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Lesson Plans

Re: Block Scheduling

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
croberts (b2w6w4kn)
Mon, 15 Jun 1998 07:57:14 -0400

>Hi. My name is Paul. I teach 7-12 Art in a district of about 1,000
>students. We art currently on an 8 period day during which I teach 7
>sections of Art. The 7th and 8th grade classes are divided into four
>groups that meet for 9wks. each as exploritory classes. The high school
>offerings include Art I, II, III, and IV. We do a very good job of
>providing students with a solid foundation in the visual arts, offering
>everything from the basics to computer technology and philosophy.
>Recently, the administration and school board have been pushing for a 4X4
>block schedule.
I teach middle school, and this past year, we went to block scheduling.
Prior to this, I had 2 classes each of 6th, 7th, and 8th graders. Sixth
grade art is an exploratory class, and they have no choices as to what they
take...they take each directed studies class (art, music, Spanish, etc.) for
9 weeks and rotate. So they were not included in the block scheduling.
Their classes are back to back and this worked out. Our 7th and 8th graders
do get to select the classes they are interested in.

Our 7th and 8th graders went to the block (90 minutes) and we saw them every
other day for a semester. All of their other classes were already on block
prior to this year, but they meet daily. At first, there were only one or
two of the directed studies teachers who were in favor of trying this, but
MOST of them ended up liking this schedule better. Spanish teacher felt his
students should have it daily, rather than every other day, but he did like
the 90-minute block...said he could get way more accomplished. The PE
teachers did not like having the students for 90 minutes....felt that it was
too long a period for the students.

In art, I always find that the students work better the first day of a
continuing lesson. Their motivation is higher that first day. We were
able to get more work done and the quality was much better. It was MUCH
less tiring for me this year. In my classes prior to the block, I felt
that all I was doing was "giving out instructions, passing out supplies,
cleaning up, and getting ready to start over" again. The students never
felt that they had enough time to even get started the first day. This was
occurring over and over, 6 times a day.

Many of the lessons could be started and completed in one block...and this
was good.

Now, I have the time to really teach the lesson and they have the time to do
more work. Also, this year, I have put my lesson
introductions/instructions/examples/relevant artist's works on the computer,
using Power Point and they are fed into a large screen TV for all the
students to be able to see. On the next class, I can just start this
running in a loop for those who were absent on the prior class.

My classes have been much smoother this year, work has been better, and it's
been better for me. I've not been so tired, so I've been more motivated.

Carolyn Roberts