Block period or regular period?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by teacherguy111, Apr 3, 2014.

  1. teacherguy111

    teacherguy111 Cohort

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    What period length do you guys have? I have 1.5 hour periods in middle school. My wife has 48 minute classes at the freshmen level.

    I think I would prefer regular length periods like my wife. I could keep the kids attention for longer, and they get little breaks by moving from room to room. I also find it hard to plan for such long periods also.
     
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  3. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

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    Semester courses are 95 minutes long and year long courses are 45 minutes long.

    I hate the 95 minutes and would much prefer to teach six 45 minute periods each day.
     
  4. ms.irene

    ms.irene Connoisseur

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    I teach with 60-minute periods Monday, Tuesday, Friday, and then 2-hour blocks Wed-Thurs. The two hour blocks are fine with the classes where I can include projects, games, technology, etc. Two hours is just way too long for the ELD reading classes I teach -- it is just too long and the program I'm teaching doesn't allow a lot of flexibility to mix things up. Those are long periods...

    I think as far as a preference, I would say I like having a blend of both, which allows for frequent review of content but also provides time for longer projects. 2 hours is just too long! Luckily we will be going to a different schedule next year with shorter blocks.
     
  5. CindyBlue

    CindyBlue Cohort

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    I have taught in both block and "regular" and I much prefer "regular" (6 or 7 periods a day and 50 minutes per period.) There is no doubt that my kids learned more and learned it better. When my school was first considering moving from "regular" to block, I talked to many teachers in schools that were already on the block system to find out how they felt about it. I was told multiple times that if a school switches to block, teachers will never want to switch back, because the "regular" schedule is harder on the teachers - but also that the "regular" schedule was more effective for teaching and learning. I have found this to be true. Even though it is more work for me, I would definitely like to switch back to a "regular" schedule!
     
  6. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    I've taught on block for nearly all of my teaching career (20+ years), and I love it. Having 85 minutes allows me to easily go through the entire "lesson cycle" nearly everyday and my kids can write, revise and edit right with me beside them. Providing immediate feedback is so much easier with a longer period. Plus having only 4 classes a day makes handling paperwork and grades much more manageable.
     
  7. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    I've taught both. I prefer the blocks. It's easier to get everything in!
     
  8. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    I've only taught blocks. I have no desire to teach shorter periods. I haven't had any real problems keeping kids on task for 90 minutes.
     
  9. GTB4GT

    GTB4GT Cohort

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    Our school was on 7 periods (about 48 minutes each) until this year when we went to block (4 periods of about 95 minutes). I think I like the block schedule for two or three reasons.

    First of all, the day doesn't seem as 'rushed" to me. In a 48 minute class it's nonstop from bell to bell. On the block schedule, the pace doesn't seem as frantic. more time to interact with the kids. (Plus the kids have more time to do work and seek help.) Secondly, it's a nice break for the students and teachers to see each other on an every other day basis. Keeps things a little 'fresher" for all parties. More variety/stimulation each day for me as a teacher.

    Don't know how it affects the kids learning yet (not enough data) but pacing wise, I'm just about exactly where I was on the old schedule. I have to vote for the block schedule.
     
  10. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    Our block scheduling doesn't rotate. We have semester long classes. I would hate having A and B days.
     
  11. mr_post22

    mr_post22 Companion

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    We have eight 50 minute classes Tuesday - Friday and eight 39 minute classes on Monday (early release). Everyday we have 6 minute passing periods.
     
  12. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    how much planning time do you get with 8 classes?
     
  13. ku_alum

    ku_alum Aficionado

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    I teach 7 46-minute classes. It is a sprint all day long. I think I'd like longer class periods for writing instruction (writer's workshop) and more collaborative time with reading.

    I do writer's workshop and students do collaborate with reading ... but I wish I had more time.
     
  14. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

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    When I taught MS it was A Day/B Day and it was a nightmare.
     
  15. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    I have six 44 minute classes now. I get 44 minutes of plan per day.
     
  16. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    Let's see...students have shorter attention spans and we want to make their classes longer????

    I think 50-60 minute classes are long enough.
     
  17. Proud2BATeacher

    Proud2BATeacher Phenom

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    This seems like an awfully long day!:eek: What is your school's hours?
     
  18. joeschmoe

    joeschmoe Companion

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    I think block schedules work for certain subjects and can have diminishing returns for others. In science, block schedules are perfect for lab days. But for lecture days? Forget about it.
     
  19. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

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    Exactly. After about an hour, the kids are done - they're over me and I'm over them for that day. After 60 minutes, those last 30 minutes are pure torture, IMO.
     
  20. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    I never had a problem because I basically taught two classes. We would do reading work and then writing/grammar/vocabulary. I haven't noticed a difference in attention spans between the two schools I've worked at. As a teacher, you need to be prepared with different activities, but I switch it up every 20 minutes or so anyway.
     
  21. GTB4GT

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    that is what we went to this year and most of us seem to favor this over the previous 7 period schedule because of the variety it adds (for both teachers and students).Can you elaborate on why you thought it was a "nightmare"?

    I agree with the poster above...I think the longer periods lend themselves well to certain subjects over others. math is one of them. I like the idea that the kids have more class time to work problems on their own. On the old schedule, we usually got through the lesson and then only to the "I do -we do" portion of the work. the individual work was mostly done outside of class (or ignored). Now the kids can get time to start their individual work and get help if needed. I have way fewer missing assignments because of this. (Of course this advantage would still exist if we were on on "traditional" block schedule where you had kids for only half a year on a daily basis).
     
  22. teacherguy111

    teacherguy111 Cohort

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    Ours do not rotate a and b days either. We have all the classes each day. I have no prep period which is really hard. Then I have staff meeting once a week, we have to do an after school club once a week, and we have to have 'office hours' once a week. That leaves me two days after school to plan for 1.5 hour classes.
     

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