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         Block Scheduling Teach:     more detail
  1. What Do I Teach for 90 Minutes?: Creating a Successful Block-Scheduled English Classroom by Carol Porter, 2002-06
  2. Buen Viaje! Block Scheduling Lesson Plans Spanish 1

21. Illinois Loop: Block Scheduling
The school that I teach at participates in a Math Rally every spring. For the pastseven years ALL the schools that use block scheduling finish at the bottom
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Block Scheduling
Your child's school is changing to 80 or 90 minute periods? Welcome to the world of block scheduling, where your child will spend long periods of time on merry projects, movies, group discussions lots of stuff other than learning anything. Block scheduling is a destructive, faddish trend nationwide.
Except for whole language reading, it is perhaps the most dangerous of the progressivist viruses in our schools: it forces teachers into long project and activity sessions even when best judgment suggests an instructivist approach is indicated for a given unit or topic.
If your school is considering lengthening class periods to 80 minutes, with four classes per day, or thereabouts, read the links below to learn what will may to your child's education as a result.
Of special interest, Elmhurst citizen and parent Marcia Tsicouris is managing a website devoted to block scheduling issues. It is focused on current battles in Elmhurst, but will be of interest to all Chicago suburban parents: A Parent's Voice
  • Intensive Block Scheduling
      This is a well-organized and compelling information source regarding BS and its problems. It is on a website for one grassroots group, Residents for Quality Education, but the information it presents and its clarity make it a valuable reference for everyone.
  • 22. Block Scheduling
    Other issues to consider You may need to negotiate block scheduling demands withthe teachers contracts, since teachers may be asked to teach more hours on
    Block Scheduling
    Samples of Block Scheduling

    Internet Resources

    Print Resources
    Schools may adopt block scheduling for a wide variety of reasons: to create more productive and personal relationships among teachers and students, to design challenging curricula that helps students to learn concepts in depth, or to develop a more intimate and student-centered learning atmosphere. However, as with all restructuring efforts, successful implementation requires productive planning, time, resources, and coalition building within a school.
    What is alternative or block scheduling?
    The traditional school schedule is made up of subject-specific classes, each 40-55 minutes long. Students attend between eight and twelve classes each day and receive instruction from many different teachers. Teachers teach five classes each day, with one planning period, and see approximately 150 students. Classes are either a semester or year long. Alternative scheduling modelsusually called "block scheduling" because they involve blocks of time for student learningrestructure the school day. Block schedules are made up of fewer, longer classes, from 60 to 120 minutes each. The classes either meet fewer days each week or for less than a semester or year. As a result, students have fewer classes, and teachers teach fewer students. Because they allow for extended class time over fewer days, block classes require innovative approaches to instruction, which makes them more likely to be implemented in schools with more progressive faculty and administrators. In schools that have made the transition from traditional to alternate scheduling models, the change has resulted from a concerted reform effort involving administrators, faculty, and often parents and students. In fact, the desire to implement an alternative schedule has often been the catalyst for a larger effort to redesign a school.

    23. Professional Development - Hot Topics - Block Scheduling
    Over the past two years the high school where I teach adopted a modifiedblock schedule that had most classes meeting for 75 minutes.
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    Hot Topics
    Block Scheduling: A Teacher's Experience
    by Phillip James
    About the Author
    Many questions arise as teachers are confronted with the task of teaching within a block schedule format:
    • Do I need to relearn how to teach to accommodate longer blocks? What is expected of me now that I have been given more time to teach per block? How will I keep students from being bored? Will I be able to cover the same amount of material as I did previously under the new schedule?
    Over the past two years the high school where I teach adopted a modified block schedule that had most classes meeting for 75 minutes. My colleagues and I had many questions and much anxiety concerning the change. The history department was divided as to whether the change would actually improve students' learning, and many of us pondered the questions mentioned above. What we discovered is that we all survived. Although the preference of the new schedule over our previous, more traditional one, is still debated, we all managed to teach effectively. Based upon this experience, there are several things you could consider if you are facing a switch to some form of block scheduling.

