Unit 6: Does not meet College Board Time Requirements


#1

Folks,

From my understanding, Unit 6 Needs 7-8 Weeks, not 4 Weeks to Satisfy College Board Requirements. Here is why:

Teacher must provide full 60-minute hours (8 for Explore, 12 for Create), so, assuming a typical class is 50 minutes, 4 days a week, and 40 minutes 1 day a week (it is so in Chicago Public Schools, not sure about elsewhere) we have 4 hours per week.

So Explore needs a full 2 weeks, and create needs a full 3 weeks. If you add at least 1 week for preparation to each (a minimum of 2 weeks), then you must allocate a full 7 weeks (if not 8, to account for any missing days) for unit 6.

That is 8 weeks, and not 4 weeks, which throws off the syllabus.

Please advise.


#2

Hey Smadar,

No doubt there’s a hefty time commitment involved in doing these performance tasks. I know from your other post that you’re a little tight on time. Some teachers have dealt with this by offering time before or after school to work on PTs. You also do not necessarily need to provide all of the time in a single contiguous chunk which may provide you more flexibility in scheduling.

I’d also encourage you to use the practice PTs in the curriculum as the preparation for the actual PTs, rather than dedicating separate time. These projects are designed to reflect the types of skills students will need to use on the performance tasks, sometimes taking the exact language students will see in the prompts from the performance tasks. I would be very explicit about this fact with students, perhaps spending some time now reviewing the actual PT and then reviewing when they see those questions or skills asked for within the units or on practice PTs.

Undoubtedly there’s time pressures here. I’m hoping other teachers weigh in with their thoughts but in either case let us know if and how we can help.

Cheers,
GT


#3

@sbergman

I think the curriculum was designed for longer class periods (60 mins) that meet 5 days a week. To get to the magic number, I will need ~25 class periods of 47 mins each. The works out to just over 6 weeks of time. I did not separate out the prep time for a whole week. I plan to embed those objectives as we go especially while completing practice PTs. All that to get to – yes, it is more than 4 weeks. It will vary from district to district and school to school. My advice is to make sure you provide at least the minimum number of hours of class time for the PTs.

BTW, I think we teachers get more overwhelmed than the students about these issues. I have had students get great scores on the Java exam without ever finishing the curriculum. I am getting better every year and I think I might actually be close in my 3rd year. This is the first go around for all involved. If we focus on the big ideas, the thinking practices and on providing opportunities to communicate understanding and application of them, I think we will have prepared them well.

Andrea