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Observations from Khan Academy coaches and classrooms

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Structuring classtime: How Suney does it

Last month, we had the pleasure of visiting the kids in Suney Park’s 6th grade classroom. Suney is in her 3rd year of using KA, and 15th year of teaching, and it’s wonderful to see how she’s been evolving her classroom all the while. 

Teachers are experts at developing routines for their students, and Suney has taken her latest evolution with Khan Academy in the way she uses classtime. In her latest evolution, she’s structured her classtime into a few blocks.

In the first 5 minutes, she goes over logistics and scheduling for the math class.

For the first 20 minutes, she has students focus JUST on mastery challenges. As she puts it, “This is time for you and your challenges. It should be quiet time for you to focus.”

For the main stretch of the class, students then practice the skills they need to focus on. Each unit, they have a list of skills they need to complete, and Suney uses recommendations to ensure students have a guided path. Students are grouped together based on what skills they are working on. Peer tutoring occurs during this time, while Suney is focused on specific students in a small group tutoring session to clarify misconceptions. 

For the last 10 minutes of class, students have reflection time. Some days, they answer questions reflecting on their learning in their journal by writing it down; other days, they discuss as a class to reflect on how they are learning. This is a great way to reinforce a collaborative learning culture, as well as encourage students to practice articulating their learning progress and challenges. 

Every time we visit Suney’s class, we learn something new. If you’d like to learn more about Suney’s class, check out the articles in this section of Coach Resources. 

Have a tip on how to structure classtime? Let us know!

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