Our team met and discussed the value of expanded learning time (ELT). We all support and appreciate this valuable time. Lengthier classes allow lesson planning involving deeper thinking, where the students are using higher order thinking skills and demonstrating said skills in their writing. Furthermore, this higher level thinking and learning dovetails with the new PARC curriculum.

Another perk of ELT is the mere fact that the students are in a safe environment for a longer period of time during the day. Students are exposed to Project Based Learning (PBL )to enrich their time in school. Perhaps the most critical benefit of ELT for students is the extra interventions for those who struggle with mathematics and language arts.

For the teachers and staff ELT affords us several collaborative pluses. First, teams meet every other day to examine student data in math and reading, confer on student progress in other areas, meet with parents or meet for professional development opportunities. ELT has provided us with the time to have vertical team meetings across curricula, which enable us to more broadly plan and share. Finally, we now have peer visitations. These have both nurtured and fostered collegiality and given us a window into some best practices of our colleagues at the Salemwood School.

Grade 7 Team
Salemwood School

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This post is part of a 4 week blog series from teachers at The Salemwood School in Malden, Massachusetts. Learn more.