Five-Week Content Cycles
Offering content and classes in five-week cycles can provide many benefits -- especially in the COVID context.
In combination with Teaching Partners, Short Cycle offers natural pivot points for switching up roles.
In this uncharted territory when new methods are employed, Short Cycle supports ritualized reflection and continuous improvement practices throughout the year.
Planning for shorter blocks of instruction can be more manageable for teachers.
Short Cycle can also improve student engagement with more concentrated content, fewer simultaneous subjects, and more opportunities for Specials throughout the year (students can select a new Special each five-week rotation rather than one per year or semester).
Short Cycle eases transitions to different models (home-based and hybrid).
Cycle through five-week project cycles. Teachers who are partnering can take turns leading and supporting.
Offer a rotating schedule of subject areas. For core subjects, it could be an adaptation of the A/B schedules just different order with one subjects offered sequentially -- one at a time. Specials offerings and choices can change more frequently, which can support increased student engagement and help ensure diverse learners do not miss out on Specials. Brain research supports benefits of focusing on fewer subjects simultaneously.
If students get a "fresh start" every five weeks, they may be less inclined to "give up" on the whole year if they fall behind. Opportunities to retake a Short Cycle can address missed material.
Creating engaging experiences in this new reality can be challenging. Navigating this completely new reality can be exhausting. Now, more than ever student engagement and teacher support are critical.
Short Cycle + Teacher Partnering can provide natural pivot points for teachers to switch roles and recharge.