, the students have to come first. And who knows, I might even find it more fun!
    The other way is, I look at my collegues and myself, who are jumping through hoops for the bean counters so willingly, loosing minutes off our lives, with each episode of stress, staying up till 1 or 2 am finishing prep and marking, and I think we all really need to put our collective foot down and say "enough is enough. This is pointless. It was working fine before.".
    However, in all the chaos (and there is most certainly chaos!) I have lost the ability of being able to follow and understand what has been going on in my teaching career, so sadly I don't know what to fight against any more. So I just go on teaching what I am told to do! So 30 mins, 60 mins, 100 mins, - I go in one end and come out the other! But something in this string got to me, and I think it was the question, what is so good about 100 mins as opposed to 60 mins or what ever. What difference does it make to the student? It had damn well better, be a big improvement because it will certainly make a big difference to me at home trying to plan the lessons and at the front of the class, trying to make them work.
     
  12. gruoch

    gruoch Occasional commenter

    Nah - 4 part now.
     
  13. I actually wont go to one school because it has 100 mins (I'm supply) The work is never 100 mins long.
    one example was
    100 mins Pg 18-19 The steam locomotive with bottom set yr 11. No log on provided or other resources lol.. god I had to wing it, naavies, laying of tracks, changes to towns history of transport, coal, I was knackered.

    Just remember to think of the supply teachers if your school is lucky enough to still use them.

    Lx
     
  14. As I said sometimes the teachers ain't there. So cover work for a 100 minuter needs to be for a hundred minutes (ish)
    Also, having longer periods means you have simplified subject cover, from a money point of view.
    A new build school around my way has a purpose built 'cover centre'. you collapse 3 secondary classes and throw in a teacher and two TA'S/CS's, spark up the IWB and away you go.
    The shape of things to come methinks.
    You may say I am only saying that because I am a supply, You would be dead correct on that one!

     
  15. I am currently and temporarily at a school with 100 min lessons. They are great for me! I only have to think of 3 lessons max in one day, if I give the children a game/unrelated quiz/video to watch/break etc. and use up 10-20 mins on play, they love it (and they need it too to break up the 100 mins). I can give them lots of worksheets, take my time over the introduction, and only worry about 3 entry and exit routines a day. And it's great too from a behaviour management point of view - far fewer opportunities for the children in cause havoc in the corridors.
    BUT loooonnng lesson do not help learning... For many subjects, once a week is just not effective. Look up spacing effect in the psychology literature to see what the possible problem might be. Also the primacy effect where the start of any lesson is likely to be more memorable than the remainder.
    I am aware of several american studies on the effects on learning of cramming one week's worth of lessons into one session, as compared to the same content spread over 2-3 days, for college students. One looked at maths and algebra: the results showed that although the students liked the crammed lessons, they were not able to recall as much of the maths several months later. Another looked at science - a subject where the extra time would be of benefit - the results were mixed. These are results for young adults; I would imagine that learning in children is much more fragile.
    The only reason why it makes sense to go to 100 mins is to enable innovative teaching methods: team teaching, cross-curricular investigations, varied activities, etc... or in other words a "lesson" that is really about lots of little lessons strung together (as you might have at a primary school). Tell me, has any 100 min lesson school put into place the structure to support this sort of teaching? Or is each teacher expected to do what they have always done and taught the whole lesson on their own?
    What might work is a carefully-thought-out mix of long lessons (i.e. for the appropriate subjects and where the school's SLT provide the support to enable cross-curricular, maybe, activity-based team teaching) and shorter ones (for those subjects where little and often is an effective way of learning).
    By the way, if anyone has come across any study showing that 100 mins for maths (or nay other) teaching is effective, do let me know. I am trying to keep a balanced view on this...
     
  16. I'm a maths teacher who has worked in a school which had 100 min lessons - They've changed it now!!!
    They are usually implemented to get the curriculum coverage that they want and sometimes with a staggered day to allow for resourcing/rooming.
    My personal experience - a nightmare. For some subjects - practical - it's fine but for everyone else it's a nightmare. The students can't concentrate - even some of the brighter ones. It saps your energy more than you can imagine, particularly if you do have a staggered day with it and get 4 lessons. No matter how well you plan for changes in activity, the students use it as an opportunity to get lazy, either intentionally or otherwise. They slow the pace down because they've got a whole 100 mins and you end up, after a while, only covering 60 min content in 100 mins. I don't know anyone who really managed to keep up a full 100 min content of a regular basis and therefore the time is wasted. It's an excuse to be late to lessons - missing 5-10 mins of a 100 min lesson isn't' that bad according to the kids. Normally, with this timetabling, you won't see students regularly which makes it difficult to keep up momentum.
    Pros - you can set a whole exam paper in one lesson, you don't see kids that regularly (only beneficial if you don't like them).

    Personally, would never work with 100 min lessons again and would leave if it was suggested.
     
  17. mousey80

    mousey80 Occasional commenter

    It will make the timetable simpler - it means that there is less movement in the school, making the school look calmer. Initially the kids will want to go to the loo at "half-time", they will struggle to remain focused for more than 50 minutes. As students get ahead and behind each other it will be more obvious to them all the longer the lesson is: use a video if possible half way through the lesson and then "reset" it and start again. 100 minutes means that you HAVE to plan a lesson, you can't "wing" it.... or, well you guess.
     
  18. I can see the benefits for highly achieving, o,der pupils. And for certain subjects as DT, PE, sciennce, art...but rock-bottom-set yr 7 and two hours mfl or maths? nightmare!
     
  19. TCSC47

    TCSC47 Lead commenter

    <font size="2">Of course it is! </font>
    <font size="2"> </font><font size="2">But, throughout my career, I have seen, similar phrases and accusations to cover all sorts of things that, wet behind the ears, political bean counters, who have an agenda outside the classroom, and who have never been in front of a class, use to put down knowledgeable and wise statements and criticisms from true educational practitioners.</font><font size="2">&ldquo;You are afraid of change&rdquo;, &ldquo; You wish to teach to the exam&rdquo;, &ldquo;You don&rsquo;t have a paper trail as long as your back garden to show what you are teaching&rdquo;, </font><font size="2">All meaning it is your fault not theirs when you haven&rsquo;t had sufficient resources, time, training, or small enough classes. And I&rsquo;m afraid I saw my colleagues walk into it on every occasion. </font>
     
  20. If teachers are forced to "amuse" 12-yr-olds with the attentian span of a gold fish and the IQ of a guinea pig for two hours doing maths, English or MFL, then they'll have to hire Coz the Clown to get through those monster-lessons.
     

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