Block Scheduling

Discussion in 'High School' started by toughgrl1123, Aug 5, 2008.

  1. toughgrl1123

    toughgrl1123 Rookie

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    Aug 5, 2008

    I will be teaching high school this year, which uses block scheduling. Does anyone have any tips on how to handle 80 min. classes?
     
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  3. Marci07

    Marci07 Devotee

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    Aug 5, 2008

    I was just thinking of posting this same post. My block schedule is of 90 minutes. If anybody has any ideas I would like to know also.
     
  4. MsMar

    MsMar Fanatic

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    Aug 5, 2008

    Add me to the list of curious people without advice! I'm new to high school and will have 80 minute blocks. I know it will be great in my Intro to Foods class as I'll be able to do longer labs. My Nutrition class is more like a regular class though so I'd love to hear how traditional subject teachers handle the long block.
     
  5. LMath85

    LMath85 Companion

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    Aug 5, 2008

    This year I taught 1 double period math class for 90minutes everyday. I must say the first few weeks were a DRAG (I mean, how exciting can I make multiplying numbers?!) but once those warm-up lessons were over it turned out to be my favorite period of the day. There is just SO much time to do whatever you want.

    This is usually how my 90 minutes went

    -Problem of the Day/Homework (about 10-15mins)
    -Lesson (Approx. 40mins)
    -Group/Individual Work

    I honestly found that bringing in activities made the time pass by fast. I played a few games with them and that was fun. Who would have thought you gave a 9th grade student construction paper & markers and they would absolutely love it! I also gave them a break when the class-change bell rang midway at 45mins. So for 3minutes they could relax...


    I don't know if your school can give you a class set of books but that was helpful. For the second period they would go to the final cabinets get their workbooks and I'd assign them 10-12 problems to do in their groups.

    Main thing is... keep them busy! I know I felt pretty bad for them a few times when the lesson was dragging. But I tried to make it fun with spur of the moment games - they all love competition.
     
  6. toughgrl1123

    toughgrl1123 Rookie

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    Aug 5, 2008

    I'd love to hear some ideas you are going to use in your Intro. to Foods class and your Nutrition class. I will be teaching Human Nutrition to 11th and 12th graders this year, and I'm not really sure where to begin.
     
  7. MsMar

    MsMar Fanatic

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    Aug 6, 2008

    Toughgrl - I'll get back to you with some suggestions. I am heading off to the third day of a training mostly related to nutrition. PM me your e-mail address and I should have some ideas for you.
     
  8. toughgrl1123

    toughgrl1123 Rookie

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    Thanks so much! My e-mail is samantha.edington@gmail.com.
     
  9. GatorGal

    GatorGal Cohort

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    Aug 6, 2008

    Overplan every day (until you get used to the swing of things).

    I teach 100 min classes every day. It's hard to be exciting fun fun fun all the time, so some days do drag a bit. Just make sure you switch activities as much as possible to keep them engaged.

    I try to do some form of cooperative group work daily--my students really enjoy that break from lecture, independent work, etc.
     
  10. sciencegurl

    sciencegurl Companion

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    Aug 7, 2008

    I teach block science, which might be a bit more conducive. We often do notes/practice problems for the first 45 minutes and then a lab for the 2nd 45 minutes.
     
  11. OrangeBlossum

    OrangeBlossum Rookie

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    Aug 11, 2008

    I teach on the block: world history & psychology... and I LOVE it!

    You have to overplan, as mentioned before. Always have an extra "fun thing" to do: review games, map activities, group competitions.... something in your back pocket. You'll be amazed how much fun you can have with the block if you plan thoroughly.

    Do at least 2-3 different teaching methods for most classes. Lecture a bit, small group work, role play, webquests. Just, don't spend the whole class on one activity.... even if it seems like a good idea to let them work for the day on a webquest... most students do not have the retention for an 80-90 minute activity, and they'll get bored/sidetracked.

    Movie clips work great, but make sure they are concise and under 30 minutes. (I love 5-10 minute clips). You will have a lot of time to allow for kinesthetic activities... get them up. Make review games mobile. Have crayons, markers ready for quick draw reviews. We do a lot of group work with individual accountability --- which is GREAT for a block, because you can see what everyone is doing and time it out (backup plans ready for non-producers).

    Since you will cover so much in one class, I highly recommend giving the students a Unit/month calendar. They can see what readings/topics will be covered way ahead of time.

    Also.... collaborate with your dept. and see who has stuff made. That way you won't waste time reinventing the wheel.

    I hope you have fun with it!! The block is amazing!!
     
  12. SciTeacherNY

    SciTeacherNY Companion

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    Aug 11, 2008

    When I taught block scheduling, here is what a typical lesson would look like for me:

    5-10 minute warmup
    5-10 minute motivation
    15-20 minutes lecture
    30-40 minutes lab/activity
    5 minute summary

    The most important thing is to have variety. Not only will your students be bored, but so will you if you lecture for 84 minutes.
     

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