The P Word: Pacing 

Featured Picture: This week’s featured picture is of Marietta, Georgia which is not only older than Atlanta but is also home to one of four physical GACHS centers. In order to learn about some of Marietta’s history, a must when you are in town is a visit to the Historic Trail of Tears.

Pacing and Edgenuity 

Your counselor talks about pacing, your mentor talks about pacing, your teachers talk about pacing, you have probably even heard me talk about pacing, but despite all the buzz you still may be unsure regarding what pacing is and how it affects you. 

Pacing is the term we use when we discuss where you are in your classes vs where you should be in your classes based off of the set end date for your course. There are three categories when it comes to pace: 

BEHIND PACE– You are behind pace when you have completed less work than that you should have completed at the current date 

ON PACE– You are on pace when you have completed the right amount of work relative to what is expected for the date 

AHEAD OF PACE You are ahead of pace when you have completed more work than what is expected of you by that date.  

The Breakdown 

For the majority of students, the end date for your course is the same June 2, 2017. Your pace is determined and starts on the date you were scheduled in courses. Each day your academic snapshot will tell you where you should be in the course based off of the current date. 

If you spend too little time in your courses you will fall behind, if you do exactly what is expected (this can be determined by either checking your assignment calendar or by keeping track of your course completion percentage) you will stay on pace, and if you do more than what is expected you will find yourself ahead of pace. 

Pacing and Book Clubs 

Have you heard of a book club? A book club is a group of people who select a book to read and meet, usually once a month, to discuss all or part of the book. The easiest way for me to break down pacing into a language that is easy to digest is to compare pacing to a book club.  

If you read your book too slowly you won’t finish your book at the same time as everyone else and may find yourself frustrated or feel left out of conversations about the book. 

If you stay on pace with the schedule your book club created you will read what you need to read but you may have something pop up where you suddenly can’t devote as much time to reading (an illness, a family emergency, etc.) and then you may find yourself behind and in a hole you can’t dig yourself out of. 

IF you get too far ahead of yourself and read your book too quickly you may not remember what you read by the time your book club meets :/ 

Think of pacing the same way. If you work through your classes too slowly and do not find a way to adjust your schedule you will more than likely not finish your course which will leave you frustrated. If you do as much work as is required to stay on pace you will be chipping away at your course but if something happens (your computer crashes or you find yourself sick) that causes you to miss some days you may find yourself behind in your courses and you will have to work extra hard to climb out of that hole. If you move too quickly through your courses when it is time to take the final exam or if applicable your milestone you may not remember any of the material you worked hard to finish.

What Should I do then? 

  • Talk it Out 

In order to get the most out of your GACHS experience the VERY FIRST thing you need to do is speak with your counselor either alone or with your parent or guardian and discuss your goals and expectations from your experience with GACHS. Being honest about what you hope to gain and what your limitations might be (such as working full-time) in regards to online work is extremely important to your future success. This will help your counselor come up with the best plan suitable for you and your particular needs.  

While you may not always understand or agree with what your counselor says or suggests it is important to remember that they ONLY have your best interest at heart.  

  • Get to work 

Once you and your counselor have had a discussion about the expectations of both parties and a realistic plan is put in place to help you earn credits, it is time to get to work. I would suggest staying a little bit ahead of pace in your classes in the event something pops up closer to the end of the semester. Just like my quote from last week’s blog post about Abe Lincoln spending the majority of the time he set aside to chop wood sharpening his ax instead of actually chopping wood, preparing for the unexpected is a crucial part of planning. 

Review time management strategies (some of my favorites were mentioned in last week’s blog) and determine what tool is best at keeping you on track. When it comes to working in your courses a set schedule tends to work best, but in the event your work is sporadic due to what you have going on in  your personal life, find a way to meet the minimum required hours to say on pace , an hour per day per course you are enrolled in (see the pacing math section for a numerical breakdown). This may mean using the weekend to get caught up but if you are dedicated to meeting your goals, sometimes sacrifices have to be made.  

  • Reach out 

If after trying to manage your time on your own you are still having trouble fitting school into your schedule ask for a pacing or progress plan. You can see an example of each underneath the descriptions listed below. 

                Pacing Plan– A plan that determines how many activities you must do each day during a five-day period in order to complete your course by a certain date. This plan is best for someone who needs to know how many activities  to do each day to finish their class by a specific date.  

                Progress Plan– A plan that breaks down the percentage in classes based on a semester schedule. This plan is best for the student who knows they cannot devote a whole lot of extra time to their schedule and is more visual. This plan lays out exactly how much progress you must make each day in a five-week period to complete your course by a set date (typically an entire semester). 

