Thursday, August 20, 2009

Extending the day and CAM Reads

A direct relationship has been established between the school day being extended and the high school implementing a free reading period CAM Reads. A negative vibe from the kids indicating they blame the extra time in school CAM Reads.

Though I can see where that thinking has come from, it's inaccurate. As a Principal I'll admit that the change in the school time should have been brought up in the newsletter and at registration. Along with simply putting the schedule in, and explanation of where and why we are implementing CAM Reads and what we were also considering.

There has been considerable discussion about the school day since it was shortened from 3:30 to 3:00 when our whole-grade sharing situation first began. This past spring we decided to give it a look and with the blessing of both transportation departments we decided to put the instructional time back into the school day.

After that decision was made we looked at just adding the time back into the block, pull-out and homeroom options, several initiatives in reading and math among other things. We received very good information about "Reading Volume" and the amount students can and should read each year. We decided on establishing a free reading period between blocks 3&4 and 7&8 (and after lunch on Wednesday) and titled it "CAM Reads".

I will post more about CAM Reads in the future, but I will say it is the first step for this district to improve our student's ability to read and comprehend but giving them a no-pressure, low impact reading period where they will simply have to discuss their book with a partner or the class. If they simply participate and fill out their log sheets they will get an elective credit.

As I told one student, we could have simply divided the time up to the four classes each day or put them through some repetitious test-prep drill work.

CAM Reads is a great option.

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