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Old 06-05-2010, 11:05 AM
 
Location: Arlington, VA and Washington, DC
23,653 posts, read 33,472,314 times
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4-day school weeks gain popularity across US - Yahoo! News (http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100604/ap_on_re_us/us_four_day_school_week - broken link)

Quote:
The results? Test scores went up.

So did attendance — for both students and teachers. The district is spending one-third of what it once did on substitute teachers, Clark said.
This is interesting. My question is if the 4 days the kids are spending in class are with less idle time.
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Old 06-05-2010, 11:15 AM
 
Location: Washington, DC
605 posts, read 1,963,482 times
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I think that the key here is that the four-day week may be a way to improve schools. In the same article, it stated that the Marlow, OK district did not get good results from their experiment with four-day weeks. However, it appears that with the recession, more schools are conducting similar experiments. Within two to three years, we'll probably have a lot more data about the effects of a four-day week.
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Old 06-05-2010, 11:31 AM
 
Location: Arlington, VA and Washington, DC
23,653 posts, read 33,472,314 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mrs. 14th & You View Post
I think that the key here is that the four-day week may be a way to improve schools. In the same article, it stated that the Marlow, OK district did not get good results from their experiment with four-day weeks. However, it appears that with the recession, more schools are conducting similar experiments. Within two to three years, we'll probably have a lot more data about the effects of a four-day week.
My question would not be so much does it improve schools, but does it HURT schools? As someone who finished his K-12 education not long ago, I can vouch there is a lot of wasted time in a 5 day school week. A secret to a four-day week would be the motivation factor to get more work done with less time.
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Old 06-05-2010, 11:51 AM
 
Location: Washington, DC
605 posts, read 1,963,482 times
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As a teacher, I can agree that there is a LOT of wasted time in the school day. Some of it is due to structure: If there are 30 kids in the class at five or more different reading or math levels, each one can only get so much instruction customized to his needs. Some of it is due to poorly planned activities and assignments: Do children really need to do as many practice problems as they do to get the point? Could we give shorter, more interesting writing assingments? I've also seen a lot of silliness around making up "lost" instructional time. For example, a lot of schools in my geographic region have tacked minutes on to daily classes to make up for lost snow days. Those minutes either get wasted or simply become time for students and teachers to more adequately cover that day's lesson; they don't allow for all of the missed snow day lessons to be back-filled into the school year.
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Old 06-05-2010, 01:24 PM
 
Location: Whoville....
25,393 posts, read 30,766,309 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alanboy395 View Post
4-day school weeks gain popularity across US - Yahoo! News (http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100604/ap_on_re_us/us_four_day_school_week - broken link)



This is interesting. My question is if the 4 days the kids are spending in class are with less idle time.
If attendance goes up, I can see scores going up. My school averages 11% absences a day. If we could cut that in half, we'd make an impact on test scores. My best students are the ones who aren't absent all the time.

Giving teachers that extra day for doctors appointments and other things that have to be taken care of during the day would also be an advantage but a smaller one than reducing student absences.

Absent students are one thorn in my side I have trouble keeping up with. My students, their parents and my administration expect me to make sure they get their absent work. This frustrates me. Those students know when they are absent and should be coming to see me not waiting until I pull them aside to give them their work. I swear, we bend over backwards to the point they don't learn.
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Old 06-05-2010, 01:28 PM
 
Location: Whoville....
25,393 posts, read 30,766,309 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mrs. 14th & You View Post
As a teacher, I can agree that there is a LOT of wasted time in the school day. Some of it is due to structure: If there are 30 kids in the class at five or more different reading or math levels, each one can only get so much instruction customized to his needs. Some of it is due to poorly planned activities and assignments: Do children really need to do as many practice problems as they do to get the point? Could we give shorter, more interesting writing assingments? I've also seen a lot of silliness around making up "lost" instructional time. For example, a lot of schools in my geographic region have tacked minutes on to daily classes to make up for lost snow days. Those minutes either get wasted or simply become time for students and teachers to more adequately cover that day's lesson; they don't allow for all of the missed snow day lessons to be back-filled into the school year.
Depends on the student. Unfortunately, we can't count on them to go home and do them on their own if they need to so we have to do some in class and we have to assign enough that most students will have enough practice. Of course the ones who need the most practice are the ones who don't bother doing the assignment at all.

I agree that extra minutes get wasted, which is why I think there's actually more wasted time in class if you go to a four day week and add minutes, however, if absence rates are reduced, that could make a positive difference even though minutes are wasted. When students are absent less, they get more minutes of instruction even if more minutes of the day are wasted.
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Old 06-05-2010, 01:57 PM
 
Location: Arlington, VA and Washington, DC
23,653 posts, read 33,472,314 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mrs. 14th & You View Post
As a teacher, I can agree that there is a LOT of wasted time in the school day. Some of it is due to structure: If there are 30 kids in the class at five or more different reading or math levels, each one can only get so much instruction customized to his needs. Some of it is due to poorly planned activities and assignments: Do children really need to do as many practice problems as they do to get the point? Could we give shorter, more interesting writing assingments? I've also seen a lot of silliness around making up "lost" instructional time. For example, a lot of schools in my geographic region have tacked minutes on to daily classes to make up for lost snow days. Those minutes either get wasted or simply become time for students and teachers to more adequately cover that day's lesson; they don't allow for all of the missed snow day lessons to be back-filled into the school year.
I was living in Alexandria when all that snow happened this year. Many just applied for and got waivers from meeting the minimum school day requirement. That is why I would put emphasis on less wasted time and make lesson plans more target pointed not just give work to keep busy.
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Old 06-05-2010, 08:32 PM
 
16,644 posts, read 14,098,718 times
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I do not waste time in my class and I barely get all the material in despite having 80 mins everyday for 180 days. I cannot imagine trying to get all the material covered when you would lose 20% of the time and if the lengthened the time in class to make up for it my class would be nearly two hours long. How can high school students manage a nearly two hour class?
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Old 06-05-2010, 09:11 PM
 
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Well I'm always more ready for school/work after a 3 day weekend.. imagine every week...

Motivation is a key factor in learning. A teacher can talk all day and if the kid is daydreaming at the clock the whole time it's going to accomplish nothing. Assuming more positive results come to light from schools experimenting with 4 day weeks, I'm all for this.
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Old 06-05-2010, 09:26 PM
 
Location: On a Slow-Sinking Granite Rock Up North
3,637 posts, read 5,402,119 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alanboy395 View Post
4-day school weeks gain popularity across US - Yahoo! News (http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100604/ap_on_re_us/us_four_day_school_week - broken link)



This is interesting. My question is if the 4 days the kids are spending in class are with less idle time.
I'm more interested in the comments section. I don't believe statistics anymore, anyway, anyhow. They are too subject to manipulation and interpretation depending on whose side their on.

I also don't think they have enough physical time in a day as it is now much less cutting one out. As it is now, with the focus on testing, testing, testing in Math and Reading, Science and Social Studies are pretty much a joke in the lower grades.
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