WOOT WOOT PACING MATH QUIZ 

Ready for some pacing math??!! Use the content above (hint: the formula to help you answer these questions can be found in the bullet point labeled get to work).

LEVEL 1 

Sally is enrolled in four courses. How many hours does she need to spend a day working in her courses? 

FOUR!!! 

4 courses times one 1 hour per course = 4 

Mike is enrolled in six courses. How many hours does he need to spend a day working in his courses? 

SIX!! 

6 courses times one hour per course=6 

LEVEL 2 

How many total hours A WEEK should Sally spend working in her courses? 

20 hours 

Four hours a day X 5 days a week = 20 hours 

What about Mike? 

30 

Six hours a day x 5 days a week=30 hours 

SO— IS THIS THE ONLY AMOUNT OF TIME Mike and Sally SHOULD DEVOTE TO THEIR STUDIES???

No, this is not the only amount of time they should devote; they should devote more to build themselves a bubble but if this is ABSOLUTELY all the time Sally and Mike can dedicate to their schoolwork they will at least maintain their pace.

How do school breaks factor into pacing?

The school calendar is set into Edgenuity at the beginning of the school year. So, the pacing of the course will not count weekends or school holidays against you. It is only counting the days GACHS requires you to attend school. The GOOD news?? That means if you use weekends and holidays and complete EXTRA lessons, you will move further ahead in your pace. Now, that is something to get excited about! 🙂

Sample Schedules

I AM IN THE PROCESS OF UPLOADING THE VIDEO THAT GOES ALONG WITH THIS SEGMENT- I WILL NOTIFY EVERYONE WHEN IT IS UPLOADED 🙂

Sally: Traditional Schedule (Sally devotes about six hours a day to her courses, three in the morning and three in the afternoon during the week).

Sally: Night job schedule (Sally works from 4:00-11:00 three or four days a week so she chips away at her classes in the morning after she wakes up and on the weekends)

Mike: Full-time job schedule (Mike works 9:00-5:00 Monday through Friday so he does his work after dinner during the work week and makes up whatever time he still needs on the weekend)

Mike: New Parent Schedule (Mike is a single parent with a two-month-old baby and the baby needs to be fed every 2-3 hours. Mike does an hour of work here or there when she sleeps but has to devote most of his time to caring for his newborn. He keeps track of the hours he puts in when he can and when he has family over to help out for a few hours on the weekend this is when he gets most of his work done)

Final Remarks

We can give you all the information, tools, and resources to be successful when it comes to pacing and your schoolwork but we can’t give you the willpower to get your work done on the days when you don’t feel like it. The days when you’re too tired from a busy shift at work, the days when you fail two tests and feel like giving up, the days when someone in your family says something to upset you, on those days you still need to find a way to log in and get your work done. If you don’t you have to make that time up or you will fall behind.

We are ALWAYS here to give you a word of encouragement and your counselors are available to listen if you need someone to vent to, but you have to put in the time to be successful and see yourself crossing the stage at the end of your high school career.

Tip of the week: Create an Affirmation 

An affirmation is a statement you write down and say over and over until it becomes true. The thought behind affirmations is that if you say something over and over again and open your mind to that thought becoming a reality you can actually make it happen. I played field hockey in college and on the first day of my senior season every player wrote down their affirmations as the goal or accomplishment they wanted to see themself meet that year.

170308032452.jpg
My Affirmation from my senior season

As you can see, I chose “I dodge every defender I come across and as a result, I score GOALS!” as my personal affirmation. In my mind I pictured myself dodging (which is a field hockey term for avoiding getting the ball stolen or blocked by a member of the opposite team) every defender I came across and going on to dribble down the field and score. My belief in my affirmation and my commitment to saying it over and over and visualizing it in my head before every game helped that vision become more than something written on paper! At the end of the season, I led the team in points and tied for the most goals scored :). More than that because I believed this affirmation could be true for me, I put 100% of my effort into every dodge I made around a defender and I gained confidence in my skills which helped me be the best player I could be that year, which since it was my senior season was the last time I set foot on a field as a NCAA college athlete.

An affirmation for your schoolwork doesn’t have to be complicated. your affirmation can be something as simple as “I will work in my classes for an hour each day” or “I will score an 80 on each final exam for all of my courses.” Once you create your mantra write it down and keep it somewhere where you can always see it. Begin each day reciting your mantra and picturing yourself making what you are saying happen. 

Sources:

Marietta history https://www.mariettaga.gov/1067/Mariettas-Rich-History

Featured picture http://www.marietta.com/wp-content/uploads/marietta-square-marietta-georgia.jpg

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