Discussion in 'High School' started by ku_alum, Mar 31, 2009.
How long are your class periods? Is the time too long, too short or just right?
Well, since you asked.....
On a "normal" day, they're 38 minutes.
On a "homeroom meeting" day, they're 36 minutes. These rarely come up, but they're convenient for days when snowy roads make it hard to get everyone to school by the time homeroom ends at 8:30. It buys us another 18 minutes to get everyone settled.
On an "AM Assembly" (like today) or "PM Assembly" they're 32 minutes. We use those schedules for things like guidance assemblies or Homeroom Door Decorating at Christmas (and de-decorating in January)
On "Mass Assembly" or "Extended PM Assembly" days, classes are 28 minutes. We use them, obviously, for mass once a month, but also for things like Pep Rallies.
38 minutes is perfect. But those 28 minute periods simply fly by!!
We have 55-minute periods, and after five years at the high school, I can pretty much nail it so that I fill the period, so I guess they're just right.
We've been talking about scheduling in one of my grad classes, and research shows that student achievement goes up overall in schools with an A/B block schedule. I find that very intriguing - I'd like to try it some day. Actually, because I think my seniors need a lot more time to read and write in class, next fall I'm going to teach as if I had two separate courses - Brit lit and composition and rhetoric - that I'll teach on alternating days, similar to a college schedule. We'll see how that works out!
Our class periods are 70 minutes. Seventy minutes is perfect for a psychology lecture in my opinion. It is also nice on some days to have a shorter lecture and a group activity or class discussion. For music class, 70 minutes goes by too quickly. By the time the students set up their instruments, run through warm up, and get in a musical groove, half the period is over. And then I have to give them a good five to ten minutes to pack up. For my more advanced Jazz Ensemble and Orchestra classes, I try to put in a request to have them during the last block of the day so that I can keep them an extra thirty minutes after school. I make a deal with my students that I will give them study hall on some days in exchange for these extended rehearsal periods.
My classes are about an hour. On the "schedule" they are 70 minutes, but by the time you carve out a little recess and locker breaks its an hour. I like it, but then I've worked 45 minutes, an hour, 90 minutes and next year we'll have 1 15 classes daily and most days I still don't feel like I have as much time as I want.
A expands to fill B
Geesh, Alice - You could fit two of your periods inside one of mine - how many classes do you teach per day?
We have a block schedule. Our classes are 80 minutes. I like it because of the subject I teach. I teach a foods class and on lab days it makes it great. We don't have to rush around like crazy to do all the steps from prep through clean up. On non-lab days it can sometimes feel a bit long, but I try to vary what we do throughout the block so that it stays interesting.
Our classes are 63 minutes long. We have a rotating schedule and drop a class everyday. Today we had D-E-F-G-A-B and dropped C. Tomorrow will be C-D-E-F-G-A and B will drop out. I like it because I see kids at different times of the day and 63 minutes is just perfect for doing a lab. Most teachers teach 5 classes sothey get 2 hours off most days but at least 1 hour off everyday. I teach 6 classes so every 7th day I do not get a planning period during the school day so that makes it hard.
Last year we had a 4 by 4 block. I liked the schedule, but it didn't give much flexebility to students. In this schedule we had 84 minute clases. This year we have 5 55 minute periods (and 1 65 minute period) and I think it is too short, next year we will be moving to 68 minute periods which I think will be PERFECT.
That sounds confusing to me! Do the students manage to keep up with the classes they have that day? Do you often get "I thought we didn't have this class today!" excuses?
A typical math teacher would teach 5 periods per day, plus homeroom and a duty (study hall, cafeteria duty....) We have one Prep period, lunch, and one "on call" period a day, where we sub for any teacher who is out.
Because one of my preps is SAT Math, my schedule varies from day to day. Throw in the fact that my slow class has a double period (back to back) every other day.
They are used to it. We watched the 8th and 9th graders the 1st couple of weeks to make sure that they were in the correct place.
That's good! I, personally, am such a creature of habit that if I had to have the same students at all different times of day, I would never be able to remember who any of them are. :lol: Kind of like Muttling's post on spatial name-learning.
Despite my own limitations, I can definitely see the benefit of having all of the kids at some point at "ideal" times. Then your post-lunch crowd isn't always sleepy and your end-of-the-day class isn't always staring out the window for the last 30 minutes of class.
Edited: That sounds kind of confusing... I meant, you don't always have the same kids in the sleepy after lunch class or the distracted last class.
Anne -- I like the idea of rotating the class periods to all times of the day so that students' grades don't reflect how sleepy or antsy they're feeling.
The rotating of the classes works out very well for getting to see kids perform at different times of the day. I have also tried (as much as I can) to give tests when they (as a class) are performing better.
We are on a block schedule, with A and B days, containing approximately 85 minute periods. I taught on a 8 period day last year, and on the block now.....
Going from one to the other, frankly, I dislike my schedule. I find myself covering less material, because I see the kids for less time overall. Plus, for 14 year olds (I mostly teach freshman) I feel that 85 minutes is simply too long. And while I do vary activities and NEVER lecture for a whole period, I still find that I lose more kids, more often, to "la la land" than I did before.
Plus, with holidays or snow days, I may see my kids for a class only once a week... or have huge breaks in between sessions. I find that to be a serious negative for younger kids. And best yet... according to our administration, since adopting the block almost 10 years ago, there has been NO INCREASE in test scores.
So my general thoughts on it thus far are: bleh.
We have 7 periods. All are approximately 55ish minutes long except 4th period, which is the lunch period. It lasts roughly 2 hrs and 30 minutes, give or take 5 minutes here and there. We have 5 lunches that begin when the bell rings to switch from 3rd -4th and rings every 15 minutes-we get 30 minutes for lunch. I like my set up because I get the students for 30 minutes, then 30 min lunch, and they come back for the final 30 minutes. Sometimes that period can seem very very long..other times it goes by fast. I've experienced block scheduling before at another school, it has its pros/cons. I know my school now tried it and it didn't work-not really sure why.
I hated teaching on a block schedule. I taught for 1 year on a 4 x 4 block and I agree that I covered so much less material.
We're on the block schedule and it's the worst. It's also contrary to most educational philosophy and the 15-minute-attention-span (down to 8, now). It wasn't for any academic reason that our district went to it, either. With the 7-period day, they were getting 5 classes out of us (one off for lunch and one for prep). With 4 blocks each semester, they get six classes out of us and reduce our lunch and prep time to 27 minutes, each.
We've got 95 minute blocks. I like it, but it's really all I know since my high school was on block and this is my first teaching job. I honestly don't know how teachers with more classes keep up with grading, etc. I have 3 classes and struggle to keep it all together.
My classes are 80 minutes long. I like it. Last year I taught an 8 period day (40 minutes apiece). Surprisingly, I find it easier to plan for 80 minutes than I did trying to plan for 40.
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