    24. Professional Development - Hot Topics - Block Scheduling
    which makes some local teacher unions anxious—but most teachers see the extra classesas a fair tradeoff On a block schedule, they teach fewer students per
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    Hot Topics
    Wake Up!
    by Rebecca Jones
    Senior editor of The Executive Educator Reprinted with permission from The Executive Educator, National School Boards Association "When it comes to dividing up the school day and assigning students to classes, so many things can go wrong." Oh, the nightmare, the headache, the awful frustration of scheduling. When it comes to dividing up the school day and assigning students to classes, so many things can go wrong at so many levels:
    • Two weeks before school began in 1993, the Chicago school board told its high school principals to lengthen class periods from 40 minutes to 50 minutes. That meant administrators had to scrap their planned schedules; reconfigure everything to fit seven, rather than nine, periods a day; and prepare to work with teachers whose classes had been changed and whose lesson plans didn't fit the new format. "And people wonder why Chicago has so many strikes," says one school secretary who remembers the confusion. Magoffin County High School in Kentucky erupted a few years ago when it revised its schedule to reduce the amount of free time students had before classes in the morning and between classes during the day. Kids assembled in protest outside the school, according to the Louisville Courier-Journal, until classes were canceled and the state police were called.

    25. Block Scheduling Mini-site
    foreign languages, music, etc.) are difficult to teach in this format; Lose continuitybetween classes if do not meet daily; Since block scheduling is relatively
    Educational Articles and Resources

    Instructional Materials

    Introduction to Block Scheduling In the 1990s, school reformers hailed block scheduling (modular scheduling), claiming that it created a framework for more in-depth study in the classroom which aided student achievement. As increasing numbers of schools began adopting block scheduling, however, the move to leave traditional scheduling came under fire. A decade later, the debate is still going strong. What is block scheduling? Traditional school schedules consisted of six to eight period schedules, generally 40 to 50 minutes each. In contrast, a block schedule is made up of three to four longer periods a day. There are a number of different forms of block scheduling, but the most common types are: Alternate-day schedule (or the A/B plan) – classes meet every other day for lengthy time periods rather than meeting every day for shorter periods. Students take eight classes spread out over a year.

    26. Block Scheduling Mini-site
    Articulation. teachers on block scheduling have found articulation to be a difficultissue. It is of particular concern for language teachers who teach on a


    Educational Articles and Resources

    Instructional Materials

    ... Scheduling Foreign Languages on the Block These two articles can be found by searching the ERIC Digest at Block Scheduling by Karen Irmsher Originally published in ERIC Digest, Number 104 (1996). A copy of this article can be obtained by writing to ERIC Clearinghouse on Educational Management, 5207 University of Oregon, 1787 Agate Street, Eugene, OR 97403-5207 (free; $2.50 postage and handling). Six classes a day, five days week, every day the same schedule. Telephones and radios were still novelties when high schools nationwide petrified the school day into this rigid pattern. The refrigerator and television hadn't been invented, much less the copy machine, computer, and video player. We live in a very different world now, and we know immeasurably more about how students learn. Yet most contemporary high school and middle school students are still locked into the same archaic schedule that their great-grandparents experienced when they were teenagers.

    our block scheduling. So I had to consider some things. First of all, in traditionalscheduling, you have these short bursts of time, so you tend to teach by
    MODELING AND BLOCK SCHEDULING: a good match Wayne J. Finkbeiner Central Bucks West High School Doylestown, Pennsylvania April 1998 Download this paper as a pdf file. Before we went to block scheduling, we had traditional scheduling with 45-minute periods. In the regular physics course we had one double period per week, for a total of 300 minutes per week or 180 hours per year. In AP physics, (and let me note that that’s a first-year course), we had two double periods per week, for a total of 350 minutes per week or 210 hours per year. (I just call it AP, I don’t want to necessarily define B or C yet.) Then in 1994 we went to intensive scheduling or block scheduling: the regular physics course decreased to 18 weeks; that is, it became a one semester course with 450 minutes per week, 135 hours in a semester; so it decreased by 25% in time. AP Physics went to a 27 weeks double course: 450 minutes per week, 202 hours for the course, so the time decreased by 4%. My administration was telling me "less is more", but I think what they really meant is I had to do more with less time!

