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Quarter per Quarter!
When you completed the form in “Where I Will Learn,” you must've figured out that you're in school for less that 15% of your time each year and meet face-to-face with your teacher to study a subject for less that 1.8% of the available time each year.

Following your brilliant response, as measured by your performance and understanding of important scientific concepts through monetary monitoring in my classes, I am going to explain the 1.8% in terms of our fake money monitoring.

The distinguished professor from CUNY, Zimmerman (2001), observed that students really have only 56% of their scheduled classroom time for learning in schools. Using this 56% factor, 56% of $0.45 (45 cents) is $0.25 (25 cents). This means, literally your teacher and you (along with your peers) have only 1 quarter (25 cents) per quarter (9 weeks in a typical school year) to learn any one subject per year.

Just so you don't forget, you should recall there are ~ 27 other students in your class – the same as you – trying to learn the same subject from one teacher in your classroom!

So the answer to the question, when should I participate, we should clearly find effective ways for you to learn during and outside school hours – for instance, several of you have been using the online discussion boards in our class website to continue working on your homework and thereby increase your meaningful participation in class.

Besides, instead of dividing up our limited resources, we need to actively find ways for us collaborate and maximize our resources. For instance, what might happen if we combined our quarters (using the money analogy). Then we would have $7.25 for us learning together, instead of struggling with 1/29 of a $0.25 or eight 1/1000th of a dollar (assuming there is 1 teacher for 28 students in a classroom)! This $7.25 classroom, where everyone learns collaboratively, is the learning community we want to model and use in my classroom.

YOU & I are jointly responsible for EVERYONE LEARNING. Can we agree now that in our learning communy, everyone share's the conviction that our collective knowledge of the world is enriched only when both, individuals and the different members within our group, share our expertise? This is SYNERGY - whole greater than the sum of its parts - possible through building LEARNING COMMUNITIES.



© Nathan Balasubramanian nathan.bala@bvsd.org Last Updated: May 10, 2006

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