This post is part of a 4 week blog series from teachers at The Salemwood School in Malden, Massachusetts. Learn more.
Having expanded learning time (ELT) has given us the opportunity to teach on a much deeper level. In the days prior to ELT, we had almost every “tool” necessary for teaching our most neediest of students (materials, wonderful new curriculum, dedicated teachers who were always willing to go the “extra mile” to help our students achieve academic success) but we were missing one key characteristic of successful teaching: TIME. ELT provides us with the crucial minutes that we so desperately need to help close the achievement gap.
Our core subjects are now taught with rigorous lesson planning that allows us to truly meet all students’ needs. ELT also provides us opportunities for enrichment, such as our Project Based Learning (PBL) with classes held every-other week. These challenging, but engaging courses brings differing grade levels together to work around an important essential question, and use higher order thinking skills to strategize and solve the problem in unique settings and circumstances. ELT has dramatically changed the way teachers are able to collaborate and come together as a school throughout use of common planning time, as well as peer visitations. We could not be making the gains that we are without ELT support!
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