    28. Block Scheduling
    In the final analysis, the block schedule is a necessary but not sufficient variable criticalvariable is relevant changes in the ways teachers teach which can
    4MAT and "The Block" This paper articulates About Learning's position on the issue of block scheduling. It is our hope that this paper will aid 4MAT practitioners in articulating the connections between the 4MAT Method of Instruction and this critical educational issue. It is also our intent to distribute this information to as many qualified educators as possible since our goal is to aid them in understanding how The 4MAT Method of Instruction can provide valuable assistance in the implementation of block scheduling. To this end, we encourage you to copy and distribute this paper. About Learning, Inc. is a research, publishing, and consulting firm that provides training and consulting in the effective use of 4MAT. 4MAT is an innovative framework that capitalizes on natural learning processes. For information on our products and training, please contact us at (800) 822- 4MAT. Or write us at About Learning, Inc., 1251N. Old Rand Road, Wauconda, IL 60084. Block Scheduling: Issues and Answers
    A Position Paper of About Learning, Incorporated

    29. Twin Peaks Middle School Administration
    As a result, student grades are higher with block scheduling. · teachers have muchgreater opportunity to teach significant Standards in a significant amount
    Administration Ms. Sue Foerster Principal Ms. Susie Houle Asst. Principal Ms. Kathy Brown Asst. Principal (TOSA)
    Dear Parents, We will be having an informational meeting in the fall to explain our block scheduling. In the meantime, we will answer a few questions concerning our new block schedule and RAM Time. We are busy making plans for the fall and want to share our ideas with you now so that you will have a clearer understanding!
    Will the faculty undergo training for this new approach to learning?
    Tell us about RAM Time
    Will volunteers be included in RAM Time?

    We always encourage volunteers for all aspects of Twin Peaks! Please see us in the fall!
    How will you assess whether this schedule is working?
    Assessment is always a vital part of the review of any change. We will use a combination of surveys, discipline data, grade point averages, and State/District testing.
    What educational advantages and disadvantages are there to this system?

    30. Block Schedule In PISD - A Former Teacher's Perspective
    FACT that class time is reduced under block scheduling, the more crucial issue ofcurriculum reduction will never be addressed. Should teachers teach a smaller
    Block Schedule - By the Numbers
    by Carolyn Williamson - until May, 1996, Carolyn Williamson was a PISD teacher
    First Published in the Plano Star-Courier For those of you who are still confused about class time under the block schedule, PAY CLOSE ATTENTION TO THE FOLLOWING: Under the traditional class schedule, a student is in a class for 55 minutes per day for 180 days. That equals a total of 9900 minutes or 165 HOURS per class per year. Under the block schedule, a student is in a class for 90 minutes per day for 90 days. That equals a total of 8100 minutes or 135 HOURS per class per year. THE DIFFERENCE IN TOTAL CLASS TIME IS 30 HOURS PER CLASS PER YEAR. Here is another way to look at the diffence: Under the traditional schedule, the school-year "pie" (180 days) is divided into six pieces/classes per student. Under the block schedule, the same "pie" (still 180 days) is divided into eight pieces/classes per student. Will those eight pieces be the same size as the original six? Of course they won't! If administrators, parents, teachers, and/or students will not accept the FACT that class time is reduced under block scheduling, the more crucial issue of curriculum reduction will never be addressed. Should teachers teach a smaller amount of curriculum at the same depth, or should teachers teach the same amount of curriculum at a more shallow depth? It is unfair to lead students and parents to believe that the same amount of curriculum can be taught at the same level of depth with the same amount of practice and reinforcement as under the traditional schedule.

