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Old 02-09-2013, 12:31 PM
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lucybelle lucybelle is offline
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 1,765
When I went to high school we originally had the tradition schedule, 7 class days. Then we went to a half block/half traditional schedule where 4 classes were 90 min and were A/B days, and another 3 were 50 min. That was weird.

As a student I much prefer 50 min classes. It's hard for me to keep focused for longer than 30 min. As a teacher I like 90 min classes. I feel like I can get so much more done, and since I know 90 min is a long time I plan lots of stuff, change activities frequently, move around, etc. I never spend longer than 20 minutes on one activity.
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Old 02-09-2013, 12:40 PM
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MrsC MrsC is offline
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 11,392
Ontario, Canada
Grade 7
Originally Posted by JustMe View Post
We had four classes for the first semester and four the second....
This is how the high schools in my district are scheduled.
It does not matter how slowly you go so long as you do not stop

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Old 02-10-2013, 01:19 AM
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Ron6103 Ron6103 is offline
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 877
High School Social Studies
I have taught on both. We started with a rotating A/B block schedule with roughly 90 minute periods. We then transitioned to a traditional schedule with 45 minute periods.

For my content area (history) I felt that the traditional schedule was MUCH better. The kids simply didn't have the attention span for the block period, and I found myself covering far less content. Some classes would only meet twice a week, so I would get 180 minutes with those kids. Under the traditional, I get 225 minutes with ALL kids. And better still, that time is spread out over the week so their attention is better, and the content is repeated, thus helping with retention.

I am a HUGE fan of the traditional schedule, and would never like to go back to the block. Granted, the 90 minute prep period was nice, but the traditional schedule is better for the kids.
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Old 02-10-2013, 06:35 AM
2ndTimeAround 2ndTimeAround is offline
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 3,664
I love block scheduling. I like the semester system and I like only having three classes each day.

When we first went to block schedules I hated the idea. But I wasn't a teacher then
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Old 02-10-2013, 08:27 AM
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dgpiaffeteach dgpiaffeteach is offline
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 2,916
Middle/High School English
You get more time each period with the students. I feel like we just get going now and then it's time to leave.
With some schedules, the kids have fewer classes so they keep up better and do better. That makes our lives easier.
I was able to do more projects.
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Old 02-10-2013, 11:56 AM
HeatherY HeatherY is offline
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 794
Substitute Teacher
The school I work at (sub) has block scheduling. They call it A day and B day. On A day they have four classes and on B day the fourth class is a homeroom/study time. The teachers have one prep every day. This schedule works really well. During the homeroom period, the students are to silent read or silent work for the first 30 minutes, then they can go to other classrooms to get help from teachers on their assignments. Very few students have to do homework at home and have great access to help with this schedule. It can feel very long, but I think once you get used to it, it is actually really nice because you have lots more time for a really good lesson. Also, the homeroom class is useful to do activities like pep rallies, school photos, assemblies, etc... without losing instructional time.
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Old 02-10-2013, 01:06 PM
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Caesar753 Caesar753 is offline
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 12,300
As for the argument about amount of instructional time on the block schedule versus the traditional schedule:

Let's say that your school year is 180 days.

Rotating A/B block:
90 minute periods
Meet every other day, so 90 days
90 minutes x 90 days = 8100 minutes = 135 hours

Traditional schedule:
50 minute periods
Meet every day, so 180 days
50 minutes x 180 days = 9000 minutes = 150 hours

If my math is correct, students will get more instructional time on a traditional schedule.
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Old 02-10-2013, 01:32 PM
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dgpiaffeteach dgpiaffeteach is offline
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 2,916
Middle/High School English
For us, our periods are only 43 minutes so we would gain a few hours if we switched to a block schedule. However, even if we didn't, I find that the block schedule wastes less time. You don't spend as much time settling down, getting started, doing housekeeping tasks, etc...

Our school does a mix of block and regular. For example, CP English 12 is an all year course, 43 minutes per day. However, Algebra II is a semester course, 89 minutes per day. I know our science teachers would love to have block scheduling so they could do longer labs.
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Old 02-10-2013, 09:14 PM
TeacherAnon TeacherAnon is offline
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 12
High School Teacher
As a protech teacher block schedules are THE BEST thing that we get. Frankly it adds up to 20 minutes to class because the 10 minute set up and 10 minute breakdown only happen once every 92 minutes instead of once every 50.

Love it. Wouldn't change it for money.
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Old 02-11-2013, 06:56 AM
tchr4evr tchr4evr is offline
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 248
High School Teacher
I like block

We have block here. I like it. If you have a class that you absolutley can't stand, you know you only have to deal with them every other day. I get much more covered in 90 minutes. I teach 3 classes a day, and get a prep every other day, and a duty every other day. My duty is a study hall- so it's an extra planning for me.

I've also taught 4X4. As an arts teacher, it was terrible. Electives were staggered, so sometimes, it was difficult for kids to enroll in classes. Also, I spent more money on supplies--I had to buy them twice a year instead of once. Field trips suck too, one group gets to go, but if it's not available the second or first semester, they can't. I also feel I don't get to know my students as well--I finally get really comfortable with them, and they're gone.

I've also taught traditional, which I didn't mind, the periods were too short though.

College is every other day, 2 to 3 hour classes, so I think block is more realistic for what they need to be prepared for.
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block, bock, regular, scedules

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