Visit enough schools and what will quickly become apparent is that we waste 30 minutes to an hour of possible instruction time in the morning, everyday. The math is staggering, this represents up to 180 hours of instruction annually. That is the equivalent of 30 instructional days. Huge numbers of students arrive to school early and then wait for the adults to decide that it is time to work. So, I want everyone to repeat after me,
“School Starts When The Students Arrive, Not When The Adults Start Working”
Embrace this fact and start using the morning “wait” time for something productive. Here is an easy solution to implement.
1. Pick four locations in the building. It could be four quadrants in the cafeteria; or the gym, the library, a classroom, the auditorium; etc. You don’t need desks, students work on the floor all the time. In fact, an informal feel and tone is often more effective.
2. Have each area represent a content area; ELA, math, science, and social studies.
3. When students arrive, they go to the area where they need to finish their homework, or need to study.
4. Though most students self-select where they will go each day, have a check in system for students that are in danger of failing a class.
5. Let students work in groups if they want to, if fact, have some student tutors to assist.
6. Adults should circulate thru the room (as opposed to standing in clusters, talking to each other), to ensure that student conversations remain academic and to support and explain when necessary.
Now you have implemented a “School, Before School” program that works at any level of campus.
Think. Work. Achieve.
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