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Strategy: Rotation time allocation

Using research and judgment to determine developmentally-appropriate time on task for students

Context

Roots is highly intentional about how their students spend their time, and also realizes that early learners may need less time on any given task than students in older grade levels. Given this, student rotations for K-1 graders generally last 12-15 minutes. This time-frame set is suggested by the book Brain Rules, a research-based book on brain function by John Medina. According to Medina, student retention drops significantly after 15 minutes, so Roots views it as important to provide students with a variety of learning opportunities throughout the day, usually in increments of 15 minutes or less.

Approximately 25% of a student’s total learning time throughout the day is spent on software, though this number varies somewhat based on individual need. Since research is sparse on the ideal amount of time for students to spend on instructional software, this number is driven primarily by the availability of quality content and Roots’ own observations of student engagement, learning progress, and behavior.

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