School starts tomorrow for us, and for the most part I'm ready. I was wondering, though, if any of you out there teach English on the block schedule? If you do, would you mind sharing with me how you break up the 90 minutes in your class? I appreciate the help.
Do you have block every day or just 2 days? In my student teaching we had block 2 days (1/2 my classes one day, the rest the next day). The kids went to the library to get new reading books. This school did Accelerated Reading program. Then they read their books. Then I had a fun activity/project/something planned. We acted out scenes from our story. Played a game. I tried to make it so that we got the most out of the block time by doing something we couldn't normally do in 50 minutes. I also didn't want them to dread the 90 minute period so much. Allowing them to read during this time was not my idea.
Not sure if this is your first tiem with blocks but remember block scheduling actually gives you less teaching time than standard 50 minute periods. So make the time count! Don't let too much of it waste away with silent reading or study time. Don't assign a large assignment to take up the whole time.
Thanks SashaBear. I do have my students every other day (A/B days). I also have to do this Gear UP thing with them called SRA's, which is a supplemental reading program. That needs to start during week 3. I think I've decided to do this:
Bell Ringer (5-10 minutes--depending on what it is)
Vocabulary/Spelling (15 minutes)
Lesson (Either literature focucs, ie. literary elements AND/OR grammar)(10 minutes of direct teach)
Practice (students practice what they just learned) (15 minutes)
Reading (break into groups, read as a class, or I read to them) (15 minutes)
Discussion of what we read (10 minutes)
Wrap Up (Discuss homework, assingments, announcements, etc.) (5 minutes)
Do you think that's a good framework and if something else comes up, I can be flexible?
I love block scheduling! It helps me get away from the traditional lessons and more into work that actually allows the students to discover and learn!
I typically start with some focused writing to quiet them down and help them get into "class mode." Then, I take a few minutes to teach or review something that they need to know, then we move into some sort of project.
The last 20 minutes of class are spent reviewing and reflecting, first as a class, then individually in their notebooks. After that, they clean up their area, collect their stuff, and get ready for dismissal.
You'll probably want to set time limits for activities during the first few weeks of school. After that, you'll develop a really good sense of time with the block, so you may want to allow yourself a little more freedom.