Louise, I love block scheduling. If you think about it, the 6th graders come
from a classroom so they are already used to the larger time block in one
room. I split up the 90 min. I start with a sketch or critical thinking
activity, that they do this with no talking for 15 min. Next, we go into
review or introducing a unit, then they work or do activities in groups or
pairs. They clean-up and review the last 10 min. The 90 min. goes fast. We
get more in-depth. Some teachers said they did not get quite as far in
their curriculum. I just integrated more and end up covering more. Most kids
have two notebooks and backpacks, one for their gold day and one for the
black day. The kids seem to have adjusted. We were told about going block 3
months before we did and were cranky about it, now most of the kids, parents
and teachers like it. The main problem I have with it is the kids with
attention deficit. We try to work with them more and I have a time out area
in my room I use for students who get distracted. The kids like having
homework for only 4 classes a night. My husband and I are thinking of
looking for teaching jobs elsewhere next year, due to other things going on
here and I would hate to go back to a 7 or 8 period day. If you hear of
anyone looking for high school math or secondary art give us a call. chow.
From: LOUISE HARVILLA [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Wednesday, September 05, 2001 1:27 PM
To: ArtsEdNet Talk
Subject: Re: plan time
My district was toying with the idea of going to block schedule.
the school board president did research, it was voted out, or at least
post-poned. The HS teachers were freaking out- you know how change can
be upsetting! I thought a block schedule would be rough for MS- is it
difficult to keep the students on task for that length of time? Were the
kids mature enough to handle that length of time and remain focused?
What are your thoughts? Advantages? Disadvantages?