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Lesson Plans


Block Schedules

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Emily L Atkinson (us030446)
Tue, 16 Apr 1996 21:08:08 -0500


I have only just recently graduated from college, and my first job
happens to be at a high school with modified block scheduling. My student
teaching experience was at a "regular" block schedule high school. Anyway,
here's what I think.
I MUCH prefer the modified block. (The difference here: Regular
block meets for an entire semester [Fall or Spring], with an A and B
schedule, about 90 minutes per class; Modified Block meets for one or two
semesters [four semesters a year, 2 in Fall, 2 in Spring], 90 minutes a
day. Both have four classes a day.)
Advantages:
1) At most you can have 3 preps
2) You get 90 minutes every day to conference, work on lesson
plans, and recuperate
3) You get 90 minutes in which to introduce a lesson,
demonstrate a technique, create art, and clean up!
4) When working with clay or other time-intensive media, you
can set-up, clean up, and still get a good hour in there to
create
5) Students actually get to take MORE electives than usual
6) Students have the option of graduating early
7) In our situation, this has meant that we can offer more
art
classes - Drawing, Ceramics, and Computer Art. Hopefully, we
can add a Sculpture class, and maybe another teacher to our
staff (we have 3 now). [This was in addition to Arts I-IV]
8) You only have to do report card every 9 weeks instead of 6
Disadvantages:
1) You have to make progress reports every 3 weeks
2) Sometimes 90 minutes seems like FOREVER
3) Some projects take a lot less time than you might think,
with the kids able to work for so long in one sitting. In my
case, this meant coming up with more ideas more quickly than I
had planned
4) You really can't do just one thing the whole period - the
natives get restless. You have to divide up the class with dif-
ferent activities, which you usually would have had more days to
alott to them, and therefore more time to plan.

With the regular block schedule, I was always confused as to what
day it was (A or B) after a holiday or long weekend. And 6 classes (with
possibly 6 preps for some people) was a little much (although I do realize
that that is what most high school teachers have to contend with.) Plus,
sometimes a class wouldn't meet for 4 days, (longer if there was a long
weekend), and they would forget what they were doing, or their clay would
dry out, or I couldn't remember what they were doing. You have to be very
organized! In my case now, since I float, I cannot imagine an A/B
schedule. I would be practically insane by this point, I am sure!

Anyway, probably more information than you wanted to know. As I
said, I just started teaching, and this is my first time writing to the
Artsednet chat line - so I may have been a bit long-winded. Hope I was of
some help.

Emily Atkinson
East Central High School
San Antonio, Texas

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  • Maybe reply: John Scott: "Re: Block Schedules"