    31. Block Schedule In PISD - A Former Teacher's Perspective
    I would ask everyone involved in block scheduling last year to think back to Did you teach to the test? Parents, were your children bombarded with inordinate
    Block Schedule, or Blockheads?
    by Carolyn Williamson - until May, 1996, Carolyn Williamson was a PISD teacher
    First Published in the Plano Star-Courier I am puzzled as to why PISD is going to spend $3,000 to take eight principals and district administrators on a "field trip" to Minnesota to study the use of block scheduling when our district currently has five high schools using that schedule right here in Plano. Could it be that many of the teachers in those schools have serious doubts about the benefits of this schedule? The stated purpose of the trip is to "investigate the feasibility of block scheduling." However, Sherman Millender, executive director of secondary administration, says, "We've got to convince teachers this is the best way we can go." Why can't the senior high teachers be convinced by their own peers in their own district? As a high school teacher under block scheduling last year, I can tell you that it is because many of those teachers want to return to a traditional class schedule. There are high school teachers in this district from many different curriculum areas who are extremely concerned about teaching the same amount of material with thirty fewer hours of class time per subject. Teachers discussed this issue last year during lunch periods, during hall duty, in departmental meetings, and in the copy room. We shared our frustrations over having to choose which parts of the curriculum to omit or which parts of the curriculum to cover at a much more shallow depth. Many of us were told that block scheduling was "here to stay" and continuing to raise questions would only result in our being labeled as "non-team players." Additionally, some of us were informed that, if we did not cover the same amount of curriculum under the block schedule, we would "have to answer" to the parents of this district. Even the survey some of us completed last spring did not contain a choice for returning to the traditional schedule.

    32. Block Scheduling - Research & Resources: Resources By Topic Page 4   [CAREI]
    development components for veteran and beginning teachers planning to teach in blocked Blockscheduling requires fundamental instructional changes to succeed.
    Center for Applied Research and Educational Improvement Block Scheduling Schools Discussion CAREI ... University of Minnesota

    Resources by Topic
    Staff Development
    Fitzgerald, Ron. Brain-Compatible Teaching in a Block Schedule. ERIC. School Administrator v53 n8 p20-21,24 Sep 1996.
    Block Scheduling requires additional teaching strategies; i.e., establish relevance, hook students with short video sequences, dramatic skits, and simulations; schedule at least two learning activities per session, and capitalize on pulsed learning sequences, cooperative teaming, alternative learning options, and student variations.
    Hackmann, Donald G.; and Schmitt, Donna M. Strategies for Teaching in a Block of Time Schedule . NASSP Bulletin, v81 n588 p1-9 Apr 1997.
    Offers suggestions for developing creative instructional approaches in time-blocked classes. Teachers should continuously engage students in active learning, include group activities to encourage student participation, incorporate activities addressing multiple intelligences, use creative thinking activities, move outside the classroom, employ authentic assessment methods, and share resources and ideas with colleagues.
    Miller, Theresa Coleman, Ed.D. (2000);

    33. FAQ S About Block Schedule
    Fewer students to teach in a day means teachers can get to know their If a studentfails a required class, block scheduling allows the student to repeat the

    however, they report that the material which they do teach is taught number of interdisciplinaryteams and studies is likely to increase with block scheduling.
    Block Scheduling Research
    Below are some of the findings from schools around the country. Please note that not all schools will experience each advantage. Also as in any change there may be initial drop off in some areas. Our experience has demonstrated that schools that take a year to research the change, and then a year of planning and training, will find some success the first year. The new schedule should be given three years of implementation, change and adjustment before full comparison studies are conducted. Within two years after a high school moves from a daily, single-period schedule to an A/B or 4/4 schedule, the data indicate that: The number of discipline referrals to the office is reduced sgnificantly. Initially, there is greater stress for teachers until they learn how to plan and to teach in a larger block of time, but eventually the school environment becomes less stressful for both teachers and students. About 80 percent of the teachers in the school lecture less and gradually engage students in more active learning structures; therefore, students become less passive in their learning. The number of students on the A, B Honor Roll increases. In the 4/4 plan, there also may be an increase in the number of students making F's.

    35. NAESP : Four-Block Scheduling: Meeting Middle-Level Needs
    expert Rick Wormeli will discuss strategies for teaching in a block schedule duringthe powerful 1994 report, Prisoners of Time Too Much to teach; Not Enough

