Block Scheduling--good or bad?

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by Matt633, Feb 18, 2008.

  1. Matt633

    Matt633 Comrade

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    Feb 18, 2008

    Our school is faced with having a class with only 5 students. So my new admin. has come up with the idea of 3 teachers teaching by subject. The grades are 2, 3/4 and 5th. One teacher will teach Language arts, I am slated for teaching Math and Bible and the other teacher will teach Science and Social Studies. Tell me your experiences...good and bad.
     
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  3. cheeryteacher

    cheeryteacher Enthusiast

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    Feb 18, 2008

    I think they are a bit young for block scheduling. You have 5 kids total for grades 2-5?
     
  4. Matt633

    Matt633 Comrade

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    Feb 18, 2008

    Sorry, no we have 20 second graders, 5 third graders, 16 fourth graders and 10 fifth graders. We are combining 3/4. We will have each group for almost two hours. We are thinking it is do able because we are a great team and work well together, we will plan together etc. I just wanted ideas what the pitfalls may be.
     
  5. purplecrazy21

    purplecrazy21 Comrade

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    Feb 18, 2008

    I think block scheduling sounds like a little too much for these age levels too.
    That being said, when I taught third grade, during my first year, my partner teacher and I switched our classes for SS and SCI. We loved it, the kids loved it, and the parents loved it! It was less planning for us and the kids got to change environments for a little while. I would definitely consider departmentalizing, but not on a block schedule.
     
  6. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Feb 19, 2008

    Block scheduling sounds like a bit much for such young students. Your school only has 5 3rd grade students? What was the number when they were in 2nd grade? Could they go to another school in the district for the year?

    purplecrazy, that's how the school where I did my ST did 3rd grade. They had partner teachers. One teaching ELA/Reading and the other teaching Math/Sci/SS. The kids really enjoyed it! I remember doing the same thing when I went to school there too.
     
  7. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Feb 19, 2008

    I'll go ahead and add in my :2cents: and say that I think block scheduling would be tough for little ones. Heck, it's hard for me to stay focused and interested for 85 minutes at a time sometimes.
     
  8. MissFroggy

    MissFroggy Aficionado

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    Feb 19, 2008

    I think combination classes are much better. We have a weird bubble running through our school right now. We have a strange mix of grades... (private)

    21 first graders
    8 second graders
    8 3rd graders
    6 fourth graders
    20 fifth graders!!!
    2 6th graders

    So we have a class 1st grade class, a 1/2/3 class, a 3/4 class a 4/5 class and a 5/6th grade class.

    Combo classes work great. I would not departmentalize. I think it is too much switching. Our cap is 14 students per class.
     
  9. Maryhf

    Maryhf Connoisseur

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    Feb 19, 2008

    I think maybe you're talking about departmentalizing the students. Block scheduling is, as Cassie said, an 85 to 90 minute time block for a subject area for a marking period. For example, a student may take chemistry during period 4 semester 1 and then calculus during period 4 semester 2. Blocks are usually used in high schools - but not elementary or middle schools. Correct me if I'm wrong - maybe that's what's planned!
     
  10. mrachelle87

    mrachelle87 Fanatic

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    Feb 19, 2008

    We use block at our school from 6th to 12th grade. My son is a mildly ADHD 8th grader. At first I was concerned and worried about him having to stay focused for over 90 minutes. I was wrong. It is the perfect schedule for him. It has cut his homework down, made studying for test easier, and allowed him to get to know his teachers and them to know him and his weird sense of humor. It has been the best thing for us.
    Just my two cents.
     
  11. Matt633

    Matt633 Comrade

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    Feb 19, 2008

    Sorry for the confusion, yes departmentalizing is the word. Here is how it would work. We have 2nd grade, a 3/4 combo, and a 5th grade. We are a private school by the way. One teacher would teach Language Art & Reading, I would be teaching Math and Bible (probably handwriting too) and the other teacher would teach Science and Social Studies. The day would be split up with each teacher for approx 1 hr 50 min/ 10 min to change classes and 30 min for lunch.

    This is one of my questions....would it just be easier to for one of us to do the 3/4 combo class and have them stay with one teacher? I have taught combo classes before, as long as I have a good aide it has worked fine.

    I worry about two things...the children handling the changes and different teachers, the parents adjusting to dealing with three teachers and will I get bored just teaching math, bible and handwriting?
     
  12. MissFroggy

    MissFroggy Aficionado

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    Feb 19, 2008

    I think a combo works much better. The parents will have a much better idea of what is going on in their child's class and they won't have to deal with the extra transitions between teachers. For a 7 or 8 year old, I think learning the style and expectations of 3 teachers could be challenging. Also, at this age when there is a lot of development happening, I think it is important for one teacher to be able to see what is happening across the content areas. I would worry about second graders being departmentalized.

    I love teaching a combo, but yes, a good aid is important.
     
  13. chicagoturtle

    chicagoturtle Fanatic

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    Feb 19, 2008

    We had departmentalized classes in grade school, I only went to that school for 4 - 12, so not sure what the young uns did, but we had one teacher did SS/ one Science and one "Study skills and (something else). For this we were divided by colors- just flat out divided Additionally we were leveled for math/reading and we had a "color animal group" for (specials/preps/ whatever you call them). I didn't mind the switching at all. However, I did mind the open classroom (no walls).
     
  14. SchoolRocks

    SchoolRocks Companion

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    Feb 21, 2008

    My school switches for subjects as well. I hate it! I teach Kindergarten and they only switch for handwriting. I fought to keep them in my room! THey are 5 and 6, they need stability. Anyhow, I do teach the 1st and 2/3(combined) science. I love teaching this, but I hate the switching thing. By the time we walk down to my room, get settled, clean up after, and line back up to walk to the next class, I loose 10 minutes teaching time easily! Not to mention, the kids have to get used to different teaching styles and expectations. So I really do not love the idea, but what can ya do?:)
     

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