John, We have teaming in our school and have done it for about 7 years now. We also did some blocking one year. I loved it with math because I could do more cooperative group activities. The science teacher loved it too, esp. with the time it took to do labs. The history and English teachers were not too thrilled and felt it created discipline problems. I am for blocking in math only if it is offered every day and not every other day. Some of our kiddos have trouble remembering from day to day, let alone skip a couple. I taught in summer school one year & did my own blocking with short segments, using notetaking, guided practice, independent practice, etc. I used a timer, so students were aware of what we were doing and when. It was very successful for me, and I had students who were definitely not the "cream of the crop." They were students who failed 2 or more core subjects during the year, and needed to attend summer school in order to be promoted to the next grade. The high school my daughter will attend in the fall is on their second year of blocking. Only two high schools in our district are doing it. I am anxious to see what happens to those students who have a year of Algebra in one semester & then no math for a whole semester if they choose. That concerns me in the area of math because some much of what a student learns requires skills and concepts taught previously so they can be successful. I did speak with a past student and she said she had a hard time at first getting used to knowing that a course ended in the middle of the year, but she seems to have adjusted pretty well. (to start with this was a faily sharp student.) A couple of other teams attempted blocking and it turned out to be a nightmare for them, so I guess it really depends upon the acceptance of your staff it you want it to be successful. Probably observing schools that have successfully implemented the blocking would be good. Before we ever began to team, we set out for schools in other districts where they were having excellent success with the idea & we observed and gathered data. Our district provided us with substitutes and encouraged us to do this. Great idea! We implemented it, and our students and parents adapted very well. We had plenty of kudos from our parents. Many said they wished that their transition to middle school had been as smooth as it was for their children.
Remember though--sometimes it is hard to teach an "old dog new tricks," and you might meet that kind of resistance. The more you investigate it, and the more your teachers can glean from good blocking situations, the more successful you will probably be in your endeavors. Good luck! We haven't gone to complete blocking yet, but when they do, I am ready to tackle it! As ever, Steph at Neff Middle School, San Antonio, Tx. :)