Nora, Three years ago, our school went from 7 periods a day to block scheduling. We now run 4 classes, 90 min. blocks a day. Every other day you have the same schedule. I personally love it, I get more taught. Our test scores have risen also. The kids can be productive for 90 minutes. Even my ADHD are no better or worse then before. It is all how you teach. We do 2 to 3 activities a class, some involve rotating to stations. We read, we discuss, we write, we create. Our 6th grade get 9 weeks per exploratory, our 7th and 8th currently get a semester of exploratory. At 8th they do get to pick which ones they want. I do not know what will happen next year to the schedule, With No Child Left Behind, they want to cut 7th to a 12 week rotation. I'm fighting it, by showing how we exploratory teach other core content standards and the research on how the arts raise core class score. They want to add another block of reading/math. I say great, use the study hall period, only a small % use it properly, mainly the smart
kids, who do not need more math and reading. Enough of my rattling. We grumbled for a while about block but we all love it now. Beware though, the way we did it we reduced 6 teachers going to it and class sizes went up a bit. My 2 cents worth.
From: FRANCIS REDFERN [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Saturday, March 22, 2003 6:05 AM
To: ArtsEdNet Talk
Subject: middle school instructional time
I know this subject has been discussed, but I could not find relevant
posts in the archive. So, bear with me....
My prinicpal is asking us to check out other school's scheduling of
instructional time. Presumably to improve our performance but we are
also facing budget cuts and staff cuts, as many districts are.
We currently are on an 8 period day, each period 45 minutes long. WE are
considering a 7 period day, various block schedules etc.
Does anyone out there have a schedule that seems to suit most needs?