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Mifgashim Volume 8 Issue 87


Contents:

1.	Lookstein Podcast:  Deconstructing One’s Own Learning

2.	Professional Development Resource Archive at YU

3.	More on Female Orthodox Rabbis

4.	Marshall Memo:  Making Every Minute Count



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1.	Lookstein Podcast:  Deconstructing One’s Own Learning


In this week's "Classroom Teaching," Mark Smilowitz interviews Professor Stevie 
Bravmann. Mark and Stevie discuss an extremely important idea for teachers: how to 
deconstruct your own learning process in order to use that process to inform how you 
teach others.

This week's Classroom Teaching episode can be listened to at 
www.lookstein.org/podcasts/.


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2.	Professional Development Resource Archive at YU

Yeshiva University’s Azrieli School of Education has archived online several of this past 
year’s professional development seminars.

They can be found at
http://www.yu.edu/azrieli/schoolpartnership/index.aspx?id=32956
 
The program for the fall is coming out soon.
 

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3.	More on Female Orthodox Rabbis


Apropos the discussion on female Orthodox rabbis that took place on Mifgashim (see 
Volume 8 Issue 71), readers might enjoy an article on female Orthodox clergy.  

The article is written by Rabbi Michael Broyde and can be found at 
http://www.thejewishpress.com/pageroute.do/40150.


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4.	Marshall Memo: Making Every Minute Count

In his “President’s Message” in Reading Today, Tennessee education professor Richard 
Allington writes: “Nothing is quite so irksome to me as finding little sense of urgency in 
schools where many students struggle with learning to read. By urgency I mean a focus 
on ensuring all available instructional time is well used.” 

He cites four ways that some schools waste precious time:

• At the beginning of the day, too much time is used to get students settled in their 
classrooms, take attendance, collect lunch money, and listen to morning announcements. 
“Even 20 to 30 minutes after the beginning of the official instructional day,” writes 
Allington, “few students are yet engaged in productive academic work.” 

• Some teachers spend an inordinate amount of time on transitions and non-academic 
activities during the day (e.g., taking attendance, distributing materials, waiting to begin 
lessons, managing disruptions, snack time, cleaning up, and lining up). The variation 
among teachers is enormous: non-academic activities can take as little as 15 minutes and 
as much as two hours a day.

• Public address system announcements frequently interrupt instruction.

• At the end of the day, teachers have students begin packing up 15 to 20 minutes before 
dismissal time. 

Allington cites a study by Jodie Roth (Teachers College Record 2003) that found that an 
average of 2 hours and 10 minutes are spent on non-academic activities every day. The 
same study found shocking social-class disparities in the allocation of instructional time: 
affluent districts usually had longer school days (6½ or 7 hours) with an additional half 
hour of instructional time devoted to traditional academic subjects, as well as more time 
for art, music, and physical education. High-poverty and high-minority districts typically 
had a shorter school day (6 hours) with less academic learning time and fewer specialty 
subjects. 
	
The International Reading Association has launched an initiative on the use of school time, 
focusing on these questions:
-	Is reading instruction pushing other subjects out of the school day?

-	Why is the organization of the school instructional day so woefully inadequate in 
some schools?

-	 Why do some schools and classrooms make so much better use of the time 
available to offer academic instruction than others?

“It takes time to teach and time to learn,” concludes Allington. “To achieve the highest 
quality educational outcomes requires that we make every moment of the school day 
count.” 

“Urgency and Instructional Time” by Richard Allington in Reading Today, 
August/September 2005 (Vol. 23, #1, p. 17), no e-link available


The Marshall Memo is a weekly digest of important research in K-12 education. Individual 
subscriptions are $50 for the school year at http://www.marshallmemo.com.

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