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  #1  
Old 08-17-2008, 04:35 PM
villageteacher villageteacher is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 23
New Mexico
6-8 English/LA
90 minute block scheduling

Hi Folks,
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.
Alhana
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  #2  
Old 08-18-2008, 10:22 AM
SashaBear SashaBear is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 151
High School Teacher
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.
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  #3  
Old 08-18-2008, 10:24 AM
SashaBear SashaBear is offline
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High School Teacher
Wanted to add that the librarian HATED block days because too many of the teachers did not know what to do with the students so some of them would be sent there for busy work.
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  #4  
Old 08-21-2008, 04:06 PM
villageteacher villageteacher is offline
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New Mexico
6-8 English/LA
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?
Thanks!
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  #5  
Old 08-21-2008, 05:41 PM
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nothermanda nothermanda is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 170
California
Middle School Teacher
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.

Good luck!
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  #6  
Old 08-23-2008, 07:35 AM
smilingteacher smilingteacher is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 63
Penn Valley, CA
I have 90 minutes with my students every day. I like the break down. I give them something new every 15 minutes.
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