    36. Problem: Is Block Scheduling Better Than Traditional Scheduling
    They are expected to know and teach 150 or more students each day (Irmsher, 1996).With block scheduling, teachers have responsibility for a smaller number of
    Problem: Is Block Scheduling Better Than Traditional Scheduling? The past decade has provided schools with many opportunities to reform education at a local level. One reform movement that has gained in popularity in the past few years is block scheduling. More than fifty percent of secondary schools in the United States Rettig Proponents of school reform often view block scheduling as a way to extend the traditional periods of uninterrupted class time and improve student achievement ( Canady Rettig Isenhour , 1998). As the trend continues to grow throughout the United States , teachers, parents, administrators, and university professors are seeking evidence for the impact of block scheduling on student achievement. As reformers have sought better ways to increase student achievement in the high schools, the question has come up is block scheduling better than traditional scheduling. Key Terms: Block Scheduling: Block Scheduling is a restructuring of the school day whereby students attend half as many classes, for twice as long. In a departure from the traditional 50-minutes per class, 6-8 classes per day ritual, students take four classes, in 90- or 120-minute blocks each day.

    37. Block Scheduling
    5. Additional planning time, this advantage may work for the experienced teacheror the teacher who has been taught how to teach block scheduling, but I
    Table of Contents I. Introduction II. Review of Literature III. Competing Views IV. Conclusion V. Reference I. Introduction Block scheduling is not a new concept, but it is a huge controversial issue in secondary school systems. The new ‘goo-roos’ of education are telling the educational world that teachers need to entertain the youth of today. (Why should the youth of today be any different then the youth of yesterday?) New methods or ideas on how to engage the students are needed; with the changing of the world around us and with so much information at our fingertips teaching has taken on a new role in the schools. Teachers are no longer the “ones with all the answers.” Teachers have become facilitators. People who no longer tell the students the answers, but who now guide the students so that the students can explore and experience more ideas, expanding their knowledge while they are learning. This method does require more time for the students to grasp the issue at hand. The argument is how much time is needed. More is not always best. Teaching in block scheduling is great for some students and subjects, but it can also be a catalyst for others. In the world of education there are always going to be conflicting issues. Teachers are students too; teachers are continuously learning and exploring new ideas. The state that a teacher teaches in has their own set guidelines and teachers have to abide by those laws as well as the federal laws. With all of this, one question still remains. Why aren’t teachers and students asked what they think is needed to enhance the educational system of today?

    38. Jefferson County Schools Mathematics - Secondary Block Scheduling
    Opponents of block scheduling claim that teachers cannot teach theircurrent mathematics courses given less instructional time.
    Home Instructional Services Math Who We Are ... Professional Development
    Block Scheduling
    Defined Information Amount of Instructional Time
    Depending on the format of block scheduling, instructional time may increase, stay the same, or decrease. Under most blocked schedules the total time for a course is less under block scheduling than under traditional scheduling. Proponents of block scheduling claim this loss of total time is offset to some degree by the accompanying reduction in non-instructional time. With students changing classes less often, less time is lost per day due to taking roll, and other non-instructional tasks which absorb much of a class period. Opponents of block scheduling claim that teachers cannot teach their current mathematics courses given less instructional time. Some proponents respond that block scheduling offers the opportunity for departments to restructure certain mathematics courses offered into courses more suited to block scheduling. For additional Information: (See related discussion under Mathematics Related Issues - Advanced Placement Classes and Advanced Placement Examinations. Also see references - Canady and Rettig, 1995, Muruyama, 1995; Raphael,, 1986; Sessions, (in press); Schoenstein, 1995.)

    39. Re: Block Scheduling By Webber, Ronda
    This also allows those teachers who are totally against block scheduling the chanceto teach the way they want with only one day a week being extra long.
    Re: Block Scheduling by Webber, Ronda
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    Subject: Re: Block Scheduling Author: Date: The Math Forum

    credits per year), while teachers teach four classes and have one preparation periodeach day. br Although much of the research on block scheduling has been
    Back to ncsm.members
    Subject: EFFECTS OF BLOCK SCHEDULING Author: Date: Thu, 13 May 2004 11:25:14 -0500 ============_-1127656961==_ma============ Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii" ; format="flowed" ***************************** From ASCD SmartBrief, May 11, 2004, Volume 2, Number 10. See ], Center for Applied Research and Educational Improvement The Effects of Full and Alternative Day Block Scheduling on Language Arts and Science Achievement in a Junior High School [, Education Policy Analysis Archives The British Columbia Assessment of Mathematics and Science [ ], British Columbia Ministry of Education Block Scheduling [, ... The Math Forum

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